Dear Faculty Member,
It is election time again. And, I have two duties to perform. I will do both right away:
First, as your Dean, it is my duty and my joyful responsibility to inform you that our elections for the position of Dean and that of Subdean from August 1, 2014 to July 31 2016 is to be held on July 10, 2014. Notices for this were sent to all HODs for further dissemination to interested members in the departments. Needless to say, these notices were dispatched as soon as we received them to ensure fair play.
In making this announcement, I also seize the opportunity to express thanks for the opportunity you have accorded me to be your dean for two years. They have been two tremendous years of my life and I relish the opportunity to serve you to the best of my ability.
It has been a thing of joy to expend the energies and make a small contribution to the future of our careers and our faculty.
In the past two years, I want to specially thank you for the cooperation you gave me especially during the difficult time of the national strike that affected us all. In that period, we were able to keep our passions in check and maintain unity despite the different ways we reacted to the tensions generated during the strike. We all bore in mind the simple fact that when the strike was over, we would still have to deal with one another. Thank you for keeping faith and the bond of unity. I have got to know more people personally than I would have been able to if I did not have the privilege of functioning as dean.
Of course, there are people that some of the decisions taken at this level may not have pleased. Even in such cases, I hope we have not been unjust when we have tried to be firm and consistent. Where there are genuine errors as all humans are prone to, please do forgive, and remember that God is not finished with me yet.
Second, I want to address you as a candidate for the next election. Here, I formally announce my interest and candidacy for dean again. Before I say any more on this, I want to begin by imploring you to continue in the same spirit as during the strike. The principle is simple: After this election, we will still need to relate to each other. We will, together, attend marriages and chieftancy titles, among other happy things. We will also be there for one another when things are not so good. Life is always like that. Let us bear that in mind.
Some think it is better to have deans chosen by acclamation. I respectfully disagree. Let us have contests. Electoral contests put paid to impressions we may have about ourselves that have not yet been tested by the fires of reality. All we need to do is to ensure that we choose facts over rumors and courtesy over abuse. If we make such choices, our faculty will actually become healthier than those where they opt for selection over election. Of course, elections are disputes and nerves will get frayed. Don’t worry, we will get over it soon enough if we keep simple rules.
Lastly, I want to share some things: (Sorry, it will not be rice and Milo – I don’t have Fayose’s resources and connections) but I will share with all interested people the following web pages:
www.oafak.com is the web site I use as my dumping ground. My lecture notes, Articles in response to public issues, proposals for a better university, even sermons I preach in the church – surprise surprise, is the dean also among the preachers? Find out; Go to this site, there are some things you don’t know about me, and you may be in for a surprise! There is a collection of readable articles on this page about the upcoming elections. They are eponymously titled under a heading as you will see. I will be grateful for critical comments and will reply as many as I can. Notice that panegyrics and accolades often disturb useful critical conversation where we may share facts and ideas. I want ideas! I will not get angry if I am criticized!
www.e-jer.com is our Faculty site. It was created primarily for the Faculty Journal. You will find that we have done a lot of work on that site in the past 18 months – working quietly for you. We really do not think we have reached the end yet as there are still things we thought we could further do that will advance the cause of our faculty. Please check this site out. You will know for example, by perusing this site, if it is really true that our Faculty Journal is dead. Maybe you can then find out how to wake it up. Or you may in fact discover you were “seeking the living among the dead”! Please go there and find out for yourself! Don’t cheat yourself by settling for rumors!
www.e-jer.com/prospectus You recently received our new faculty prospectus. What you probably did not know that the dean’s office continues to add value to simple things such as this. Of course, we knew, even as we went to press, that there were a number of issues in the new prospectus that are neither current nor even correct. Not to worry! There are two online versions: One is the verbatim e-version of the one in your hands. If you need to print more copies for yourself, there you go; its all in pdf.
The other incarnation of the prospectus on this site is even more useful. It is the HTML version. That is the version we will edit on a monthly basis. Please send your comments, corrections and additions in. We already have the staff in place to effect these corrections on the fly! What happens is that, for future generations, faculty prospectuses will become more and more accurate, and easy to deliver, as we will all participate in ensuring that the information there is always current from now on. This process, of joint responsibility to do it right, is a bequeathal of the present deanship to the future deans that we will elect. If in a small way, we make their work easier, then we are so glad and grateful for the opportunity to be useful. I will only add, as Mr FeebleMind in John Bunyan’s inimitable classic, Pilgrim’s Progress said:
“And I am determined
To run any time that I can;
To go when I cannot run, and
To crawl, when I cannot go!”
So, don’t you ever stand still! And thanks very much for your attention!