NIGERIAN businesswoman Yekemi Otaru has been named as the new chancellor-elect if the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) succeeding Dame Elish Angiolini and is due to assume office on September 1.
An inspirational entrepreneur renowned for her passionate commitment to equality, Mrs Otaru is a tireless passionate supporter of women in business and an active mentor of business owners in the world’s poorest countries. Ms Yekemi, 42, holds four degrees and has considerable industrial experience in engineering and marketing.
She is among other things the co-founder and executive director at Doqaru, a prominent Aberdeen-based sales and marketing consultancy. In addition, she is also a board member of Interface, which connects a wide range of organisations from national and international industries to Scotland’s universities, research institutes and colleges, matching them with world-leading academic expertise to help them grow.
A bestselling author and social media expert, Ms Otaru is also known for her innovative use of platforms such as LinkedIn. As chancellor, Ms Otaru will hold formal powers to confer degrees, diplomas and other academic distinctions, and will represent the university at key events as an advocate and dignitary.
Ms Otaru said: “I am honoured to have been appointed chancellor-elect of the University of the West of Scotland, following in the footsteps of a remarkable individual in Dame Elish Angiolini. We are all living through challenging times and higher education plays a vital role in society and for our economy.
“I eagerly look forward to being part of the university, as it continues to carry out world-class research and knowledge transfer initiatives such as in the areas of healthcare and sports science. Now is the perfect time for me to be joining the university’s journey in inspiring and educating the next generation of graduates, equipped with the skills needed to help society recover from the pandemic.”
Professor Craig Mahoney, UWS vice-chancellor, added: “I am delighted with Yekemi’s appointment as the university’s chancellor-elect. Yekemi’s values very much align with those of UWS, from her passion for advancing equality, diversity and inclusion to her commitment to enterprise and her appointment is reflective of our strategic mission to make a positive difference to wider society.
“Yekemi is a remarkable example of entrepreneurship and a tremendous role model for our students and wider university community and I am delighted to welcome her to the UWS family. I would also like to pay tribute to Dame Elish Angiolini, who has been an outstanding chancellor and ambassador for the university and I am deeply grateful for the committed and inspirational role she has played in our UWS community.”
Ms Otaru is the first of three children of Dr Raphael and Mrs Sarah Awoseyin of Ayedun in Oke-Ero Local Government Area of Kwara State. Her younger siblings include UK geologist Adenike Onyia and Raphael Segun Awoseyin, a software professional based in France.
She studied at the University of Benin where she graduated with a second class upper degree in Chemical Engineering in 2002. In 2016, Yekemi was named among the top 40 under-40 business innovators by Scottish Business News.