The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies, as it was then called, was one of the five Faculties that started the University of Ife in 1962. Emphasis then, was laid on courses in Economics but there were available supporting courses in Political Science and Sociology. Staffing was thin and unstable and much as efforts were made to recruit staff for the teaching of all the courses then available in the faculty, up till the end of 1962-63 session only four academic staff were available in the faculty.
During the 1963-64 session, the name of the Faculty was changed to the Faculty of Social Sciences. Separate degree courses were approved in Economics, Business Management, Government/Sociology. However, the degree awarded in the faculty was still titled, Bachelor of Science, Economics. The Faculty graduated its first set of 33 students in July 1965 with the degree B.Sc. (Economics).
During the period of the Nigerian Civil War, 1966-70 one of our sister Universities, the University of Nigeria Nsukka, was hard hit to the extent that staff and students had to abandon the campus to escape the horrors of war. The period witnessed the migration of staff and students from Nsukka to other Nigerian Universities. The Faculty had its own share of the influx. In 1967-68 courses in Business Management were gradually phased out giving place to the emergence of a separate Department of Political Science and a Sub-Department of Sociology married to the Department of Economics.
During 1969-70 session, the Faculty expanded by the transfer of the Department of Geography (formerly in the Faculty of Arts) to the Faculty of Social Sciences. The period also witnessed the establishment of the Demographic Research and Training Unit in the sub-Department of Sociology and the Industrial Research Unit in the Department of Economics all serving the immediate environment in terms of industrial and demographic research and training. At this time, the sub-Department of Sociology became known as the Department of Sociology and Demography. A sub-Department of Estate Management was established in the Department of Economics. In 1971 the sub-Department of Estate Management became a separate Department and was transferred to the Faculty of Technology. In 1971-72 the faculty initiated a programme called Government, Philosophy and Economics (G.P.E) supervised by the Dean of the Faculty. The G.P.E. was transferred to the Department of Political Science in 1975-76 session.
In 1972-73, the Demographic Research and Training Unit became the Institute of Manpower Studies while the Department of Sociology and Demography became the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. In the 1975-76 session, the Institute of Population and Manpower Studies was renamed the Department of Demography and Social Statistics. Consequently, the Faculty of Social Sciences now consists of the Departments of Economics, Demography & Social Statistics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology as well as Sociology & Anthropology.
Deans of the Faculty
Prof. S. A. Aluko – October 1967 – September 1969
Prof. G. J. A. Ojo – October 1971 – September 1973
Prof. A. A. Igun – October 1973 – September 1975
Prof. J. O. Adejuwon – October 1975 – July 1979
Prof. O. Adejuyigbe – August 1979 – July 1983
Prof. O. O. Ojo – August 1983 – July 1985
Prof. T. A. Odetola – August 1985 – July 1987
Prof. L. K. Jeje – August 1987 – July 1989
Prof. (Mrs.) J. O. Abiodun – August 1989 – July 1991
Prof. A. A. Adewuyi – August 1991 – July 1993
Prof. (Mrs.) O. Oloruntimehin – August 1993 – July 1995
Prof. A. A. Olowu – August 1995 – July 1997
Prof. (Mrs.) A. I. Odebiyi – August 1997 – July 1999
Prof. J. A. Ebigbola – August 1999 – July 2001
Prof. J. A. Fabayo – August 2001 – July 2005
Prof. O. Ekanade – August 2005 – July 2007
Prof. O. Aloba – August 2007 – July 2009
Prof. F. A. Adesina – August 2009 – July 2011
Prof. (Mrs.) O. I. Aina – August 2011 – July 2013
Prof. A. E. Akinlo – August 2013 – July 2015
Prof. C. O. Ajila – August 2015 – July 2017
Prof. M. A. O Aluko – August 2017 – July 2019
Prof. P. O. Ogunjuyigbe – August 2019 – Date