CLOSE-UP: Meet Prof Florence Obi, The Woman Who Broke A 45-Year Record To Become First Female VC Of UNICAL

CLOSE-UP: Meet Prof Florence Obi, The Woman Who Broke A 45-Year Record To Become First Female VC Of UNICAL

Professor Florence Banku Obi has emerged as the first female Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) in Cross River State.

YANS reports that Prof Obi who is of the Faculty of Education emerged after a rigorous screening exercise involving 12 other candidates.

She will take over from Prof. Zana Akpagu, whose tenure ends on November 30, 2020.

Prof Obi has now made history as the first female Vice-Chancellor of the 45-year-old institution.


Professor Florence Obi hails from Bansan Osokom in Boki local government Area in Cross River State. She is married with 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

She attended the St Bridget’s Primary School, Ogep Osokom, Boki, Cross River State, F.S.LC where she obtained her first school leaving certificate in 1969. Spurred by the desire to acquire more knowledge, the young Florence proceeded to the St Thomas’s Teachers Training College, Ogoja; Cross River State, for her Senior Secondary School Certificate in 1983.

She obtained a B.Ed (Hons) in Special Education and Masters in Special Education (M.Ed) in 1988 and 1990 from the University of Jos, Plateau State.

She also holds a PGCEE from the Jordan Hill College of Education, Glasgow-Scotland; 1993, and a Ph.D in Psychology of Education from the University of Calabar, Calabar, in 2002.

She began her academic career as an Assistant Lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of Calabar in March 1990.

Two years after her appointment, with her utmost desire to foster a bold and innovative spirit in faculty teaching and academic excellence, she won a 6-months postgraduate scholarship to Jordan-Hill College of Education, Glasgow, Scotland, under the World University Service (WUS) World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in a keenly contested interview for staff of the Institute of Education.

On her return from the United kingdom, she was placed in charge of the WWF/NCF funded schools and Community Education Programmes.

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She subsequently facilitated the development of the degree program in Environmental Education of the University, which has since resulted in the establishment of a full-fledged and flourishing Department of Environmental Education.

She later rose to become a Professor of Special Needs Education in 2007.

Before her appointment as Vice-Chancellor elect, she held the following positions:

-Permanent Member of the Senate, University of Calabar since 2007.

-Member, University Central Accreditation Committee, University of Calabar, 2006-2008.

-Chairperson, Housing Loan Implementation Committee, University of Calabar, 2011-2015.

-As Dean, she pioneered the take-off of 22 affiliate programs of the Federal College of Education, Obudu, Cross River State and the Federal College of Education, Kastina-Ala, Benue State to the faculty of Education of the University of Calabar.

-Professor Florence Banku Obi had also served as the Chairperson of the University of Calabar International Demonstration School (formerly called University of Calabar International Secondary School) where she left lasting physical legacies to her credit.

-Following her credibility, integrity, and commitment to service, she was voted as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) by the University Senate.

-As DVC Academics, she was also a member of the University Governing Council, where she brought her wealth of experience to bear in the growth and development of the University.

-Professor Florence served as honorable commissioner, ministry of women affairs and social development, and member of cross River State executive council in 2007.

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