The Ondo State Government led by Dr. Olusegun Agagu on 20th February, 2007 set up a 9-man Committee under the chairmanship of Professor A. A. Ilemobade, a former Vice- Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, to advise Government on the feasibility of establishing an appropriate tertiary institution in the Southern Senatorial District of the State. The Committee submitted its report on 22nd May, 2007, recommending the establishment of a University of Science and Technology to be located at Okitipupa to meet the developmental needs of the State in the critical areas of industrial and technological development.
The Government of Ondo State in May 2007, in line with the recommendation of Professor Ilemobade’s Committee, approved the establishment of a University of Science and Technology in the South Senatorial District. This was based on his strong conviction that the District has the potentials of becoming the industrial base of the State, given the presence of large commercial deposits of tar sand, glass sand, oil and gas, the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, Omotosho Power Plant and the Olokola Free Trade Zone, all of which require significant high-level technical manpower which the University could provide. The Bill establishing the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), Okitipupa, now known as Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa was passed by the Ondo State House of Assembly and signed into Law by the then State Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Olusegun Agagu on Thursday 27th December, 2007.
Furthermore, Ondo State Government consequently acquired a total of 314.361 hectares of land along the Okitipupa – Igbokoda road for the site of the University with full compensations paid to land owners. The turning of the sod ceremony took place at the University site on the 6th of March, 2008, the day that the first Governing Council of the University was inaugurated. The pioneer Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of the first Governing Council of the University was Professor Akinbo Adesomoju, a Professor of Organic Chemistry from the University of Ibadan. Professor Adesomoju was later appointed by the Governor of Ondo State as the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the University. Vice-Admiral Akin Aduwo (Rtd), a former State Governor and former Chief of Naval Staff was appointed as the second Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of Council.
The University was deliberately planned to be a compact University. The total student intake at the commencement of academic activities was to be about 400. The student population was expected to have increased to about 2,500 by the fifth year with total student population ultimately peaking at about 5,500. Academic activities were planned to take off on the site of the University during the 2009/2010 academic session. The University was to initially take off with three Schools which were the School of Science, the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, and the School of Information and Communications Technology. The School of Earth Sciences and the School of Agriculture, Forestry and Aquatic Resources were planned to come on stream in the third and fifth years respectively.
The Master Plan and a comprehensive Academic Brief of the University were duly prepared, submitted to and approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC). Having fulfilled the preliminary requirements, the National Universities Commission (NUC), granted official recognition to the University on 15th May, 2008 as the 32nd State University and the 93rd officially recognized University in Nigeria.
The massive construction of all basic projects required for the effective take-off of the University was flagged-off by the then Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Agagu on Friday 31st October, 2008. The projects included the School of Science, the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, the School of Information and Communication Technology, Administrative Building, University Library, Auditorium, Students’ Hostels, Students’ Centre, Principal Officers’ Quarters, Health Centre, Essential Staff Quarters and Campus Road Network all totaling about N4.8 billion with all contractors mobilized up to 50% of the respective contract sums.
Unfortunately, the change of Government in Ondo State in February 2009 brought a halt to the on-going construction of various projects at the site based on directives from the then new Government led by Dr Olusegun Mimiko. The accounts of the University were frozen. The appointments of all contractors and consultants handling projects at the University site were later terminated. The State Government also ordered the transfer of funds in the University’s accounts to Ondo State Government accounts. Preparations for proposed commencement of academic activities in October 2009 were thus halted.
The National Universities Commission had fixed the student carrying capacity of the University at 800. The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had also sent to the University for processing the results of 1686 students who had applied to the University for the 2009/2010 Admission Exercise. The State Government directed that the 2009/2010 Admission Exercise in the University should be suspended since the facilities in the University campus were not ready for take-off of academic activities. The decision was communicated to JAMB and the NUC accordingly.
The pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Adesomoju resigned his appointment with effect from 31st December, 2009 out of frustration with the total lack of further progress on the development of the University from the inception of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko led government in the State in February, 2009. The NUC early in 2010 irked by the inability of the University to commence academic activities after over one year of official recognition of the University decided to withdraw the operating license pending the time that the Governor Mimiko led government would take appropriate steps to develop the University.
Sometime early in 2010, about one year after his assumption of office, the then Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko set up a Committee under the chairmanship of Professor Ifedayo Oladapo OON, NNOM to, among other things, take a holistic view of Higher Education in the State with a view to advancing and improving its quality. The Oladapo Committee recommended that “OSUSTECH (now known as OAUSTECH) should be allowed to exist essentially as originally envisaged partly because of the massive investment already on the ground at OSUSTECH campus.”
The achievement of the Committee subsequently led to the inauguration of the second Governing Council on 27th September 2010 with Professor Funso Akere as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council and Professor Tolu Odugbemi as Vice-Chancellor. The new Vice-Chancellor and the new Chairman of Council were determined to retrieve the withdrawn license of the University from the National Universities Commissions after a 4 man team from NUC submitted its report. The success recorded by the four-man team from the National Universities Commissions opened the door for academic activities which
formally began with the Matriculation of the first set of students on Thursday, 3rd March, 2011. By Monday, 27th February, 2014 the second Governing Council had its valedictory meeting having spent its four year tenure with outstanding feats achieved during the four years of steering the ship of the University. The last one year of the second substantive Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tolu Odugbemi was however turbulent with students’ unrest and staff agitations.
Normalcy returned to the University with the appointment of the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adegoke Adegbite on 28th September, 2015. This was closely followed with the inauguration of the third Governing Council of the University. The third Council had Dr. Amos Akingba as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council. The life of the third Governing Council came to an end with the change in the leadership of the Government of Ondo State in February, 2017.
On Wednesday, 22nd February, 2017, after a keenly-contested selection process, the Ondo State Government announced the appointment of Professor Sunday Roberts Ogunduyile, a Professor of Industrial Design from Federal University of Technology, Akure as the third substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University. This was closely followed by the inauguration of the 4th Governing Council of the University on Tuesday, 5th March, 2018.
The fourth Governing Council witnessed the triumphant entry of the first Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council who also doubled as the first substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Akinbo Adesomoju. He has the God’s-given opportunity of coming again. The change of the name of the University from Ondo State University of Science and Technology to Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology was assented to by the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu SAN on the 31st of December 2019.