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Adekunle Ajasin University Signs Pact with Pittsburg State University

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The elected leadership in Ondo State, Nigeria inched closer to its vision of providing globally competitive advanced education at the weekend. The Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State finally signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas in the United States of America.

The MOU between the two universities is to be mutually beneficial in the areas of exchange program, collaboration and linkages. The agreement was signed at noon on Friday June 24, 2011 by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of AAU, Professor Isaac Rotimi Ajayi and his administrative equivalent, the Provost of PSU, Dr. Lynette Olson.

According to Dr. Olson, the signing of the agreement was a culmination of a five year behind-the-scene process initiated by Nigerian international journalist, Mr. Oladimeji Abitogun the CEO of Kansas based Reuben and Associates , a company that has interest in publishing, media, education, management and general purpose consulting. Mr. Abitogun was said to have proposed the sister relationship between the two universities, so that the crisis in the Nigerian tertiary education system could be stemmed.

Although, the details of the agreement continue, it was gathered that a major plank of the initiative is in the area of “proper learning and technology acquisition”. Pittsburg State University is One Hundred and Four years old. All its academic programs and curriculum are accredited and usually ranked, especially its MBA, amongst top fifteen in the U.S. Its international education program is also ranked amongst the best in the world.

Professor Ajayi was given a no holds barred access to all the teaching facilities that made PSU one of the top universities in the United States. The library of the school holds more than three hundred and fifty thousand volumes, more than twenty thousand journals and about five hundred thousand government documents which are no longer under classification. The university's e-library has limitless stocks and they all would be part of the collaborative relationship with AAU.

The AAU delegation saw the Kansas Technology Center of the University. It is an expansive structure that received the assistance of former presidential candidate, Senator Bob Dole, with whose assistance the initial thirty million dollars for the project was raised. The building's interior demarcations, glittering as one, could be collapsed to allow 18 wheeler trucks to drive in, taken apart and structurally fixed. Students receive education with which they graduate, seek employment or become business owners. There are Sedan cars in the workshops within the building, sent in for improved designs by leading American, Asian and European automotive manufacturers like Caterpillar, Chrysler, General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, etc. The relationship between PSU and many of these companies go several years back. Some of the captains of industries in the U.S, the CEO of Walmart, Chrysler got their education from PSU.

The President of PSU, Dr. Stephen Scott, promised that his leadership would work with AAU to explain to the US Embassy to show understanding in Visa processing for prospective exchange students and faculty. He said his university is ever willing to learn new ideas and improve on its remarkable standard.

The two Dons sealed the pact with a warm handshake

Professor Ajayi said that his university would work with the government of Ondo State to make sure that students and faculty who visit from PSU would enjoy adequate security and wonderful hosting. He said that his Vice Chancellor Professor Femi Mimiko has the abiding transformative vision of making AAU a top ranked university in the world.

Others in the delegation of Pittsburg State University were Professor Michael Muoghalu, the Director of MBA, Dr. William Ivy, Dean of Enrollment Management and Dr. John Iley, the Chair of the Technology Center.

The facilitator of the agreement, Mr. Abitogun explained that one area of concern for U.S. officials, especially officials of the embassy in Nigeria, is the need for successive administrations in Nigeria to ensure continuity. He said that his company ran a long distance race through which a process that started under Dr. Agagu has now been completed by Dr. Mimiko.

At least ten students of Akungba would have the opportunity of education and advanced exposure to education at Pittsburg State University, every year under the arrangement.