CSU partnering with Nigerian government

WILBERFORCE — Academics and researchers from Nigeria seeking to enhance grant writing skills will attend week-long capacity building workshops at Central State University’s newly established Cynthia Jackson-Hammond Institute for Professional Development.

The institute, housed within the College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture (CESTA), is named after Central State’s outgoing president, and will serve as an international leadership and professional development center. Through this four-year collaboration with the Nigerian government, CSU will officially begin training leaders on a global scale.

The first capacity building workshop is scheduled for Feb. 24-28, at CSU’s Xenia facility inside the REACH Center, 336 Progress Dr.

“This conference was organized for research academics in Nigerian public universities,” said Dr. Ibrahim Katampe, conference organizer and assistant director of innovation and technology transfer for CESTA. “The February event is the first of many that will take place over the course of the next four years and was designed specifically to train academicians in Nigerian higher educational institutions with current knowledge and skill required to write a fundable research proposal that meets international standards.”

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TET Fund) was established by the Nigerian government as an intervention agency under the TET Fund ACT – Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act, 2011.

The TET Fund monies provide for the essential physical infrastructure for teaching and learning, instructional material and equipment, research and publication, academic staff training and development, and any other need that may be deemed critical and/or essential for the improvement of quality and maintenance of standards in the higher educational institutions.

Under its mandate of research and academic staff training and development, a sub-committee of the TET Fund was set up in May 2019. This committee was tasked with developing a framework for the strengthening and institutionalization of research and development in tertiary institutions in Nigerian universities.

Co-chaired by professors Placid Njoku and Tope Togun of Nigeria, with Katampe serving as vice-chair, the committee developed a plan and made recommendations to professor Suleiman Bogoro, executive secretary of the TET Fund.

In June, Bogoro and members of the committee paid a visit to the U.S. as part of a global assessment of “best practices.” Stops included meetings with officials of the U.S. State Department, the National Science Foundation (NSF), GE Global Research Talent Center in New York, and Central State — an 1890 Land-Grant University.

“It was during that visit we began discussing the possibility of collaboration,” Katampe said. “Professor Bogoro and the committee were warmly welcomed by President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, Provost Pedro Martinez, and CSU CESTA Dean and Land-Grant Director Dr. Alton B. Johnson. They immediately welcomed the idea, and this partnership is a direct result of that initial conversation.”

Jackson-Hammond has been an ardent supporter of international engagement and is especially committed to partnerships with Nigeria.

“This opportunity to support the TET Fund program allows us to integrate Central State University’s scholarship and professional development with Nigeria’s influential and brightest minds,” Jackson-Hammond said. “We are honored to be partners in this global expansion of connectivity.”