The formal ceremony to induct the newest Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Seidu Al-Hassan took place at the Tamale Campus, Dungu on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.
Professor Seidu Al-Hassan is the 5th and unassuming Vice-Chancellor as well as the university’s long-lived senior staff.
Hundreds of people onsite and online witnessed the ceremony. They comprised Religious and traditional leaders, UDS Alumni, former and current Members of the University Council, former Vice-Chancellors, Director General of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), Vice-Chancellors Ghana (VCG), Members of Parliament, representatives of sister universities, Principals of Colleges of Education, politicians, former Ministers, family members and well-wishers.
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia declared zero tolerance for non-accredited programmes operated by the nation’s universities
He charged the UDS leadership to take inventory of both old and new programmes to ensure that all are duly accredited before the enrollment of new students for the next academic year.
He reaffirmed government’s commitment to providing enough infrastructure to the UDS to accommodate more students.
Dr. Bawumia urged the university community to allow cool heads and understanding to prevail in the UDS to strengthen and guide the Vice Chancellor, Professor Seidu Al-Hassan’s governance style.
“I charge the new leadership to realign its programs with the government’s priority agenda. Staff should rally behind the Vice Chancellor and the Governing Council to develop the UDS to serve its purpose of poverty reduction. Government expects the UDS to prioritize the rolling out of more Science programmes”.
The UDS Governing Council Chairman, Dr. Wayo Seini promised that the Council will always act in line with laid down regulations.
He assured the Vice Chancellor of the Governing Council’s unflinching support to enable him deliver his mandate.
Professor Wayo Seini commended the UDS hard-working staff for their steadfastness and urged Professor Seidu Al-Hassan to demonstrate full leadership by working with all staff members and external partners
In an irresistible affirmation, the Registrar, Mr. Nurudeen Issah Abubakar, expressed appreciation for the University Governing Council’s preference of Professor Seidu Al-Hassan as the latest Vice-Chancellor.
He talked about Professor Seidu Al-Hassan’s team-building skills and deep appreciation of the UDS governance machinery and pleaded with the university community to support the Vice Chancellor to succeed in his new role.
With joy and pride, Professor Seidu Al-Hassan expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Governing Council for endorsing the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor’s Search Party.
“An investiture is about honouring a person, and you all have made this a day that I will forever remember in my life. Key to today’s investiture, of course, are the people who brought me here: the Chairman, Professor Felix Asante and Members of the Search Committee of Vice-Chancellor that recommended my appointment and also the Chairman, Professor Wayo Seini and Members of the University Governing Council that approved my appointment. Thank you all for the confidence reposed in me and for the opportunity to serve this institution that is so dear to my heart.”
“In formally accepting this great honour, I say Alhamdulillah (Thanks to God), and then commit myself to you that I will devote myself to doing justice to your faith in me and to advancing our indispensable mandate of fostering a closer interaction between academia and rural communities. I am ready to work with you, and all willing and inspired partners. You will agree with me that this moment is more fundamentally about the hopes and expectations of everyone who is devoted to UDS and its future.”
He further acknowledged the courage of those who intended to contest the envious position and called for their maximum support.
“A couple of months ago, UDS witnessed an unprecedented season characterized by few misapprehensions and standstills regarding a search for a Vice-Chancellor. I do not intend to take you back to the pains and sorrows that many of us went through but rather to remind you that all the happenings could not have happened if God did not want them to happen. God says in the Holy Qur’an (29:2) that “Do people think once they say “we believe,” they will be left alone and not be put to (the) test?” So, I think it was a test from the Almighty. Happily, we all passed the test which sends a strong signal to us as a university community and to the rest of the world that, our family, the Adansonia Digitata (the Baobab tree) family is capable of not only managing its own internal discrepancies but also is matured in terms of institutional democracy and academic freedom.”
Professor Seidu Al-Hassan called for a united force. “I have heard one more thing on which there is a clear consensus that we must remain united. We must focus on things that bring us together as a community rather than divide us. We must all be seen to be a uniting people in development.”
“We must inspire every mind, every heart and every hand. Indeed, diversity is not only beautiful at sight; it is also highly cherished because it brings about creativity. As we increase diversity, there is the need to work equally hard at building an inclusive environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging, where everyone can thrive regardless of his/her colour, religion, gender orientation, income, or ethnicity. If you have talent, if you want to work hard, if you share our commitment to progress and service, and if you want to join the proud Adansonia Digitata family, we want you here, no matter where you come from.”
