Prof Joshua Ogunwole ,VC Bowen during the handover exercise to Mr Olawale Mayomikun the ”One day VC”

Bowen University’s administration style took a new dimension last Wednesday when the  Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor  Joshua Ogunwole vacated his office for an elected student to take over the administration of the university as an acting Vice-Chancellor of the Ivory Tower for one day.

At the official presentation of the elected student for the post,  Mayomikun  Olawale a 400L, Medicine and Surgery to assume the mantle of the  Vice Chancellorship of the institution for 24 hours,  the Head, Information, Protocol and Public Relations,  Honorable   Adaramola  Toba stated that the Vice-Chancellor’s agenda towards student-centred learning, mentoring and integration, informed the introduction of the  One-day Vice-Chancellorship contest among the students by the Vice-Chancellor. 

According to him, the platform provided an opportunity for students of the university from 300 Level and above with not less than 4. 0 CGPA to vie for the position.

He said: “Many students from all the colleges in the institution who met the entry criteria applied for the contest.  Aside from their current academic and moral standings, they were engaged in series of computer-based test on leadership, book review and other selection criteria before the final election by the students, which saw  Mayomikun  Olawale as an overall winner of the keen elections.

“But for the effect of COVID-19, there were other stages, such as Internship in partnership with Stutern and Edu-Bridge Academy and interactions with industry leaders.

“A week to the assumption of office  Olawale went through a series of training and interactions with leaders on campus including all the  Principal Officers and the Vice-Chancellor himself.

“All these were put together to ensure that Bowen University raises godly and excellent leaders of today who define the future. Management’s dream has been is the building of character and excellence in students who from today will define our tomorrow.  The top three contestants were Olawale, Mayomikun a 400 Level MBBS, Adeyemo Victor a  400 Level MBBS student, came second while Madoghwe Barnabas a 400 Level Law student, came third in the election.  

According to him, the vision was conceived during the first semester of the 2019/2020 session and on  December 2, 2020, after  eight months of screening exercises, he was announced as the first-ever Student-Vice Chancellor elect.

His words: “It was a memorable day for me and a truly thrilling experience. I appreciate the management and students of this great institution for the wonderful opportunity to serve and learn. Worthy of mention is my firsthand experience with leadership and management at the top level. I was privileged to put in practice all I have learnt over the years, and also during the seven days of preparation for university governance.

“As the Vice-Chancellor, I presided over a meeting with Principal officers of the university, during which important management decisions were made. I interacted with members of the Bowen Community, present at the university worship centre and chaired a Special Senate meeting, where key issues were discussed and resolved. I met with representatives of the Student Body and 100L students who are just settling into campus life. In general, I was challenged and my intellectual capabilities were put to test.

“This experience has taught me a lot as a young leader. The coaching and mentoring will remain evergreen in my memory. One notable lesson is that leadership is no avenue to flaunt authority or lord it over subordinates. Leadership is service; Authentic leadership is measured by the number of people one serves. A true leader’s desire is not to shine but to accept responsibility and achieve results. Another important lesson I learnt is that a leader does not work in isolation; a strong team makes a strong leader! It is important to provide one’s team with a feeling of oneness, inter-dependence and of strength to be derived by unity. As Professor Joshua Ogunwole advised me, “Don’t take your subordinates for granted; don’t look down on anyone; respect everyone! Make them know you love them.”

“Being the Vice-Chancellor for a day changed my viewpoint about several things, particularly the intricate workings of the university system. I had always believed that the Vice-Chancellor had the final say in every university matter but I learnt that He is only first among equals. I thought to myself, ‘Be careful about wrong perceptions. Don’t stand on the table of perception especially if you don’t see the entire picture.’

“This is truly a remarkable moment in my life and I would love to appreciate my wonderful parents, Dr and Mrs Olawale, and my siblings for all their support and care. I also appreciate my friends and wonderful colleagues. It would be a blatant lie if I said I did this alone. I appreciate all members of staff of Bowen University, and all students for their cooperation, support and love. I especially appreciate Professor Joshua Ogunwole (Vice-Chancellor of Bowen University) and Dr Femi Oladele for mentoring me to become a better and great leader. I cannot end this without special thanks to my amazing colleagues and teammates, Victor Adeyemo and Barnabas Madoghwe. There would be no feat to celebrate if not for you.