A web site is an electronic portal designed for or by an institution (or person) to serve as an avenue for easy and effective dissemination of vital information related to the activities of the institution to a wider audience using the internet (definition mine).
The advent of the internet has made news and information dissemination very fast, widespread and effective. Institutions like colleges, universities and training centers use websites to tell stories about their programs, admission, requirements, graduate studies, scholarships, achievements, history, research, endowments and even careers.
In developed countries, admission processes are initiated and completed via institution web pages. Information on how to make payments is also provided.
Having seen what obtains in some other climes, I was pushed to visit the website of my Alma Mata, Abia State University. Ladies and gentlemen, I am ashamed to announce the poor and unprofessional state of the web site. The only photographs that appear intermittently on the site are a blurred picture of the university gate, a group of students standing around what appears to the ‘political tree’ and a building that was newly erected.
The only content of the web page that opens upon clicking are the ‘About us’ which tells a very short history of the school; and the ‘Contact us’ which shows the address of the school and two cell phone numbers apparently belonging to the vice chancellor and the registrar. The links on ‘News’, ‘Admission’, ‘Academics’, ‘Students, ‘Life on campus’, and ‘Careers’ are non-active/empty and without content.
Before rushing into conclusion, I quickly visited the websites of the University of Ibadan (UI) (a federal school) and Enugu state university of science and technology (ESUT) (a state school) for comparison.
I discovered that these two schools have very functional websites which are regularly updated and gives complete information on the academic, administrative and research activities of the universities. It does not take much to have an up-to-date website.
Abia state university (ABSU) is the oldest state owned university in Nigeria (established in the early 1980, some months before the establishment of the Rivers state university of science and technology also in 1980) and as such should live up to public expectation. The university administration should as a matter of importance and urgency place priority on information technology and broad based research. No serious institution relies on cell phones for official business. The vice chancellor should ensure that the right things are done.
Finally, we the alumni should give back to the institution, In the United States, schools like Harvard and Yale receive millions of dollars in donation from their alumni. This monies form the back bone of research and learning in these schools. Are we wondering why they are great schools? Wonder no more! Education is money. We should form a common front to coordinate our donations to the school.
I was recently informed that associations like ABSU NIFES alumni and ABSU CASOR alumni exist and that they make huge and handsome donations to these campus fellowships. Such gesture should be extended to the university because without the university, these campus fellowships will not be.