CRUTECH’s Department of Mass Communication gets new Acting HOD
Dr. Offiong Edet Okon has been appointed as the new Acting Head of Department of Mass Communication in Cross River University of Technology. He succeeds Late Dr. (Mrs) Obonganwan Edim, who died on Sunday, July 8, 2018.
Dr. Offiong Okon is a seasoned journalist. He once served as Press Secretary to then Lt. Colonel Paul Omu, Military Governor of South Eastern State (renamed Cross River State in 1976), from July 1975 to July 1978. He acquired his first degree in Mass Communication at the University of Lagos and later obtained Masters and Doctorate degrees in Philosophy respectively, at the University of Calabar.
The office of Head of Department of Mass Communication would not be new to Dr. Offiong Okon, as he served in that capacity in the Polytechnic Calabar, before the Institution got converted to Cross River University of Technology. He retired as a staff of Cross River University of Technology when he clocked the mandatory retirement age of 65 for staff below the rank of Professor. He got appointed as a contract staff of the University, thereafter.
Dr. Offiong Okon is Lecturer 1. His letter of appointment which was dated 23rd July 2018 and signed by Mr Gabriel Beshel, Registrar of CRUTECH, indicates that the appointment is effective from July 19th 2018 to April 18th, 2019. According to his Facebook profile, he was born on April 18, 1946. This means that Dr. Okon’s appointment would end on his next birthday. It also indicates that he would be 73 years old, at the end of his nine months’ tenure as Acting Head of Department.
It would be recalled that before the appointment of Dr. Offiong Okon, Dr. Michael Nzan was also appointed to serve as Acting Head of Department of Mass Communication, Cross River University of Technology. According to the appointment letter issued to him, he was meant to serve in that capacity from 17th of July 2018 to 17th of July 2020.
Just like the appointment letter issued to Dr. Offiong Okon, Dr. Nzan’s appointment letter stated that the appointment “is based on merit”. However, it was withdrawn on Monday, July 23, 2018.
Although the letter of withdrawal of that appointment did not state why it was withdrawn, Professor Anthony Owan Enoh, Vice Chancellor of Cross River University of Technology, reportedly explained that Dr. Nzan’s appointment was done in error, adding that his rank is below the required rank for that office. Dr. Nzan is Lecturer 11.
Meanwhile, reliable sources in the Department of Mass Communication, CRUTECH, state that staff and students of that department perceive Dr. Offiong Okon as a father – figure, because of his maturity. They all respect him in that regard. Also, students of that department reportedly regard him as “an editor”, because of his insistence on correctness in writing. He teaches courses related to writing, such as Writing for the Mass Media and Magazine Article Writing, mostly.
I congratulate him on his appointment and wish him God’s guidance in the discharge of his duties.
Facebook: Cornelius Ellah