The birth and nurturing of Sociology in OAU can incontrovertibly be credited to the duo of Dr. Adenola A. IGUN (now late Prof. A. A. IGUN) and Mrs. Similolu Adunni AFONJA (now a retired Professor). Department of Sociology and Anthropology is an offshoot of Department of Sociology and Demography established in January 1968, which itself is an offshoot of a Sub-Department of Sociology and Demography. The sub-Department status was because the Department of Sociology and Demography, was operated as part of the Demographic Research and Training Unit. Thus, Dr. Igun combined the Directorship of the Research Unit with the acting Headship of the new Department. Prior to the creation of the Sub-Department, 1963 to 1966, the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences (now Faculty of Social Sciences) awarded B.Sc. Economics with specific specialisations. The first set of undergraduates in the newly-established full-fledged Department of Sociology and Demography effective from October 1969 was drawn among students for the 1967/68 Prelim Studies and Direct Entry of 1968/1969 Session. These were taught by the Acting Head, Dr. Igun, and Professors Robin Morton-Williams and Lucy Mair (both anthropologists). The three were joined by five people namely Dr. P. O. Olusanya (October, 1969), Miss Hornsey (November 1969), Mrs. S. A. Afonja (December 1969), a Hungarian, Dr. Ascadi (December 1969), Miss Caroline Dennis (March 1970), Dr. I. I. Ekanem and Mr. Van Rest.
During the formative years, courses designed for pioneer students in the then Department of Sociology and Demography were heavily tilted in favour of Demography. By September 1973, the Demographic Research Unit had become a separate autonomous Institute under the Directorship of Dr. A. A. Igun and consequently, the Department of Sociology and Demography was born with Dr. Akinsola Ayodele AKIWOWO (now a retired Professor) as the Acting Head. Dr. Akiwowo transferred his services from the University of Ibadan in December 1972 and assumed duty in September 1973. Consequently, he began his pioneer administration with four academic staff (excluding the two expatriates) namely Dr. (Mrs). S. A. Afonja, Miss Carolyne Jennifer DENNIS (March 1970), Dr. P. O. OLUSANYA, and Robin Horton-Williams (Akiwowo, 1978). Thereafter, the University recruited Dr. John Peel, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Yetunde OLORUNTIMEHIN (now a retired Professor of Criminology) and an alumnus of the Faculty in September 1973, Dr. Theophilus Olatunde ODETOLA (now late Prof. Odetola) and Mr. David Alhaji AWEDA (now retired) in September 1974, and Reverend Father (Dr.) Patrick ISICHEI into the Department.
Courtesy of the University’s policy of conversion of Tutors to Lecturers, the Department received two new members in 1976: Mrs. Adetanwa Ibironke ODEBIYI (now a retired Professor) and Mrs. Tommie I. AMUSA (now retired) who were formerly Tutors in the General Studies Programme. However, the Department lost three (3) members: Rev. Father Patrick Isichei who resigned to join the University of Jos and Professor Robin Morton-Williams who opted to become a member of the Faculty of Arts (Department of Philosophy), while Dr. P. O. Olusanya (now a retired Professor) became the Acting Head of the newly-established Department of Social Studies and Statistics (now Department of Demography and Social Statistics). With the splitting, Dr. Akiwowo became the Acting Head of Department of Sociology and Anthropology. In a bid to strengthen the teaching capacity of the new Department of Sociology and Anthropology, more lecturers were recruited between 1976 and 1979. They are Mr. Rufus Adewale ROTIMI recruited in 1976 (now retired Associate Professor), EKONG Sheilah Clarke in September 1976 (now retired), and ODEBIYI Adetanwa Ibironke (now retired) in October 1976 (she was initially employed as Administrative Officer 1 in 1974/75). Between 1977 and 1979, three new lecturers were employed namely: Mr. PEARCE, Ibitola Olufunlayo in January 1977, Mr. ADEMISOKUN-TURTON Adedayo (now retired Professor) in June 1978, and Mr. ADEMOLA Ade (now late Professor Ademola) in March 1979.
A new gale of recruitment was witnessed in the 1980s with the appointment of Mr. ALO Oladimeji Israel in August 1980 as the first alumnus. In fact, that decade is a watershed in the history of the Department because it was matured enough to employ some of her alumni: Mr. OGUNBAMERU, Olakunle Abiona (now a Professor) and Mr. BABALOLA Solomon Ademola (later Head of Department), were employed in September 1982 and November 1982 respectively. Professor Akiwowo voluntarily retired upon attaining the statutory age of 60 years in July 1982, but was subsequently re-engaged as a Contract Staff. He served in this capacity till October 1987 and gracefully disengaged. With the floodgate wide-open, another alumnus of the Department, Mrs. AINA Olabisi Idowu (now a Professor and former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences) was recruited in March 1987. In the 1990s, more teaching staff were employed: Mr. ALUKO Mabayoje Anthony Olaniyi (now a Professor and former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences) in March 1994, Mr. BODUNRIN Henry (1994), Mr. GIDADO Yomi (1997) and Mr. ADISA Lateef Ademola (February 1997) were recruited as lecturers. At the turn of the millennium, many alumni such as Mr. ARANSIOLA Joshua Oyeniyi. (September 2000), Mrs. OSEZUA Clementina Oghoadena (September 2000), Messrs. ALO Oluwatosin (2003), IKUTEYIJO Lanre O. (September 2004), AGUNBIADE Ojo Melvin (September 2004), OWOEYE Idowu Omotayo (January 2006), and AJAYI Olusola (January 2006) joined the teaching Staff. A year later, another alumnus, Mr. AJANI Oludele Albert (2007) was simultaneously recruited with two Alumni of Ondo State University: Mr. ADEBUSUYI, Isaac Adeniran (September 2007) and Mr. AYODELE, James Olabisi (December 2007). Dr. (Mrs.) MOUGHALU Caroline Okumdi was recruited in 2010.
The Department continues to make remarkable progress in discharging its teaching, research and community engagements through its academic and non-teaching staff in diverse areas of sociology and anthropology. It currently has 18 members of academic staff, including 4 in the professorial cadre and 8 senior lecturers.
The Department coordinates one undergraduate and four postgraduate degree programmes. These are:
- B.Sc. Sociology and Anthropology
- PGD in Social Work
- Masters in Industrial and Labour Relations
- M.Sc. Sociology and Anthropology (with thesis)
- PhD Sociology and Anthropology