Thursday, September 3, 2020

THE BEGINNINGS AND EARLY CHALLENGES

  Pack Lecture - Berdoz Optic

In 2002, the thought of setting up a university came to overwhelm me irrepressibly during a nice contemplation, alone that historic night in my Study Room. However, in the days and a few months that followed, I became somewhat overwhelmed by the gargantuan processes involved in setting up and running any tertiary institution well, and I was on the verge of discarding and offloading that kind of burden called a fanciful idea when something struck me – to share the idea with my foreign friend, Dan W. By assuring me how praiseworthy and realizable such an idea would be – the reasonableness of crowning my efforts to provide humanity with education (which I had clearly seen as my special calling) with the establishment of a university.


I always remember the one-hour brain-storming we had in South Ascot, South West London that day. There we sealed the founding rock of a tertiary institution to be named after Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi. How much time flies! This experience is still as if it were yesterday-brave moves and measures that we have taken since then to resolve the obstacles that started to lift their heads as we set out to translate the idea into reality.In Andy Warhol 's Words, "They always say that time changes things, but you have to change them for yourself"


So, the brainstorming session with Dan W. Hill over and assurances and arrangements for initial funding in place, I returned to the country and started all the processes, determined to follow each other: from the search for an appropriate take-off site, the setting up of some structures, to extensive and exhaustive consultations / connections with university professors Then there is the very rigorous process of pursuing the License proper, involving the purchase of form, series of payments, paper screening, visits or facilities inspection, coupled with the task of warding off, of oppositions.

I can only say here – in terms of the traumatic experiences that we had to go through, a lot of water passed under the bridge. "Acriter pugnatum est" (Caesar Gallic War) The Battle was fiercely fought.

There's no way I can relate everything we've been through but there were enough fears arising from the opposition's clandestine activities that made me almost throw in the towel and give up the quest, if not for R.L Stevenson 's advice in my fingerTips – that, "you keep your fears to yourself and share your courage with others" that remained in my consciousness, day and night, until we finally obtained a license to run a private university in Nigeria – this feat was accomplished after rigorous, painstaking, constant, consistent and concerted efforts by a powerful Implementation Committee formed by me and the standing Comm

Finally, on 17 May 2007, when we obtained the License together with seven other Private Universities, I saw and considered my own License to operate a Private University, as a FIRST CLASS MIRACLE created by our brother, Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi, to whom I had committed the cause, seeking his intercession, from the day I conceived this idea in 2002. I 'm saying this because many other would-be founders of private universities – mightier, richer, more popular, seemingly more connected, and so on – couldn't get it, apart from the eight of us – Tanzian University and 7 others. All efforts by various categories of devil advocates to forestall and obliterate Tansian University from the list of Private Universities to be licensed were shattered and frustrated. Those personalities who tried to stand in their way to existence were fork-lifted and some of them used the road which led to the licensing in German-flooring. That assured us that no one can say 'no' when Jesus says 'yes'. With the License in hand, it quickly dawned on me and everyone (both friends and enemies) that Tansian University was no longer a fantasy but a reality; a dream come true; and reflecting on those moments when our quest candle light was almost gone, but rekindled by the confidence, pure determination and synergy of a handful of sympathizers at that time, this saying often came to my mind by an unknown author


And we were ready by the National Universities Commission for Inspection Visits a long time ago. The ease with which this take-off site was found – which I now recount as a success story – was discovered not by any deliberate human design, but by an accident of nature, obviously done by God Himself, through the intercession of our patron saint, Blessed Iwene Tansi, who was beatified by St. John Paul 11 in 1998 in a field just opposite the site, because I had addressed the matter to him and sought his beatification.

Within these 7 years of life, we have pursued and obtained approval for four (4) major Faculties - Management Sciences, Social Sciences, Natural and Applied Sciences, and Education, with highly qualified lecturers in all of these Faculties' Departments.

All the infrastructure and facilities needed for these Faculties have been established and properly put in place to facilitate effective teaching and learning in a favorable environment. These include: academic buildings with well-equipped classrooms, science laboratories with modern equipment, mass communication studios (for television and radio broadcasting), state-of-the-art facilities, fully-equipped ICT centers on temporary and permanent sites, fully-equipped manual and e-libraries, modern hostel buildings, sports and recreation facilities, etc.

With the temporary site long filled, and in a desire to gradually hit higher heights, we have since transferred our focus and attention to the permanent site that is in a land mass of 200 hectares (about 4000 plots), with a gigantic Monsignor Franz Rechberger Multi-Purpose Plaza, completed since 2012. Also built on the permanent site are: a splendid building containing staff offices and a state-of-the-art ICT Centre, while construction is underway on a cluster of hostel buildings that will accommodate more than 1,000 students upon completion, in a few months ' time, plus a foundation stone laid for a high-rise building planned to accommodate more than 2,000 students as well.

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