Remembering Late UNILAG VC Babatunde Sofoluwe (15 April 1950- 1 May 2012)

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Babatunde Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, Professor of Computer Science who was born on April 15, 1950 is a Fellow of the Academy of Science, Computer Association of Nigeria and Computer Professionals of Nigeria. He graduated with a Second Class Upper Division Honours in Special Mathematics in June 1973 from the University of Lagos. He earned his Masters Degree in 1975 and Doctorate Degree in 1981 from Edinburgh University..

He started his career as a Graduate Assistant in the University of Lagos in 1976 and rose steadily through the ranks to become a Professor in October 1996.

The former Director of Academic Planning (March, 2005–November, 2006) and Dean, Faculty of Science (1988–2002) was elected as a member of the Governing Council of the University of Lagos (2000–2004). By virtue of his first appointment as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), he returned to the Governing Council in 2006.

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The University of Lagos Alumni Association, Lagos State chapter, has lined up a number  of activities to remember one of its late vice chancellors, Babatunde Sofoluwe.

Sofoluwe, a professor of Computer Science, was the first vice chancellor in Unilag to die in active service on Friday May 1, 2012. He was 62.

Chairman, UNILAG alumni, Dr Lukumon Adeoti, said unlike previous editions where only a day was set aside, there would be a three-day programme that would commence with a press briefing on Tuesday, next week.  Interdenominational service and sporting activities that would involve anout 12 secondary schools will come up on Thursday, May 11, while the following day will feature a lecture with the theme:  “The administration and management of a university in a recessed economy; A case study of Nigeria”, by the Vice Chancellor, Sokoto State University Prof Nuhu Yaqub.

On the inspiration behind the lecture, Adeoti said: “In his lifetime, Prof Sofoluwe loved education a lot. He sponsored about 72 indigent students and all of them graduated.  He was not using university money. He was personally funding them. He began that initiative before he became VC and Sofoluwe felt even as VC he did not need to help himself with the university money to sponsor them.

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“Aside, he was equally monitoring their growth. We didn’t know them (beneficiaries) until we started this lecture five years ago, and some of them showed up to tell us the role Sofoluwe played in their education.”

Adeoti, who is from Unilag Department of Geosciences, recalled fond memories of the late VC.

“Sofoluwe was an embodiment of humility. He demystified leadership. He was a man, who trained people for succession and by the time he died, those he trained have already imbibed his culture. Interestingly, most of those he trained here have become professors and DVCs .That is why we never had any issue about continuity in leadership in this university. This man was able to handle both the academic and political aspects of administration.

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“We have an association we call Friday Group. Sofoluwe established it. The group is still in existence. We hold meeting every last Friday of the month. Members discuss how to move the university forward.

He said the Faculty of Science, where Sofoluwe once taught, was doing a collection of his works which we would be compiled in a book form and launched during an exhibition exercise that would be part of the activities.

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