NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 16 – The Board of Trustees of the United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) has announced the appointment of Dr Paul Tiyambe Zeleza as the institution’s new Vice Chancellor, with effect from 1 January, 2016.
The decision was made by The Board of Trustees – the university’s governing body – after a rigorous, extensive recruitment process which kicked off a few months ago. The resolution to pick a new Vice Chancellor followed the announcement of the impending retirement of Professor Freida Brown, who has served the university for the last 21 years.
Dr Zeleza is the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of History at Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut. He joined Quinnipiac after serving as Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts as well as Professor of History and African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University.
Prior to that Dr Zeleza was Head of the Department of African American Studies and the Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He also taught at the Pennsylvania State University, and was Director of the Centre for African Studies and Professor of History and African Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr Zeleza is a Malawian national.
Making the announcement, the university’s Chancellor Dr Manu Chandaria said: “We are delighted to announce this appointment, well aware of both the promise and the challenges facing the new leadership the university now seeks. All parties are committed to helping the Dr Zeleza succeed, for this success will mean fulfilment of USIU-Africa’s promise to be a transformative institution in Kenya and the region.”
Dr Chandaria recognised immense contribution of the outgoing Vice Chancellor Prof Brown to the development of the University, noting that her excellent leadership, spanning over two decades, has helped position USIU-A as the region’s premier, private institution.
Speaking on the appointment, Prof Brown said: “I am pleased that the University has appointed Dr Zeleza as my successor. He is a distinguished academic and manager who has much to offer the university at all levels. I wish him every success in continuing the development of the United States International University-Africa and its work.”
Dr Zeleza will work in close alignment with the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and other members of the Management Council, to oversee a broad spectrum of activities including the four academic schools, student affairs, admissions, registration, library, faculty development, information technology, operations and the implementation of the strategic plan.
Dr Zeleza’s academic work has traversed traditional boundaries, ranging from economic and intellectual history to human rights, gender studies and Diaspora studies. He has published more than 300 journal articles, book chapters, reviews, short stories and online essays and authored or edited 27 books, several of which have won international awards including Africa’s most prestigious book prize, the Noma Award, for his books A Modern Economic History of Africa (1993) and Manufacturing African Studies and Crises (1997).
His most recent books include In Search of African Diasporas: Testimonies and Encounters (2012) and Africa’s Resurgence: Domestic, Global and Diaspora Transformations (2014) and Transformations in Global Higher Education (forthcoming). He has presented nearly 250 keynote addresses, papers, and public lectures at leading universities and international conferences in 31 countries and served on the editorial boards of more two dozen journals and book series and edited a personal online magazine, The Zeleza Post, from 2004-2012.
The incoming Vice Chancellor will join a vibrant academic community boasting a diverse student body of close to 6,000 students represents 69 nationalities – 15 percent of whom are international.