By Faith Enang
A woman of many firsts, a nurturer by heart, and a force to be reckoned with.
These phrases are best applied to the 13th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos and the first female ever to hold that position, Professor Folasade Tolulope Ogunsola.
A Professor of Clinical Microbiology, Ogunsola is a medical doctor specialising in diagnosing and preventing infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance, particularly HIV/AIDS.
Born Folasade Tolulope Mabogunje, the record-breaking VC has always fancied herself in the medical line due to her innate desire to nurture and care for those around her.
She had her secondary education at the famed Queen’s College, Lagos. She obtained her first degree from the University of Ife and a master’s degree from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, between 1974 and 1982. Next, she proceeded with her doctorate at the University of Wales between 1992 and 1997.
On her return, Ogunsola was a founding member of the Nigerian Society for Infection Control in 1998 and has since assisted in setting up infection control programs in institutions around the country. For the past two decades, she has raised awareness of Infection Control in Nigeria.
Having served in different capacities as a medical doctor, Professor Ogunsola joined the University of Lagos as Lecturer in 1995 as a lecturer at the College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL).
She rose through the ranks to become a senior lecturer in 1997. She was appointed an Associate Professor in 2004 and a full Professor in 2008.
In 2013, she became the first woman ever to be elected to the position of Provost, CMUL. She occupied a position for four years before being promoted to Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services. It could be recalled that she was also the first person to occupy this position.
During her tenure as DVC (Development Services), a misunderstanding between the former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and the former Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Wale Babalakin, ensued.
UNILAG Senate, at a meeting attended by 167 professors on August 24, 2020, elected Ogunsola as Acting Vice-Chancellor. A position she held until the issues were resolved.
On October 7, 2022, she was appointed the 13th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos. Her tenure began on November 12, 2022, and will run for a five-year term.
Professor Ogunsola is the first female Provost of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos; the first person to serve as the UNILAG’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services); the first female Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, and the first female Chairman of JUPEB Governing Board.