About the Department Of Botany
Botany was one of the foundation departments of the Faculty of Science at inception in 1964 (the first Vice-Chancellor, Prof Eni Njoku, being a reputable Botanist of international stature) when the faculty was composed of the school of Biological Sciences and the school of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. In October 1967, the two schools became autonomous teaching units each with its own Dean and Board of studies, but they worked closely together through a joint Board. They also cooperated with the then college of Education in running B.Sc. (Education) programme. The two schools together with the then institute of computer science were merged in October 1973 to re-constitute the present Faculty of Science and the departments of Biology, Botany and Zoology operated as units within the new department of Biological Sciences. Each unit ran its own academic programme independent of the Department which only coordinated the activities of the three units.
In 1985, another degree awarding unit (Microbiology) was added to the department. Marine Biology and Fisheries made its debut in 1991 as yet another degree awarding unit. Thus, Biological Sciences became a mega department, the equivalent of a Faculty in many other Universities, with an academic staff establishment of fifty-four (54) along with one hundred and twenty one (121) administrative and technical staff. Each of the units awarded four degrees (B.Sc., M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D). The department of Biological Sciences therefore ran twenty (20) degree programmes at that time.
It became quite obvious that the Department had become too large and unwieldy to function effectively and efficiently both academically and administratively. With this realization, members of academic staff, at one of its meetings in 1994, constituted a committee chaired by Dr A.W.A. Edwards (other members included Dr. S.L. Omo Malaka, Dr. Dele Olowokudejo, Dr (Mrs) O.O. Aboaba and Dr Dike Nwankwo) to re-examine the structure of the Department as was then constituted vis-a-vis its academic objectives and made appropriate recommendations to the Faculty Board of Studies. This was with a view to unboundling the department into autonomous and vibrant new departments. It was envisaged that this would encourage institutionalization of disciplinary specialization, thereby enhancing output.