By our reporter
A senior Lecturer in the department of Business management of University of Calabar, Prof. Joe Duke II has called for the institutionalization of mentoring programmes in Nigerian Universities as a pathway for global competitiveness.
Prof. Duke made the call at the institution’s International Conference Centre while delivering the 110th Inaugural lecture of the University on the topic: “Hold My Hand and Lead Me On; Mentoring in the Nigerian University System.”
According professor of Business Management, a formal mentoring programme urgently needs to be instituted in Nigerian Universities, adding that, strong institutional support should be provided for implementing the programme.
Prof. Duke, the current Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences, further stated that mandatory participation in the proposed mentoring programme should be mainstreamed into employees’ contract with the University.
The Don maintained that the Human Resource Department of the University’s Registry Division should midwife the mentoring programme in conjunction with the about-to-be-established academic Human Resource Management Programme, which he said, should be challenged with the formal mentoring initiative as the practical aspect of its curriculum.
The intellectual identified mentoring as a potent strategy for raising the productivity of scholars, especially young, early-career ones in Nigerian Universities.
Prof. Duke opined that mentoring leads to elevated professional identity and more seamless transitioning into the academic environment.
The Inaugural lecturer said when mentored by more experienced academics, fledgling educators tend to be more productive as a result of exposure to a deeper and wider breadth of academic roles by the mentor, disclosing that, mentoring is also linked with higher career satisfaction and increased organizational and departmental morale.
Continuing, he said although some level of mentoring exists in Nigerian Universities, it is not yet integrated into any recognized system or evaluated for its positive effects on the system.
The Inaugural lecturer said “effective and successful formal mentoring relationships are determined by the selection and pairing of suitable persons in the mentoring dyad, the level of institutional support provided and the culture and climate that are supportive of diversity.”
Prof Duke said psychosocial support and apprenticeship contribute more significantly to the positive effect of mentoring relationships in Nigerian Universities than other factors.
In her remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi, described the inaugural lecturer as “a seasoned academic whose wealth of experience in the academic world speaks volumes.”
Represented by the Chairman, of the Committee of Deans, Prof. Anozeng Igiri, the Vice Chancellor thanked the inaugural lecturer for paying his ‘intellectual debt,’ while imploring other Professors to deliver their inaugural lectures when due.
The Vice-Chancellor also charged experienced and senior academics to mentor young academics to enable them to thrive in their Profession of knowledge sharing.