Emeritus Professor Francis Addo Kufuor
Emeritus Professor Francis Addo Kufuor is the Founding Father of the Department of Chemistry. A distinguished organic chemist, Kufuor's research focused on natural products chemistry where he and his team explored many interesting indigenous plants. He held several positions in the University including Head of the Department of Chemistry, Dean of the Faculty of Science, Dean of the Board of Postgraduate Studies (now the School of Graduate Studies), Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of the University Council, and became the first person to be appointed an Emeritus Professor by the University.
Francis Addo Kufuor was born in Kumasi on February 14, 1926. He attended the Kumasi Government Boys' School from 1931 to 1936, Achimota College from 1937 to 1946 and the Univertsity of Bristol, England, from 1947 to 1954, where he obtained a BSc. (Honours) degree in Chemistry in 1950 and a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry in 1954.
He became a lecturer in Chemistry in the Chemistry Division of the then Department of Science and General Studies of the Kumasi College of Technology (KCT) in 1954. When the KCT became a full-fledged university in 1961, Kufuor had been promoted to the position of Associate Professor and was appointed Head of the newly-created Department of Chemistry. He became a Full Professor of Chemistry in 1962. Kufuor resigned his position in the University in May 1964, returned in 1966 and was re-appointed Head of the Department. By this time the Department had become the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology. In 1975, the Chemical Technology bit of the Department was hived off to form the nucleus of what is today the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Kufuor remained Head of the Department of Chemistry until he reached the retirement age of 60 in 1986. He was appointed on contract basis until 1993 and on part-time basis until 1997. In 1997, the University appointed Kufuor an Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, the first person to be so appointed in the history of the University.
Outside the Department, Kufuor was Dean of the Faculty of Science from 1967 to 1973, Dean of the Board of Postgraduate Studies from 1974 until his retirement in 1986 and Pro Vice-Chancellor from 1968 to 1969. He was a member of the University Council in 1961-1962, 1967-1968, 1973-1974, 1980-1981 and 1982-1983 and was Chairman of the Committee for the establishment of the Medical School at UST in 1974. He was appointed Chairman of the University Council in 2001; his term of office ended in 2004 at the age of 78.
Outside the University, Kufuor was a Fullbright Travelling and Sloan Foundation Fellow in 1956, Scientific Attache at the Ghana Embassy in Moscow and a Research Worker in the Faculty of Radiochemistry of Moscow University 1962-1964, Visiting Research Fellow at the Tropical Products Institute in London in 1964, a Carnegie Travelling Fellow in 1964 and a Research Fellow, Borough Polytechnic, London in 1965-1966
Update: Professor F. A. Kufuor passed on on December 7, 2015 at the age of 89. The Chemistry Building at KNUST, started in September 1962 as the Faculty of Chemistry Block and completed in March 1966, when Kufuor was Head of Department, has been renamed the F A Kufuor Building in honor of the memory of the great man.