The VC gave the advice in his goodwill message at a day retreat organised for members of the management of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Governing Council and Principal Officers, held at Unilorin.
The retreat was themed: “University Governance in the 21st Century: Rethinking the Roles of the Governing Council and Management”.
Abdulkareem, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sylvia Malomo, advised that the Governing Councils and the Management Teams should always endeavour to ensure institutional stability and sustainability by collaborating and working closely together.
He emphasised that there should be an extremely cordial relationship between the governing councils and the vice-chancellors with their Principal Officers to move the universities smoothly to the desired height.
Abdulkareem noted that the retreat had brought together the two major and uppermost structures of university governance – the Governing Council and the University Administration represented by the Principal Officers of the university.
According to him, the Vice-Chancellor and his team in Nigerian higher institutions should know that the Governing Council is statutorily saddled with the oversight function of the university and all its affairs, except academic matters, and they must respect the statutory role.
He explained further that “the Vice-Chancellor and his team must acknowledge the fact that the Council members are coming into the governance of the University with a varied range of experience and expertise that can benefit the University.
“They are not just laymen. The management team must be humble or strive to benefit from the wealth of experience by being accountable to the Council.”
Abdulkareem enjoined the Management not to see the Council as meddlesome even when any of the Council members request information from the university administration on matters concerning daily administration of the institution.
He noted that the internal members of the council are critical because they know and understand the workings and culture of the university, and should, therefore, ensure proper linkages between the Council, Management and Senate.
He enjoined the council members to exercise their responsibilities in the larger interest of the university.
“The Vice-Chancellor and his team will depend, trust and respect your objective, independent and disinterested judgment over all deliberations they must bring to you for decisions or ratifications,” Abdulkareem said.
He appealed to the University’s Council to deliberate, take decisions, and guide the management with the larger interest of the university at heart.
“To this end, we must all abide by the principles of public life, which are: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership,” he added.
He therefore called on all stakeholders to work for the entrenchment of global best practices in the running of the university to maintain the university culture and protect the time-honoured academic traditions.
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