A Nigerian female entrepreneur, Yekemi Otaru, has been named chancellor-elect of the University of the West of Scotland (UWS).
According to a statement by the university, she will take over from Dame Angiolini who will step down on September 1.
As chancellor, Ms Otaru will hold formal powers to confer degrees, diplomas and other academic distinctions, and will represent the university at key events as an advocate and dignitary.
Reacting to this, Ms Otaru was quoted as saying: “I am honoured to have been appointed Chancellor-elect of University of the West of Scotland, following in the footsteps of a remarkable individual in Dame Elish Angiolini.
“We are all living through challenging times, and higher education plays a vital role in society and for our economy.
“I eagerly look forward to being part of the University, as it continues to carry out world-class research and knowledge transfer initiatives such as in the areas of healthcare and sports science,” she said.
Ms Otaru, 42, obtained four degrees and has considerable industrial experience in engineering and marketing.
She is Co-Founder and Executive Director at Doqaru Limited, a prominent Aberdeen-based sales and marketing consultancy.
She sits on the board member of Interface, an organisation that connects a wide range of national and international industries to Scotland’s universities, research institutes and colleges, matching them with world-leading academic expertise to help them grow.
Craig Mahoney, Vice-Chancellor at UWS, expressed delight at her appointment saying her values very much align with those of UWS.
“Her passion for advancing equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) to her commitment to enterprise, and her appointment is reflective of our strategic mission to make a positive difference to wider society,” he said.
He added that she is a remarkable example of entrepreneurship and a tremendous role model for students and other members of the university community.
Ms Otaru is from Oke-Ero Local Government Area of Kwara State.
She attended Auntie Rose Primary School at Ugborikoko in Warri and proceeded to Federal Government College, Warri, where she did only JSS1 before going to Oman with her parents in 1990.
She attended American British Academy (ABA) – a multi-racial high school in Muscat, Oman, and returned to Nigeria in 1994 to complete her secondary education at Greater Tomorrow Secondary School (GTSS), Benin City.
Ms Otaru proceeded to the University of Benin where she studied and graduated with a Second Class Upper Division in Chemical Engineering in 2002.
She married Gabriel Oghie Otaru, a petroleum engineer with Shell Petroleum, in Port Harcourt, in March 2003 during her NYSC.
According to her bio, she was selected by TotalFinaElf in Nigeria to be one of the 20 pioneer intakes into the collaborative MSc Petroleum Engineering programme of France’s Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP) and University of Port Harcourt.
In 2016, she teamed up with Sarah Downs to establish Doqaru Limited, providing knowledge-driven sales and marketing consultancy services to a variety of industries in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Ms Otaru was named among the top 40 under-40 business innovators by Scottish Business News in 2016.
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