Home Deaf News Breaking Barriers: Dr. Godwin Irokaba’s Landmark Appointment as DEI Director at University of Calabar

Breaking Barriers: Dr. Godwin Irokaba’s Landmark Appointment as DEI Director at University of Calabar

by Inclusive News Network
Published: Last Updated on

By Emmanuel Effiong Enensi (INN)

In a momentous stride towards fostering inclusivity, the University of Calabar has appointed Dr. Godwin Irokaba, a distinguished senior lecturer in the Department of Special Education, as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI). This historic decision, endorsed by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Florence Banku Obi, marks a significant milestone as Dr. Irokaba becomes the first deaf individual to hold such a position in a South-South institution within Nigeria.

The announcement, conveyed through a letter signed by University Registrar Mr. Gabriel O. Egbe, underscores Dr. Irokaba’s pivotal role in cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for both staff and students. His appointment, set for an initial two-year tenure starting from May 6th, 2024, reflects the university’s steadfast commitment to promoting inclusivity and representation at every echelon of academia.

While Dr. Irokaba’s appointment signifies a remarkable achievement for the University of Calabar and the broader South-South region, it also signals a broader movement towards greater representation of deaf individuals in leadership positions across Nigeria. His appointment, although possibly not confirmed as the first of its kind in Nigeria, stands as a groundbreaking feat in the South-South, paving the way for increased visibility and inclusion of deaf individuals within the academic sphere.

Bringing a wealth of experience and insight garnered from years of service as a lecturer in the Department of Special Education, Dr. Godwin Irokaba ensures that the voices and perspectives of marginalized communities are not only heard but also valued. His appointment heralds a new era of diversity and inclusivity at the University of Calabar, setting a precedent for institutions across the region to emulate.

Under Dr. Irokaba’s visionary leadership, the University of Calabar is poised to become a beacon of inclusivity and accessibility, fostering an environment where every member of the community can flourish. His appointment serves as a testament to the university’s unwavering commitment to embracing diversity as a strength and to create an environment where all individuals are empowered to reach their full potential.

Furthermore, Dr. Irokaba’s tenure as an official examiner during his time at the University of Calabar highlights his expertise and dedication to academic excellence. His role as an examiner underscores his commitment to upholding rigorous standards within the academic community while also contributing to the development and evaluation of educational programs.

Directorate of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity’s 8 Point Agenda:

To fulfill its customary responsibilities to the university, the Directorate of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity will direct its efforts to achieving the following outcomes:

1. Stakeholder Engagement: Identify, collaborate, and partner with key stakeholders and agencies to foster and deepen the values of inclusivity in the university.

2. Cultural Diversity: Promote and strengthen the cultural diversity of the University of Calabar by supporting events and activities that celebrate our diverse identities.

3. Scholarship Support: Establish a scholarship pool to support the education of students from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds who demonstrate promising academic futures.

4. Accessibility: Establish special campus shuttles to alleviate the mobility challenges of students with disabilities, the infirm, and other vulnerable groups.

5. Role Clarification: Ensure there is a clear distinction in the roles of Special Education vis-a-vis the Directorate of DEI to avoid role duplication, role cloning, and role conflict.

6. Support Services Enhancement: Boost the effectiveness of support service providers (sign language interpreters, braillists, note takers, CART transcribers, and others) through capacity skill enhancement for effective service delivery to students with disabilities.

7. Data Management: Maintain data and provide statistical information to the university and collaborating agencies when needed.

8. Policy Compliance: Ensure university policies are DEI compliant and provide technical advisory support to the university on diversity and inclusion matters.

Dr. Irokaba’s historic appointment is a significant leap forward in the journey towards a more inclusive society. As he assumes this pioneering role, Dr. Irokaba embodies the spirit of resilience, determination, and possibility, inspiring us all to strive for a future where diversity and inclusion are not just ideals but lived realities. His appointment is not merely a triumph for the University of Calabar but a victory for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the South-South region and beyond.

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