He promised to have a good working relationship with internal and external stakeholders to speed up executive management’s decision-making in solving problems.
He recognized the contributions of former Vice Chancellors to the UDS progress since its inception.
“I feel a great sense of responsibility as I follow in the footsteps of Professor Raymond B. Bening, Professor J. B. K. Kaburise, Professor Haruna Yakubu and Professor Gabriel A. Teye, each of whom capably steered the affairs of this university through different times and circumstances. Together, they have led us through a remarkable 30 years of growth in size, visibility, and diversity. I value them as predecessors and look up to them as shining exemplary leaders.”
During his tenure, the UDS community is assured of One-District-One-Doctor Policy (1D1D), Academic and Research Excellence, Creation of New Schools and Faculties, Diagnostic Imaging Research Centre (DIRC), West African Centre for Shea Research and Innovation (WASRI), Students at the Center of Teaching and Learning, UDS Veterinary School enhancement, Northern Ghana Cultural Festival Day, African Leadership Lecture Series, Vice-Chancellor’s Special Initiatives, Internally Generated Funds (IGF), Leadership and Governance and Hopes for the Future.
Professor Seidu Al-Hassan’s vision is to provide effective leadership and a collegial environment that will further develop the university into a practically oriented institution that would be internationally recognized for academic excellence and community services, infrastructure, Information Communication Technology, Internally Generated Funds and partnership.
He has guaranteed improved teaching, learning, and research, improved capacity of faculty and administrative staff, robust financial stability for the University, increased reputation of the UDS, and an enhanced unity and gender-inclusive university community.
As an Educationist and a Professor of Agricultural Economics, Professor Seidu Al-Hassan is a royal of Dagbon and a native of Jisonaayili, a suburb of Tamale.
He studied Economics (1989-1993), at the University of Cape Coast. He acquired a master’s degree in Economics at the University of Ghana, Legon (1994-1996)and later bagged a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Agricultural Economics (2004) at the same university.
Professor Al-Hassan’s area of specialization is Resource Use Efficiency, Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Livelihood and Environment and Climate Change.
His research work focuses on Development Economics with interest in Ghana’s Shea Industry and its role in socio-economic development.
He has presented seminars at Politics Department, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA, sponsored by the Africana Studies Program and the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives.
Professor Seidu Al-Hassan’s relationship with the UDS began in 1996 as a Senior Research Assistant in the Department of Economics and Entrepreneurship Development. In 1997, he was appointed a Lecturer in the same Department and later became a Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor in 2008, 2014 and 2018, respectively.
Prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor, He served in various capacities such as Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the UDS between 2015 and 2019, Director of the Institute of Continuing Education and Interdisciplinary Research and Head of the Department of Food Security and Climate Change.
He was the Head of the Department of Food Security and Climate Change and Director of the Institute for Continuing Education and Interdisciplinary Research (ICEIR) of the University for Development Studies for the period August 2010-November 2015. He was also the immediate past Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies for the period 2015- 2019.
He was appointed Commissioner on the National Development Planning Commission (2015-2017) and represented UDS on the Stakeholder Coordinating Committee of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA). He is currently the Chairman of Northern Region Sports Committee (2021).
He has held other key positions during his over 20 years of experience in teaching. research, dissemination of research knowledge and mentorship at the University for Development Studies (UDS).
He has consulted for various civil society organizations (CSOs), Governmental Agencies and International Agencies on several Agricultural Food Systems, Sustainable Development and Environmental subjects.
He has experience in the design of civic education and capacity-building programmes in leadership, democracy, empowerment, gender, data management, conflict management, environmental protection, sexual reproductive health, social accountability, and microfinance.
Professor Seidu Al-Hassan has forty (40) peer-reviewed journal publications and he is the author of two books, namely, writing a thesis: A Guide for Social Science Students and Ghana’s Shea Industry: Knowing the Fundamentals.
Past Vice Chancellors
Since its establishment, the list of past Vice Chancellors of the UDS include, Prof. Raymond B. Bening, 1993–2002, Professor J. B. K Kaburise, 2002-2207, Professor Haruna Yakubu, 2010– 2015 and Prof. Gabriel Ayum Teye. 2015 2022.