Dons reemphasized the importance of collaborations at Faculty development workshop

Dons reemphasized the importance of collaborations at Faculty development workshop

 The importance of collaboration between higher institutions in areas of research has been reemphasized at a workshop on faculty development held for selected staff of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko and The Federal Polytechnic, Ile Oluji. The workshop held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure on Thursday, June 13, 2019 was at the instance of an alumnus of FUTA in the diaspora, Professor Henry Fadamiro, Associate Dean for Research, Auburn University, Alabama, United States of America (USA). He was joined by Dr. Wilmer Pacheco, Doctor of Psychology and Nutrition of the same university and Professor Yele Adelakun, Associate Professor, Information Systems Software Quality, DePaul University, Chicago, USA.

Declaring the workshop open, Chief Host and Vice Chancellor, FUTA, Professor Joseph Fuwape said “without meaningful research, there cannot be development. This is because research is crucial and central to national development. Most of our Universities in developing countries do not have enough funds to operate and that is why the issue of grantsmanship is important. Collaboration is also very important. It brings two or more good heads together. We need to synergize between local and foreign universities to give the best to our nation and the world.”

Fuwape urged participants to see the opportunity of the workshop as unique and as an avenue to up their teaching and research skills. He said “you are dealing with the ICT generation, so your methods must change and comply with the trend. For today’s teaching to be meaningful and impactful you have to involve students. This is because they have access to lots of online materials unlike our days when we relied heavily on whatever our lecturers taught us.”

Addressing participants, a former Vice Chancellor, FUTA, Professor Adebisi Balogun pleaded with all academic to continue to do all within their capacity to advance the cause of education in Nigeria. He said “as an academic, always ensure your institution is set in proper record to make the education sector great.” Speaking relatedly, the Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Ile Oluji, Professor Adedayo Fasakin said “collaboration is the way out to develop the education sector. As sister institutions of higher learning, we play complementary roles and we must synergize through linkages. Let us make friends and relate as academics to further advance the cause of education. It has to start here because charity begins at home.” Professors Balogun, Fuwape and Fasakin commended the effort of Professor Fadamiro for keeping FUTA’s flag flying in areas of collaboration. They thanked him for linking the alumni of the university to the globe. Professor Fuwape said Fadamiro has been able to attract 12 graduates of FUTA to his university in the USA.

Topics discussed at the workshop are: Teaching Methodologies and Best practices, preparing students, high impact learning and career mentoring and Building research culture, responsible conduct of research,  grantsmanship, developing collaborations, and public-private partnerships. To attain best practices in teaching, Professor Fadamiro  urged higher institutions to: strive to deliver high impact, innovative instructional programmes through engaged students learning; foster an engaged network of alumni, industry, teaching and research partners in support of instructional programmes; ensure that instructional and curricula content are relevant and adequate; support and recognize excellence in academic achievement and teaching scholarship and engage faculty in professional  development opportunities related to teaching and high impact learning.

He emphasized the importance of self-directed learning and quoted Knowles who said “in its broadest meaning, self-directed learning describes a process in which individuals take initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies and evaluating learning outcomes.”

Speaking on building a research culture, Fadamiro said it requires leaders setting clear research goals and communicating them, open and collaborative personal relationships among faculty members and consideration of students’ involvement. He added that research culture brings faculty advancement which is important for hiring and promotion of individual faculty members. He warned against research misconduct which he categorized as fabrication, falsification and plagiarism and urged all academic to imbibe collaborative research through data management and sharing and peer review.

Speaking on grantsmanship, the don said it is an art as much as a science. He listed tips for grantsmanship to include addressing the problem, stating the goal of the research being proposed; creativity; assembling the right people with complementary expertise; attending proposal workshop and the need to address the focus of Request for Applications (RAF).

On the need for global collaborations Fadamiro said solving grand challenges require collaborations, training of globally competent students, researchers and professional and increased interest in human/institutional capacity development.

To achieve results through global collaborations, he said there must be a genuine interest in the discipline; identification of appropriate collaborators/mentors; developing a true relationship; jointly developing a plan and above all integrity, honesty and mutual respect.