By Emeka Ogenyi
A University Don, Prof Joseph Ushie has called for cultivation of the interrelatedness of disciplines within the Faculty of Arts.
Ushie, a Professor of General Stylistics and Literary Criticism in the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, University of Uyo made the call in an acceptance speech after he was elected the new Dean of Arts of the University yesterday.
The Dean who went unopposed to represent the eight departments within the faculty of Arts in an election held at Department of Theatre Arts, University of Uyo Annex on Thursday succeeded Prof Anthonia Essien of the Department of Religious Studies.
Ushie who is also Vice-Dean, Postgraduate School, and former Head, Department of English Language pledged to ensure consultative leadership and timely promotions of colleagues in the faculty, particularly in the professiorial cadre.
He acknowledged his unanimous adoption by members of the faculty, including those who had the intention to contest, and therefore declared the overwhelming love and support a motivation to push the faculty to greater height.
Ushie who paid glowing tributes to his predecessor whose shoes he admitted were quite large, considering especially her achievements in the area of professiorial promotion, said he will leverage on the support so far, to either surpass or sustain existing record..
” I realized that to be Dean just to be first among equal and not to be anything superior to anybody. So, with your advice and support, I will serve you diligently.” He said.
Testimonies from colleagues including Professors Effiong Johnson of the Department of Theatre Arts and Ashiong Ashiong of Communication Arts all declared Ushie as perfect clearing house for the faculty due to his long record of integrity and humble, yet firm disposition on matters.
His abridged profile made available to newsmen indicates that Ushie is a Fellow of the 2002 Fulbright Program and recipient of many honours and awards including his state government’s for his outstanding contributions to the growth of African Literature and Culture.
It also revealed that Ushie has been a judge in national literary competitions and was Africa’s representative at the 2010 Philippine PEN 50th anniversary celebrations. His poetry has appeared in world-class literary anthologies and has earned global attention.
He hails from Akorshi, Bendi, the hilly Obanliku Local Government Area (which houses Nigeria’s foremost tourist attraction, the Obudu Cattle Ranch) of Cross River State, and he attended St. Peter’s Primary School, Bendi, Government Secondary School, Obudu, and the University of Calabar, Calabar, where he studied English and Literary studies, and was the Secretary-General, Student Union Government in 1980-81 session.
He subsequently obtained the M. A. (1988) and PhD (2001) in English from Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan. Professor Ushie had served as Head, Department of English, and on several boards and committees in the University of Uyo.
He had also been Chairman, Association of Nigerian Authors, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Judge, ANA national literary competitions (2009 – 2010), Juror of the Canada-based International Poetry Competition (2017) and a Co-Editor, Montreal 2017 Global Poetry Anthology.