Bayh College professors speak to university leaders in Nigeria

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
March 3, 2011

Two professors from the educational leadership department in Indiana State University's Bayh College of Education recently journeyed to Nigeria to speak on challenges facing higher education institutions.

Josh Powers and Mary Howard-Hamilton, professors of educational leadership, were invited to Ogun state from Feb. 12-19 by a former student. Taiwo Ande, now the assistant provost for institutional analysis and effectiveness at the University of Mary Washington, asked Powers and Howard-Hamilton to serve as guest speakers on the topic of "Academic Leadership Strategies and Administration Challenges in Contemporary Higher Education Institutions."

"Josh and Mary were invited because of their expertise and dedication to academic leadership and higher education administration," said Ande, who graduated from ISU with his PhD in 2009. "With their understanding of contemporary issues in higher education such as financing, leadership and student affairs administration, I believe both of them would be in the best position to share their expertise with administrators of tertiary institutions in Ogun State Nigeria."

Powers and Howard-Hamilton said they were honored to be the only two Americans invited to speak at the conference.

They spoke as part of a training workshop to enhance educational quality of the 10 institutions of higher learning in Ogun state. About 80 leaders from the universities attended to learn about using evidence-based decision making processes in higher education administration and how to establish educational leadership principles.

"They place a high value in Nigerian culture on education," Powers said. "Those students recognize the blessing they have in being there (attending universities). The challenge is the difficulty in getting jobs. The big problem is brain drain. There are very bright Nigerians all over the world."

Ande is one, and Howard-Hamilton and Powers both praised him.

"Within five years of his graduation, he is the assistant provost," Powers said. "He has a deep commitment to help out in Nigeria."

Howard-Hamilton, Powers and Ande each spoke twice during the conference. Powers spoke on the role of governing boards and boards of visitors and lessons for developing countries on financing contemporary higher education. Howard-Hamilton spoke on educational leadership and administration in contemporary higher education institutions and the role of university administrators in building effective student affairs governance. Ande spoke on institutional effectiveness and assessing student learning.

The three also visited five colleges to discuss higher education trends and issues at each of the institutions.

"We've established this bridge," Powers said of meetings with individuals from different universities. "We would like to see our students benefit from cross-cultural higher education. We would like to benefit from the knowledge leaders that Nigerian higher education could provide. It would not be resource intensive for ISU."

Howard-Hamilton said during a meeting at Babcock University, its officials said they were trying to find an American institution with which to create an institute of higher education.

"They're busting at the seams with students," she said. "They don't have enough room to accommodate all the students. The opportunity to create collaboration is endless, if we want to do so."

Ande also sees multiple opportunities between Nigeria and Indiana State.

"I hope that more scholars from ISU will be interested in learning about the Nigeria higher education system, establishing academic collaboration and conducting comparative scholarship activities with their peers in Nigeria," he said. "I believe Nigeria is a fertile ground for both undergraduate and graduate recruitment. With enrollment issues always on the table, ISU should explore this opportunity."

Ande said he also saw inviting Powers and Howard-Hamilton to Nigeria as a way to contribute back to his doctoral program.

"I invited Josh and Mary so they can have first-hand experience of the issues and trends in higher education administration in Nigeria and be able to make changes in the curriculum that will introduce international dimensions to studies in higher education administration at Indiana State University," he said.

Photos: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/1203870892_JNpHw-L.jpg - Josh Powers (center) and Mary Howard-Hamilton (right), professors of educational leadership at Indiana State University, visit with Taiwo Ande, assistant provost for institutional analysis and effectiveness at the University of Mary Washington and a Ph.D. alumnus of Indiana State.  

http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/1203870892_JNpHw-L.jpg -  Peter Okebukda, professor of science education at Lagos State University, Josh Powers, professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University, Kayode Oyesiku, professor of urban and regional planning at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Mary Howard-Hamilton, professor of educational leadership at ISU, and Taiwo Ande a Ph.D. graduate of ISU, were among participants at a recent academic leadership conference in Nigeria.

Contact: Mary Howard-Hamilton, Indiana State University, professor of educational leadership, at 812-237-2907 or Mary.Howard-Hamilton@indstate.edu; Josh Powers, Indiana State University, professor of educational leadership, at 812-237-2978 or Joshua.Powers@indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, associate director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or Jennifer.Sicking@indstate.edu