The Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos (UNILAG), has once again proven the stuff UNILAG Dons are made of by hosting a thought-provoking Distinguished Professor Lecture Series on Thursday, May 27, 2021.
The Lecture, which is the first of its kind in the Faculty was delivered by one of the Faculty’s very own Distinguished Professor Jim Ijenwa Unah of the Department of Philosophy.
Ahead of the Lecture, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS, ably represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics & Research), Prof. Oluwole B. Familoni, charged all present both off and online to listen attentively to the lecture for there is always a wealth of knowledge to gain from Distinguished Professors.
He joined the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Olufunke Adeboye, in welcoming everyone to the Lecture.
The Distinguished Professor Jim Unah, enthralled the audience with the fashion in which he reviewed the problem of leadership from simple to complex; from known to unknown; from what training and education have generally been perceived to accomplish to the nature of attention given to leadership issues in contemporary literature, and the difficulties of conceptualizing and problematizing the concept of leadership with clarity and coherence.
He posited that leadership was the wrong culprit where problems in leadership are concerned. The culprit, according to the Distinguished Professor, is the content imbibed in the leader, which is character. He expatiated on this position by answering the question, “why are leadership failures a recurrent issue?” Distinguished Prof. Unah averred that leadership training and leadership education should be properly dispensed from early childhood.
He gave several realistic examples showing why leadership training and leadership education have not produced the best of leaders yet, one of which was a scenario of how parents break traffic rules in the presence of their children right after helping the same children with homework on traffic light regulations. The children would have learnt in practical the opposite of what the trainer and educationist tried to imbibe in them about what to do when a certain traffic light or the other flashes on.
Ultimately the Distinguished Professor asserted that the family should lay solid foundation for leadership in children. He called on all academics, leadership trainers and leadership educationist to make leadership outcome the focus and not only bottom lines, Returns on Investment (RoIs) etc. in the knowledge imparting process. Furthermore, Distinguished Professor Jim Ijenwa Unah charged the government, educational institutions and society to take up the responsibility of imparting exemplary leadership training and leadership education, and that this should commence from a young age.
The Faculty of Arts has indeed set a remarkable pace by hosting the Distinguished Professor Lecture Series and hence made a silent but urgent call to other members of the Faculty and the University at large to rise to the occasion for more exceptional individuals who are internationally recognized experts in their field to be birthed.
The Distinguished Professor Lecture Series, which was well attended by members of the University Management as well as professors in the Faculty of Arts and special guests, featured musical performances by the UNILAG Choir and came to a close with group photographs.