“We are bringing new ideas…we are student-centered, that is, we are concerned about you and we are ever ready and concerned to serve you.” That was Dean Attahir Yusuf of SBE at an interactive session with his students on August 25.
Prof Yusuf addressed the students in the process of sorting out problems and advised them to follow the established channels for resolving issues. “If you have a problem, go to the faculty, table it, and get advice on how to deal with it. If the faculty can’t solve it, they will refer you to the program chair or the right person.” He also encouraged them to establish a bond by staying in touch with their advisers.
The Dean went on to say that the school has both modern learning and gaming facilities for the students to utilize. He also admonished the students to be respectful, attentive, and polite to faculty members and others in authority, while the school’s responsibility is to love, serve, and to respect the students too.
During the interactive session, a student, Exploits Nicholas, suggested that advisors find out how the students fare since most students lack the confidence to initiate the first move. Dr. Yusuf replied that students should make good use of their advisors by seeking advice before finalizing their registration process. “Inform your advisor about your registration in time; get proper advice even before registration. Your advisors are available on e-mail, telephone, and other means of communications.”
Prof. Samuel Akanno, Chair of the Accounting and Finance program, added that the students should endeavor to register their courses for the next semester in time, either before they leave for the semester or at the end of the current semester, instead of rushing home. ”Get out of your comfort zone and look for the person that will advise you.
Mr. Nicholas also wanted to know about job empowerment, practical examples to which the students could easily relate. The Dean revealed that the school would be introducing a new program-- “Professor for a Day”--where skilled business leaders would come and teach them from their own business experience.
He also said the students needed to go on an industry visit to further expose them to business reality. He added that “We will intensify the use of simulation.” The dean also encouraged the students to form an association such as a Business School Association; the association could organize field visits, perhaps even an international trip.
“If the SBE can get more opportunities for us, it will help us more,” suggested an accounting student, Ms. Aliyyah Suleiman, a fifth-year student. She also drew attention to the limited number of courses offered in her discipline--accounting.
A first-year accounting student, Oumar Abdourahman Routa, added that they were only allowed to take 17 credit hours, instead of 18.
Regarding that, the school promised to introduce a few more courses in accounting and would continue to update what they offer (curriculum review) not only in accounting but also in other courses as well.
Shittu Ayodeji, an academic adviser, explained that a student is expected to take 15 credit hours, with a maximum of 18 every semester.
Director of Career Services, Mrs. Grace Nwokoma, cautioned against students’ indifference to attending events. She observed that the last career fair was held at Abuja without many AUN students attending. “Students don’t show up for events…..and companies are often reluctant to come all the way to Yola. We organize a yearly career fair where we expect undergraduates and graduates to meet with companies.” Mrs. Nwokoma also spoke about how SBE markets the students to the companies, and the companies to the students as well. She also announced that (Africa’s foremost industrialist) Dangote would be coming to AUN this semester.
The students were encouraged to make good use of the career office and to strive harder to exploit available opportunities.
Ms. Suleiman spoke about how lack of effective communication between the students and their faculty has really affected the students in the past.
Professor of Strategic Management, Dr. Hassan Yusuf, responded that there are measures to deal with such issues. “Don’t listen to your friends only, listen to us, and when we ask you to come, please come.” He added that the faculty members were very much concerned to reduce and eliminate any problems, and would try to prevent them in the future.
Concluding, the SBE Dean said, “I’m ready to take this School forward and I’ve asked all my colleagues to join me; you are here to build your knowledge and character, and we are here to make sure we work effectively and efficiently.”
By Anthonia Udokwu