KNUST Vice Chancellor
Professor William Otoo Ellis is a Professor of Food Science. Professor Ellis has been elected twice as Pro Vice-Chancellor by his peers since 2007, a reflection of his hard work and competence. In 2010, he was appointed The Vice-Chancellor ofKNUSTand the University Council endorsed his performance after the first term of four (4) years, for a second term of two (2) years ending July, 2016.
He started his basic schooleducationat the Airport Police Basic Schools. He then continued to the St. John’s Grammar School where he obtained his General Certificate Examination (GCE)/ Ordinary Level Certificate in 1979. He had his Sixth Formeducationat the Pope John’s Secondary School at Effiduase, Koforidua, completing in 1981. He was admitted into the then University of Science andTechnology(UST) in 1982 and completed in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science, Second Class Upper Division in Biochemistry (after a year’s shut down between 1982 and 1983 due to students’ unrest).
He undertook his National Service at the Department of Biochemistry from 1987 to 1989 as a Teaching and Research Assistant with responsibilities for practical work, tutorial classes and research activities of theFaculty Members. In 1989, he obtained a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)Scholarshipto undertake postgraduate studies at McGill University in Montreal,Canada. Professor Ellis entered the Masters’programmein Food Science at the Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry. Following his exceptional academic performance in the first year, he was granted the option to enrol in the PhD programme after passing all the requisite Entrance Examinations. Professor Ellis completed his Doctor of Philosophy programme in Food Science in 1993.
Professor Ellis returned toGhanaand joined the service of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) that same year as aLecturerin the Department of Biochemistry. By dint of hard work, he was promoted to the position of Senior Lecturer in 1998; Associate Professor in 2002; and finally, Professor in 2007. Professor Ellis also holds other professional training certificates. These includeHigher EducationManagement from the International Institute for Education Planning (IIEP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and the Association of African Universities (AAU)Management Development Training Programmes (MADEV). As Lecturer, he taught courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in Biochemistry and Food Science and Technology and offered Service Courses in theDepartmentsof Agricultural Engineering and Horticulture.
Professor Ellis has held several academic positions in the University. He served as Coordinator of the Food Science and Technology programme in the Department of Biochemistry; Member of various Faculty Boards and College Boards. Head of the Department of Biochemistry 2003 – 2007, as well as Sectional Head of Food Science and Technology From 2007 to date; and Acting Head of the Quality Assurance and Planning Unit (QAPU) and the University Information and Technology Services Unit (UITS).
Professor Ellis has also served as Member and/or Chairman of over twenty (20) Statutory/Non-statutory Committees/Boards of the University including, Academic Board; Executive Committee; Welfare Services Board; Senior Members Disciplinary Committee; University Appointments and Promotions Committee; and, the University Council. He was a Senior Tutor and Hall Master of Unity Hall (Continentals) as well as Hall Master ofUniversity Hall(Katanga). He is currently the only Senior Member who has had the unique privilege of administering these two (2) Male Halls of Residence with great success.
At the National Level, Professor Ellis has held other appointments and served on National Committees as well. He has worked with three (3) World Bank Teams in evaluating some International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) funded projects in Agriculture. He has been External Assessor for several Universities and other Institutions within and outside the country. Professor Ellis was an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA, in 2007; External Examiner for the Institute of Home Sciences (IHS), Ngala University College, Sierra Leone, and, the University of Swaziland. He is also a Reviewer for more than eight (8) reputable Peer-Reviewed Journals.
Professor Ellis is a reputed Academic and International Scholar. He has participated in and also coordinated several international research projects funded by international agencies including, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), United State Agency for International Development (USAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Department for International Development (DFID) and Global Environment Facility (GEF)/ United Nations University (UNU). Together with other Scientists, he has won several Training Grants for international research trainingprogrammesinGhanaand for minorities in the United States of America (USA) in the fields of mycotoxin and epidemiology. At the national level, he has participated in and coordinated more than 17 major research projects. He has also collaborated and mentored many Research Scientists in major institutions in Ghana including the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He has also consulted for many small, medium and large scale food industries in Ghana.
Professor Ellis is a distinguished Researcher. He has more than One Hundred and Ten (110) Peer- Reviewed Journal articles; Seventeen (17) Refereed Conference publications; Nineteen (19) Technical Report; and Ten (10) Book Chapters and Manuals to his credit. He has mounted several Exhibitions with his Research colleagues on new Food products at national fairs and conferences. He has attended many national and international conferences and workshops making more than 57 presentations. He has supervised and co-supervised more than 40 postgraduate students at the Masters’ and PhD levels since 1993. He has also mentored international students in research training since 2001, and hosted Visiting Scientists on collaborative Research projects at KNUST.
At a personal level, he is soft spoken and has excellent human relations. He is a committed Christian and worships with the Pentecost International Worship Centre (PIWC) of the Church of Pentecost, Asokwa, Kumasi. He assists in the Children’s Ministry of the Church. Professor Ellis is married to Florence and they are blessed with two beautiful daughters, Emmanuella and Theodora-Ann.