Critical Questions on Gender, Faculty Disparity in University of Port Harcourt’s 128 Inaugural Speeches

The University of Port Harcourt was established in 1975. It is one of the second generation federal universities founded during the year. Four years later, the University had its first inaugural speech which was delivered by Prof. E. J. Alagoa, a Professor of History, according to available data. Forty-two years later [as at 2021], 173 inaugural speeches have been delivered across the old and new faculties in the University.

The 173rd of the speeches was recently presented by Professor of Islamic Studies and Ethics at the University of Port Harcourt, Abdul Razaq Kilani. This is not also used in the analysis. However, 133 of these speeches are available for analysis. One hundred and twenty-eight of these speeches are valid not because the variables of interest could not be discerned from 5 of the speeches effectively.

Our analysis reveals that 105 speeches were delivered by male Professors while female Professors have had the opportunity of presenting 23 speeches. Across faculties, our analysis reveals a number of insights that concerned stakeholders in the University need to explore. For instance, there are fundamental issues regarding faculty and gender representation.

Some faculties have been playing significant roles in the presentation of inaugural speeches since 1979. Does it mean that Professors in the Faculties of Science, Clinical Science and Basic Medical Sciences are more ready to present than their counterparts in other faculties? Why female Professors in science related faculties are playing the leading role than their male counterparts?

Exhibit 1: Number of Inaugural Speech per year

Source: University of Port Harcourt’s Inaugural Speeches, 1979-2021; AbitoCitta Analysis, 2021

Exhibit 2: Number of Inaugural Speeches by Faculty [Percentage]

Source: University of Port Harcourt’s Inaugural Speeches, 1979-2021; AbitoCitta Analysis, 2021

Exhibit 3: Inaugural Speeches delivered by faculty and gender of the Professors

Source: University of Port Harcourt’s Inaugural Speeches, 1979-2021; AbitoCitta Analysis, 2021

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