Prof. Stephen Okodudu, The newly appointed acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) assumed office and promised to restore peace in the university.
In his maiden press briefing at the University on Friday he disclosed that UNIPORT as at June 12, 2020, had a total of 59 different cases. In various courts within and outside the state. Prof Stephen Okodudu said he had set up two committees to resolve the subsisting legal issues in the university and address staff and students’ grievances.
He said though there could be genuine reasons to continue with the cases in courts, his consultations showed that the matters could be resolved through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism.
“We shall explore ADR because of its inherent benefits of being less costly in monetary terms, less time consuming and guarantees quality reprieve for disputants. Let me, however, state that while the university will be ready to engage through the deployment of ADR, the other parties to the lingering legal entanglements should be ready to have these matters resolved on a win-win principle”, he said.
Okorodudu said the university was in a difficult time lamenting that key officials of the Federal Ministry of Education and the National University Commission (NUC) had very poor impression about the institution.
He said he reached out to all the former vice-chancellors and deputy vice-chancellors for advice and all of them encouraged him to work hard to bring peace to the institution.
Okorodudu said: “Although this is a change of administration, it is only a change of a kind because the policies, rules and regulations and the statute that established the university have not changed. However, what I can promise is a transparent and collective style in the application of rules of engagement.