• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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US-based Champlain College appoints Nigerian as President

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Burlington Vermont-based Champlain College has hired a Nigerian, Benjamin Ola Akande as its 9th President. The appointment takes effect from July 1.

Akande is currently the assistant vice chancellor for International Affairs–Africa, and the associate director of the Global Health Center at Washington University in St. Louis.

Charles Kittredge, chair of Champlain College Board of Trustees described Akande as an agent of change and a visionary leader with a global perspective.

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Prior to this new appointment, Akande had previously served and held important positions in academia, business and non-profit organisations, including member, Advisory Board of FDC Fundação Dom Cabral, the top-ranked business school in Brazil, Dean and Professor of Economics (2000-2015), Walker School of Business and Technology, Webster University and the 21st President of Westminster College; Vice-Chair, Board of Argent Capital Mgt. LLC, a $4 billion asset management company, member of the Danforth Plant Science Center Leadership Council, member, Board of Enterprise Bank & Trust ($5 billion assets), a Director of Ralcorp Holdings, Inc., a $5 billion publicly traded manufacturer of high-quality private food labels; member, boards of the Saint Louis Art Museum, The MUNY, Missouri Charter Public School Association, and Forest Park Forever, etc.

“His enterprising mindset and commitment to student success will be essential as he leads Champlain College in an evolving higher education landscape,” said Kittredge. “We look forward to welcoming Dr Akande to Champlain and supporting his work to advance the College’s strategic position and build on the strength of our distinctive academic offerings.”

Akande described the appointment as an honour and opportunity to lead Champlain College during this period of great transformation and even greater opportunity.

“While the challenges we currently face as global citizens are daunting, they also sharpen our focus and urge us both individually and as a community, to lead from wherever we are,” he said. “The commitment to educating adaptable thinkers, daring change-makers and inclusive innovators who shape professions and inspire communities is what sets Champlain College apart. I look forward to taking this journey with you and thank you for the trust you have placed in me to further Champlain College’s mission together.”

The new Nigerian President of the college left Nigeria for the United States at the age of 17 in pursuit of a college degree. Lately, he has been offered platforms to share his wealth of experience with stakeholders in the Nigerian education sector.

He was scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the National Higher Education Forum 2020, which was originally scheduled to hold on March 24-25 in Abuja but was postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19. Among other things, he was supposed to share his rich insights with delegates from academia, government, and business, and explore opportunities for collaboration with Nigeria’s academic community. He was also billed to engage with a small cohort of business leaders in Lagos at an Executive Leadership Session.