The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) chapter of the Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA), has instituted a memorial lecture in honour of the late registrar, Mr. Kobby Yebo-Okrah. The maiden Kobby Yebo-Okrah Memorial Lecture was on the topic “Modern Trends in University Administration and Management: Contributions of Kobby Yebo-Okrah”.
In his welcome address, Mr. Kwame Yeboah Jr., President of the KNUST chapter of GAUA, reminded his colleagues of their mandate as change managers in their institutions and charged them to work to bring honour to the late registrar of KNUST, Mr. Kobby Yebo- Okrah who passed into glory about a year ago.
Reverend Professor Charles Ansah, the Pro Vice-Chancellor, in his opening remarks stated that the late Mr. Yebo-Okrah contributed immensely to the administrative structure and procedure of KNUST and had a passion for excellence and that his contributions to the cause of higher education in Ghana and beyond makes him worth celebrating. Professor Ansah pledged the support of management to the continuity of the memorial lecture.
In his lecture, Dr. Paul Effah, President of Radford University, challenged administrators to shift from being specialists to generalists to grab any opportunity extended to them to serve in all sectors of the university. Using the life of the late registrar, he observed that he worked in the University Relations Office, School of Graduate Studies, School of Medical Science, General Administration, Academic and Students Affairs, the University of Ghana Overseas Office among others. The opportunity he had to work in all sections of the university made the registrar stand out as he had varied experience.
Dr. Effah again underscored the need for publications or degrees in different areas. He noted that the late Mr. Yebo-Okrah had a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, a postgraduate diploma in Communication Studies, a Master of Arts in International Affairs as well as a Master of Education in Higher Education and Public Administration. He continued that these varied academic experiences made Kobby who came in as a communications specialist to shift from being a specialist to a generalist. Dr. Effah therefore challenged administrators to aspire to obtain knowledge outside their areas of specialization in order to be relevant in all sectors of university administration.
The Radford University president also encouraged administrators to be good communicators in addition to being good human relations practitioners just as the late registrar.
In conclusion, he called for passion and professionalism from administrators as the late registrar stood for the cause of administrators by raising the profile of GAUA as well as enhancing professional competence of senior administrative and professional staff through annual retreats.
Mr. Kobby Yebo-Okrah is the 9th registrar of this University. He assumed office on October 01, 2006. Born on September 5, 1956, at Bekwai-Ashanti, to Opanin Kwaku Darbo-Okrah of Bekwai and Adumasa, in the Juaben Traditional Area and Madam Veronica Owusu of Kokofu and Akim Swedru, Mr. Kobby Yebo-Okrah was the eldest male son of his parents.
He had his secondary education at Oda Secondary School from 1970 to 1977. In October 1977,’he gained admission to the University of Ghana, Legon, and graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. In 1982, he was re-admitted to Legon to pursue a postgraduate programme at the School of Communication Studies and was awarded a postgraduate diploma in Communication Studies in 1984. He gained a Ghana Government Scholarship in 1989 for further studies at Ohio University in Athens, U.S.A. He completed the programme successfully and was awarded an MA in International Affairs (Communication and Development) in 1991, and a MEd in Higher Education and Public Administration in 1992.
Mr. Yebo Okrah’s career as a University administrator began in August 1983 when he was appointed assistant registrar in the Registrar Office of the then University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. He rose through the ranks to become a deputy registrar in 2004. Between 1983 and 2006, Mr. Yebo-Okrah worked in various sectors of the University including Students’ Affairs, University Relations, School of Graduate Studies, School of Medical Sciences, General Administration and Academic Affairs. He also served as president of the Senior Common Room, Senior Tutor and Acting Hall Master of Republic Hall.
From 1993 to 1997 he was the national president of the Ghana Association of University Adrninistrators (GAUA), a position he held with distinction.
One of the high points of his career was in 1998 when he was appointed by the then Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals (CVCP now VCG) as the overseas representative at the Universities of Ghana Overseas Office in London, UK, for a 5-year tour of duty representing the interests of Ghana’s public universities in Europe, North America and the Far East. He returned home at the end of his duty tour to rejoin the University in 2004. In recognition of his vast managerial and administrative experience and competence coupled with his zeal, capacity and commitment to work, the Council of the University on August 23, 2006 appointed him to the high office of registrar of the University.
He is a member of a number of international and national professional associations including the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIP-UK); Serra International (Serra Club of KNUST) and Rotary International (Rotary Club of Hendon, London, UK.