One Year like Five: Celebrating Prof. Olayinka Ramota Karim’s Transformational Leadership

It is with immense pride and a deep sense of gratitude that we dedicate this special edition of the Fountain Chronicles to celebrating the first anniversary of our delectable Vice Chancellor, Professor Olayinka Ramota Karim. On March 1, 2023, a new chapter began in the history of our University. As the first female to hold this prestigious position, Professor Karim has not only shattered glass ceilings but also spearheaded a transformative journey for the University.

To say that Professor Karim’s first year has been impactful would be an understatement. It has been nothing less than phenomenal. Looking back, it feels as though we have witnessed five years of progress compressed into twelve remarkable months. From staff development initiatives to infrastructure upgrades, from scholarly advancements to a strong commitment to student well-being, Professor Karim has steered Fountain University on a course of remarkable progress.

From the outset, commitment to students’ welfare development took the front burner. From improved accommodation facilities and expanded scholarship opportunities to enhanced healthcare services and increased recreational activities, Professor Karim has ensured that students feel supported and have a conducive environment to thrive. One would wonder how a Vice Chancellor suddenly becomes a Project Supervisor at the Works and Physical Planning Unit of the University when she gets to be the first person to resume work, go round for site inspection and also be among the last to leave the Campus late in the evening with another round of inspection to confirm that every staff members is on their toes getting the needful done – it was humbly yet dignifying.

Scholarly development, the core of any academic institution, has received immense attention during this period. Professor Karim has actively encouraged and facilitated research initiatives, providing access to funding and supporting faculty participation in conferences and international collaborations. One of such is the 3-Million naira NASFAT-FUO Grant coordinated by the Centre for Research, Innovation and Technology (FUCRIT) – one of the many Centres that came on board upon her resumption as the Vice Chancellor.

Another incredible feat is the accreditation of all the Courses offered by the College of Basic Medical and Health Sciences by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and relevant professional bodies. This achievement in particular was one that was of immense delight to both Parents and Students of the College, particularly, students of Nursing and Medical Laboratory Science. The University also got approval to float new Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes with stellar commendations from the NUC. Local and International Collaborations was also improved upon with Prof. Karim leading partnership moves with local and international organizations. One of such moves is the partnership with TReND In Africa, a charity organization supporting scientific capacity building across Africa. This partnership within months gave birth to the University receiving dedicated laboratory equipment for Cancer Screening worth over 200 million naira.

Recognizing the crucial role faculty and administrative staff play in shaping the institution, Professor Karim prioritized staff development. She initiated numerous training programmes and provided avenues for professional growth through the Centre for in-house training and professional development – one of the many Centres she introduced upon her assumption in office. For the first time in a while, Staff promotions were conducted in a timely manner and under her watch, two Female Academic Staff members were promoted to the professorial cadre for the first time in the history book of the University. To cushion the effect of the biting economic hardship, Prof. Karim saw to the increase of Staff Salary, provided transportation palliative assistance to Junior Staff members, facilitated several bonus packages especially during the month of Ramadan – that which has never happened in the University prior her time. Hers is a case of a leader who is empathetic and content.

Infrastructure development has also witnessed a significant boost under Professor Karim’s leadership. The university landscape has been adorned with new structures, including modern banking halls, well-equipped laboratories, Olympic Standard Sports Facilities courtesy the donations from NASFAT Youth Wing, a standard 30-bed Hospital courtesy the donation from NASFAT Women Wing and enhanced student and staff support facilities. Upon her resumption, a greening and beautification club was launched with a horticulturist saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that ornamental plants and carefully planted and maintained around the University. These tangible improvements have created an environment conducive to learning, research, and overall well-being for all.

Professor Karim’s leadership has also demonstrably yielded positive results in terms of internally generated revenue. Through innovative strategies and partnerships, the university has secured new income streams, ensuring financial stability. Few of such ways she has been going about that is the establishment of the University Bakery and the establishment of the Centre for Consultancy Services. Under her watch, the University Guest house has also commenced commercial operation. These moves are geared towards financial self-reliance to allow for further investment in infrastructure, resources, and student support programmes, creating a virtuous cycle of growth and development.

Furthermore, Professor Karim has forged formidable alliances with external stakeholders. From building constructive relationships with the government and traditional leaders to partnering with communities and fostering meaningful collaborations with industry partners, she has secured invaluable support and created a network that amplifies the university’s reach and impact.

Her commitment to impeccable university governance has also been lauded by all. Professor Karim ensures transparency, accountability, and inclusivity in decision-making processes, fostering a culture of trust and shared responsibility. This transparent governance strengthens the university’s foundation and paves the way for sustainable growth.

Finally, Professor Karim has recognized the significance of extracurricular activities in fostering well-rounded individuals. Under her leadership, the university has witnessed a renewed focus on sports, cultural activities, and student-led initiatives, providing avenues for students to showcase their talents, develop soft skills, and build lasting memories.

As we celebrate Professor Karim’s remarkable first year, we look ahead with immense optimism. Her visionary leadership, dedicated commitment, and collaborative spirit have laid the foundation for a bright future. One year of “five years’ worth” of achievements is alluding to her committed pursuit of excellence. We, the entire Fountain University community, are sincerely grateful for her transformative leadership and stand resolute in our support as she continues to guide us towards even greater heights.

We invite you to join us in applauding Professor Karim’s achievements and expressing our gratitude for her tireless dedication to our beloved University. We are confident that the best is yet to come for Fountain University under her visionary leadership.

Onwards to greater heights!


Taoheed Alimi,


Fountain Chronicles

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