An eminent media scholar, one-time broadcast journalist and current Dean at the faculty of communications, Bayero University, Kano, Umaru Pate, has been elected Vice Chancellor of the Federal University in Kashere, Gombe State.
Mr Pate, a professor of media history and one-time head of the media studies department at his alma mata, University of Maiduguri, was also educated at the well-regarded School of Communications of the University of Ghana at Legon where he earned a master’s in philosophy degree in communications studies.
Born on January 4, 1964 in Song, Adamawa State, he had his early secondary school education at Government College Maiduguri and advanced level studies at the College of Preliminary Studies in Yola.
After a stint at the University of Maiduguri, as head of department, he moved to Bayero University, Kano, where he first assumed role as dean of the communication school, transforming the programme exponentially and placing it at the peak of national recognition. He was later made the pioneer Dean of the post-graduate school, Bayero, from where he will now be moving to his new position as Vice Chancellor at Kashere.
Mr Pate currently holds the position as President at the of the Association of Communication Scholars and Practitioners of Nigeria (ACSPN) and is also a senior councilor and ranking kingmaker in the Adamawa Emirate Council where he is the Kaigamma (Chief of Army Staff). He has been life-time judge of the Wole Soyinka Investigative Journalism Prize and is on the advisory board of the Premium Times Centre of Investigative Journalism [PTCIJ].
In November, 2017, UNESCO headquarters in Paris appointed Pate as a regional director for Africa on the six persons Board of Directors of the prestigious International Network of UNESCO Professors in Communication (ORBICOM) with headquarters at the University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada.
Mr. Pate also remains an editorial advisor to more than ten communication journals in and out of Nigeria and serves as external examiner to over fifteen Universities in Nigeria and abroad. Some of the universities include: Lagos, Ibadan, Nsukka, Covenant, Jos, Babcock, Makurdi, ABU, Awka, Abuja, Leicester (UK), Freetown (Sierra Leone) and Tehran (Iran).
He has been serving as a consultant to bilateral and multilateral agencies that include: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United States of Agency for International Development (USAID), British Department of International Development (DFID), National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Ford Foundation, Nigerian Universities Commission, NUC, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), Nigeria Stability Response Project (NSRP), Friedrich Ebert Foundation of Germany, Panos Foundation of Washington, the Trust Newspapers, INEC, NTA, FRCN, National Population Commission, the National Broadcasting Commission and several state governments. He has served the UN system in Afghanistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Cameroons.
So far, he has supervised and graduated thirteen PhDs and 35 MSc candidates in the University of Maiduguri, BUK and the National Open University. He has also assessed numerous senior lecturers to become Associate and full Professors in different parts of the country and beyond.
Previous to his academic roles, Mr. Pate had variously worked with the news departments in Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in Kaduna and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Yola from 1981-1987. He still features and contributes regularly on national and international media mostly focusing on current affairs, and chairs the Board of Directors of Pulaaku FM Radio in Yola.
When the Federal Government set up a committee on the formulation of the National Community Radio Policy Committee, under the Late Prof Alfred Opubor during the Obasanjo administration, Mr. Pate had a sit at the table, and later served as member of the committee that established and co-piloted the Jigawa State Television in Dutse. He is also a member of the Policy and Strategy Committee of the Nigerian Institutes of Public Relations.
In response to Mr Pate’s appointment, the Executive Director of the PTCIJ, Dapo Olorunyomi said “this is one unique case of a round peg in a round hole that means so well for Nigerian journalism education and practice.”
“We are exceedingly proud of this election and believe it will represent a fundamental shift in Nigerian university administration knowing Professor Pate’s abiding concerns for academic excellence, his true belief in the ethics of inclusion, justice and the value of decency,” Mr Olorunyomi added.
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