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Women You Should Know: Fatima Batul Mukhtar

Fondly called Mama FUD by lovers and admirers within and outside the university community, she is one of the powerful women breaking the barriers inhibiting girl-child education especially in the north-western region of Nigeria. Against all odds, Prof. Fatima broke the gender stereotypes in education and rose to become the first female Vice Chancellor in the north-west geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

The woman, Fatima Batul Mukhtar is a Nigerian academic, who is a professor of Botany. Her research interest are centered on “growth regulation, biostatistics, biotechnology and plant conservation”. In 2016, she was appointed Vice Chancellor of Federal University Dutse by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Background and Education

Mukhtar was born in Kano in 1963. She attended Shahuchi Primary School and Shekara Girls Boarding Primary School for her primary education, then proceeded to Government Girls College, Dala in Kano for her secondary school, where she obtained the West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1980. In 1984, she obtained a degree in Botany from Ahmadu Bello University. She undertook her National Youths Service Corps at Forestry Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Kano State. She did her master’s degree at Bayero University, Kano in 1994 and afterward got employment with the same University in the Department of Biological Sciences.

In 1994, she got her master’s degree from Bayero University, Kano (BUK). She completed her doctorate degree in 2005, specializing in plant physiology from the same institution. Her Ph.D. thesis was one of the three selected by the University and entered into a national competition where it scored 5th position. She also has a certificate in Agricultural biotechnology following a short course at Michigan State University, USA in 2012.


Professor Fatima Batul Mukhtar started working with B.U.K in 1994 as an assistant lecturer and through hard work, she rose through the ranks to become a Senior lecturer in 2003, Associate Professor in 2007 and Professor in 2010. She has taught several courses and supervised many undergraduate students.

Professor Fatima Batul Mukhtar has held several academic positions in the University as a member of various faculty and departmental committees, remedial and undergraduate level coordinator from 2001 to 2002.

She was also a post-graduate level coordinator from 2002 to 2008. She served as Head of the Plant Science Department from 2012 to 2013. In 2013 Fatima Batul Mukhtar was released on leave of absence to a newly established university, Northwest University (now Yusuf Maitama Sule University), to establish the Faculty of Science as the pioneer dean.

She is an editor to many journals and has participated in accrediting the academic programs of some tertiary institutions in the country.

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Academic and Administrative Appointments

She has held many academic and administrative responsibilities in addition to being the Dean of the Faculty including member, Appointments and Promotion Committee, Staff Audit Committee, Chairperson, Academic Staff Development Committee, Chairperson, Committee for the Establishment of Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences and Chairperson, Committee for the establishment of Biotechnology Programme at Northwest University, Kano.

At the state level, she served in many committees including technical and implementation committees for the establishment of Northwest University, Kano (NWU, Kano). She also served in Kano State political transition committee in 2015 and was appointed a member of the Kano State Education Promotion Committee in the same year. At the National level, Professor Fatima has served as a resource person to the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for the accreditation of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in the Country.

Distinguished and Dignified

Professor Fatima Batul Mukhtar is a distinguished researcher with more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, some newspaper articles, and has authored 3 books- An Introduction to Biostatistics, Experimental Research Methodology, and Data Analysis in the Life Sciences and Careers in Botany. She has also co-edited 1. She has supervised and co-supervised more than 30 postgraduate students at the masters’ and Ph.D. levels. She has attended many conferences both local and international and presented papers and posters. Professor Fatima has organized scientific conferences and workshops at various times.

Professor Fatima Batul Mukhtar founded and established the Kano Botanic Garden single-handedly in 2008. The Garden is mainly for the conservation of indigenous plants, education, public enlightenment, and leisure.



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Jeremiah Aluwong

Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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