Appointed Vice chancellor on the 6th of January 2016 but assumed duties on January 11, 2016, Professor Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun immediately wore his thinking cap, ready to engender focused leadership devoid of sentiment and the usual way of doing things; he promoted innovation, transparency, academic excellence which immediately catapulted the University into national and international prominence.
With measured, envisioned programmes, inclusive governance, unbroken academic calendar, campaign against cultism, putting to rest the hullabaloo relating to collection of certificates, he pursued his vision and mission for LASU with mathematical exactitude.
Fagbohun ensured that all the courses offered in the university got approval, aside approving new course, Sandwich programme was pursued with greater zeal, introduction of LASU Research Fair, Ready Set work which prepares the final year students for the world of work and to enhance employability, Olanrewaju Fagbohun, a Professor of Environmental Law being the 8th substantive Vice Chancellor brought great transformation to the university which before his emergence was an institution with which many were disenchanted.
He carved a niche for the university and so union leaderships in the institution have no reason to fight the management, salaries were paid every 25 of every month, he introduced Distinguished Lecture series, Inaugural lectures were promoted, he ensured security on campus which was second to none by proving the required tools to ensure safety of lives and property on campus. Annual report was highlighted, he ensured good and vibrant relationship with the university’s Alumni, enhanced town hall meetings to facilitate uninterrupted flow of information between unions and management and management and students.
Fagbohun did not only harp on the use of technology as a tool to enhance efficiency, he made sure that transparency and accountability was made a legacy of the five years of his administration.
Indeed, he invented some catch phrases that gave the university community reason for smiles, optimism, courage, and confidence. Some of them include, ‘We are LASU, We are Proud’; ‘World Class Students’, not forgetting the LASU anthem.
However, as the glorious administration of this illustrious son of Alimosho enters its twilight, not because the astute professor in question has become tired, no, far from it, but it is because he must follow the constitutionally specified one tenure system of the Lagos State owned university. It is also on this note that Prof Fagbohun found it expedient to chronicle his activities in LASU in a book he delivered as a Valedictory Lecture titled LASU: My Stewardship. The People. The Transformation.
In a well attended event at the Buba Marwa Auditorium in Ojo, Fagbohun used opportunity of the Lecture to expound on his sojourn as LASU Vice Chancellor, especially the five strategic imperatives that brought transformation to the institution. They include restoring peace to the university; Fostering high-level scholarship and Creating new knowledge, Consolidating on previous gains, Developing clear roadmap for attracting funds, and most importantly making Lasu a Valued partner to the Lagos State Government and the nation.
He said since 1983 that LASU was established his was the first time a Vice Chancellor of the university would be delivering a Valedictory Lecture.
In page 26 of the 104 paged lecture, Fagbohun brought to the fore the modest achievements of the university, faculties, and faculty members. It showed that over 170 lectures/seminars/conferences/workshops were delivered/organized across faculties, schools and colleges.; 25 inaugural lectures delivered; 11 active international partnerships were signed, 35 active local partners were executed, and 21 others were executed focused on entrepreneurship.
Further he said Academic programmes increased from 65 to 70:63 of them fully accredited (90%), 2 with interim accreditation (2.9%), 5 with initial accreditation (7.1%), and none with denial accreditation. The 5 programmes denied accreditation in 2016 are now accredited, were among other achievements too numerous to mention.
Prof. Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun, SAN, NPOM, one of the most detribalized, religiously tolerant man had the chance to quote a Bible verse, 2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith;
“Now, there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing”.
In all these archival achievements, in his humility, Fagbohun said he did not do it alone. He commended the management, staff and students for being behing the LASU success story.
In the ASUU presented a plaque for Distinguished Performance.
Those who spoke about Prof Fagbohun did so glowingly. One of them was Mr. T.A Seriki, Former University Librarian. He said Fagbohun is a humble man. He was well brought up. When I was UL, we didn’t have the opportunity to have an annual report but Prof. Fagbohun started it and has done it consistently.
“Whoever will come in after Prof. Fagbohun has a herculean task; first to meet up with his achievements and then to surpass it,” Seriki stressed.
Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, First Lady of Ogun State took turn to eulogise the amiable Vice Chancellor in the following words “I attended his inaugural lecture about 8 years ago and was struck by his brilliance and depth in the field of Environmental Law. He is one of the best in Africa and perhaps the world.
I do hope he will continue to be of service not only to the academic community but to Nigeria.
“I congratulate him for his achievements as others have attested to; I congratulate him for leaving an enduring level of excellence. You have set a good example and I pray as you go into the world, you will continue to raise the banner of LASU,” Mrs Abiodun said.
To the former Vice Chancellor of LASU, Prof Abisogun Leigh, “I wear two caps: As one of the founding fathers of the university: there are so many of us, many of whom have passed to the great beyond. But I must mention Alhaji Lateef Jakande. He was someone we learnt a lot from and I can see a copy of Jakande in Prof. Fagbohun. Prof. Fagbohun has raised LASU up and I know that the founding fathers will be proud.
“Second, I have also been privileged to serve as the VC of this university. And I agree with what Prof. Okebukola has said about him being the best: There were good times, but this is the best time. I have been in that seat before, but I say, you have done better. You have been the best,” he maintained.
Dist. Prof. Peter Okebukola on his part had stated. “I have been in this university since it started in 1985. I have seen so many VCs, I have been acting VC myself. When we take a measure of the success of all the VCs that God has blessed this university till date, none of us can match the achievement of Prof. Fagbohun. I and Prof. Leigh did a measure all VC from Prof. Olumide and on all the indices we used, he stood out clearly.
“The critical factors for success is nothing else than God’s favour. God has favoured Prof. Fagbohun so generously that he has succeeded as much as we are documenting it today. And he hasn’t seen anything else. He will go further and further.”
Earlier, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Prof. Bayo Ninalowo, in his own remarks said whatever you want to achieve in life, starts from the cerebral level. He added that as from January, next when he bows out, he would be referred to as Vice Chancellor emeritus
Speaking further, he acknowledged the woman behind Professor ‘Lanre Fagbohun, Mrs Yeside Fagbohun, who has supported the husband, all the way.
Prof. Ninalowo said that LASU Community would definitely miss the outgoing Vice Chancellor who has done so much for the university and brought great achievements to the institution.