The pioneer Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, McPherson University (McU), Seriki Sotayo, Ogun State, Prof. Israel Folorunso Adu, is dead.
Adu, who was Pro-Chancellor 2012-2016, died June 9, 2020 in Abeokuta, aged 76.
Who is professor Prof. Israel Folorunso Adu?
Professor Israel Folorunso Adu is an astute ruminant nutritionist, emeritus professor in the Department of Animal Nutrition of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. He was the first emeritus professor in the 33 year old university. Professor Adu served the University of Agriculture Abeokuta meritoriously from 1990 until retirement in 2014.
Born in Igbara-Oke, Ondo State on July 4, 1944, he started schooling quite early at St. Paul’s Anglican School, Igbara-Oke from 1951 to 1956. He was one of the beneficiaries of Chief Awolowo’s double promotion policy as part of the Universal Free Education Programme which took off in 1955.
He spent a year on the farm with his father after the completion of his primary school education in 1956 before providence smiled on him to start his secondary school education in January 1958 at the newly established Anglican Grammar School, Igbara Oke and obtained the West African School Certificate in December 1963.
He worked briefly as an account clerk with the western region Ministry of Agriculture before proceeding to the Animal Health School, Moor Plantation, Ibadan as one of the pioneer students of the school in September, 1964 and obtained a Diploma Certificate in October 1968.
He immediately after joined the preliminary class of University of Ibadan, Ibadan from where he earned the Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) with Honours in Animal Science in June 1972.
He taught briefly at Aiyede Grammar School, Aiyede, Ekiti State before he started his postgraduate studies with the Rockefeller Foundation Scholarship in October 1972. He obtained the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Animal Science in July 1975 from the University of Ibadan.
Professor Adu worked as a Scientific Officer with the Nigeria Education Research Council of the Federal Ministry of Education between September 1975 and September 1976.
His over 43 years of Teaching and Research career however started at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria in October 1976 as Lecturer II/ Research Fellow II. Shortly after resumption at ABU he proceeded to Rowett Research Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland for his postdoctoral training in 1977.
At ABU, he taught many undergraduate and postgraduate courses, supervised students and researched extensively particularly on small ruminant nutrition and management and thus rose quickly to become professor of ruminant nutrition and management on 1st October, 1986 as a testament of his prolific and scholarly peer-reviewed publications in national and international journals.
To date Professor Adu has authored over 129 publications including 8 monographs, 3 chapters in books, 16 invited keynote/public lectures, 76 journal papers and 26 referred conference proceedings, apart from 32 occasional publications, reports and reviews.
Between 1977 and now, Professor Adu has attended over 60 major national and international scientific and professional conferences, some of which he acted as chairman of scientific sessions.
He chaired the Academic and Programme Sub-committee of the 7th Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning in 2013. He has been Deputy-Editor-in-Chief and member of the editorial committee/board of four learned journals. He has also been external examiner to 15 universities in Nigeria and 4 universities in Africa.
Professor Adu supervised and graduated 14 masters and 5 doctoral students and as at today, he is a proud academic father and grandfather of 7 and 3 professors, respectively.
Professor Adu is a recipient of the prestigious Alexander Von-Humboldt Foundation Fellowship and was a visiting professor to the University of Giessen, Germany from 1988 to 1989.
Shortly on return to Nigeria, he transferred his services to the newly established University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in October 1990 where he continued to do what he knows how to do best as an academic.
At the University of Agriculture he served in many capacities including Head of Section (1990/1991), Dean Student Affairs (1992 to 1996), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (1996 to 2000) and Vice-chancellor (2001 to 2006).
As Vice-Chancellor, he won the maiden Best Vice-Chancellor Award for Nigerian Universities in 2002 and again in 2005. He was Chairman, Committee of Vice-chancellors of Nigerian Universities in 2006.
Professor Adu is a Registered Animal Scientist in Nigeria and a well-known consultant on livestock production particularly sheep and goat. He was the National Coordinator, Nationally Coordinated Small Ruminant Research in Nigeria from 1979 to 1987.
He was a member of the Small Ruminant Research Network of International Livestock Center for Africa from 1990 and served as the Chairman of the network from 1994 to 1998. He also served on the World Council for Animal Production (1998 – 2000) as president of Nigerian Society for Animal Production (1996 to 2000).
He was first Vice-President of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (2007 to 2014) and currently, the national president of the professional Institute (2014 to date)
Professor Adu was Visiting Professor at the National Open University of Nigeria where he was Foundation Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies. He was also the Foundation Director of Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency of the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE-QAAA) 2011 to 2017.
In this position, Professor Adu coordinated the development of a Quality Assurance Tools and Instruments for Institutional Quality Audit and Programme Accreditation for use in African Open and Distance Learning Universities. His latest appointment is as a member of the National Research Fund Monitoring and Evaluation Committee and the Chairman, Science, Technology and Innovation group (2019 to date).
Professor Adu was the Chairman, University Establishment Committee for McPherson University, a private university owned by the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria (2007 to 2012). He later became the pioneer Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the University’s Governing Council (2012 to 2016).
Professor Adu is a multi laureate. At the last count, he has received 34 national and institutional recognitions, honors and awards, the most recent being Doctor of Science degree (honoris causa) by McPherson University in November, 2019.
He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, Nigerian Society for Animal Production, Animal Science Association of Nigeria and Post Graduate College of Animal Science of Nigeria.
Professor Adu also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Studies from Life Theological Seminary, Ikorodu in 2003 and is an ordained Minister of the Gospel with the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria.
Prof Adu has travelled to all the states of Nigeria and to many countries in five of the continents of the world. He sits as Director in 3 registered companies in Nigeria. He is happily married to Agnes Jokotolaoluwa Adu and the marriage is blessed with children and grandchildren.
Tribute to the scholar
The Vice-Chancellor of McPherson University (McU), Prof. Adeniyi Agunbiade, described the late don as an epitome of excellence and professionalism who helped in laying a solid foundation for the take-off of the University.
“Prof. Adu was exceptional. He contributed significantly to the making of our University. As the UEC Chairman and later Pro-Chancellor, he demonstrated forthrightness, commitment and accountability. We are glad he remained committed and connected to McPherson University – his first love- till the very end.”
Agunbiade said the current McU Council members, Management and members of staff who interacted with the late Adu could attest to his professionalism and humanness.
The departed scholar was survived by his wife, Mrs. Agnes Jokotolaoluwa Adu, children and grandchildren.