Professor Daniel K. Bediako has become Ghana’s youngest Vice Chancellor following his installation to the high office of the Valley View University (VVU), Ghana’s premier private university.
Prof Bediako, 39, thus becomes the third VC of the fully fledged university , and the first alumnus of VVU to hold that office.
In his inaugural address on Monday, Prof Bediako expressed his gratitude to the University Council and West-Central Africa Division of the SDA for giving him the opportunity to serve in the high office of a VC.
Prof Bediako said: “My personal vision is to make this University a leading centre of excellence for value-based Christian education that express itself in quality teaching, research, and community service.
“Consequently, it shall become the preference for students and the pride of alumni, the employer of the best faculty and staff, and the partner of choice in community, with donors and friends keen to fund and to advocate for our priorities.”
He said for this to be achieved, the University needed to re-evaluate its direction and scope, and fully explore its competitive advantage.
He said the University’s Strategic Plan would be reviewed, to ensure that it was responsive both to the realities on the ground and to the business of higher education service delivery in the church and the country.
“We pledge transparency in leadership and commitment to the core values of the institution – Excellence, Integrity and Service – in the discharge of our duties and in our relationships,” Prof Bediako stated.
He is married to Gifty and they have two children, Hehra and Daniel.
He holds a PhD and a Master of Arts in Religion (New Testament Studies), both from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, Philippines.
He has a Bachelor of Arts in Theology (Hons) from VVU and is also a product of Bantama Seven-Day Adventist (SDA) Senior Secondary School, State Boys Junior Secondary School, Bantama, and the State Experimental B Elementary School, Bantama, all in Kumasi.
Prof Bediako, started his career as a lecturer at the VVU in 2002, and has since been working there.
Before his new appointment in November 20015, he was the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Acting Pro Vice Chancellor, and later the Acting VC.
His hobbies are thinking, reading, football, table-tennis, music composition, and listening to sounds of birds.
Prof Bediako promised to follow the steps of his predecessors who had set high standards for academic leadership and championed the cause of private tertiary education in Ghana.
He said the University currently faced several challenges, which could weigh heavily on them within the next five years.
“As all of you could see, upon entry into the campus, there is a huge building project, the chapel, which will take no less than $ 1.5 million to complete,” he explained.
“We are also servicing a loan facility taken from the Prudential Bank for the construction of halls of residence and staff housing, and this will take five addition years to service.
“The walling of the main campus has been completed, and a significant portion of the land is yet to be acquired”.
He said the University was grappling with inadequacies in infrastructure such as library and its resources, lecture halls, offices, residential accommodation, and academic staffing; of which only 15 per cent of faculty had earned terminal degrees.
“We also have challenges in student enrollment. Since 2014, there has been a gradual decline in enrollment, especially of regular students, who currently constitute only 32 per cent of the total student population,” Prof Bediako said.
“Our inability to clearly identify and promote flagship programmes and the limited number of programme offerings currently available equally serve to our disadvantage,” he added.
Pastor Dr Elie Weick-Dido, the Chancellor of VVU, pledged Council’s support to the new VC and urged all and sundry to do same; to ensure his successful tenure.