, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5 – Twelve senior staff members of the University of Nairobi contending for positions of Deputy Vice Chancellors have agreed to back candidates picked by the University Senate.
The university’s Vice Chancellor Peter Mbithi was chairing a Senate meeting Tuesday morning to chat the way forward with regards to four newly appointed Deputy Vice Chancellors who are yet to assume duty.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed had appointed Prof Lydia Njenga, Prof Julius Ogeng’o, Prof Mohamud Jama, and Prof William Ogara as Deputy Vice Chancellors but the four are yet to be installed amid sharp divisions at the institution over their appointments.
The University Academic Staff Union (UASU) on Thursday urged the University Senate to install the new appointees warning that university operations will be adversely affected in the absence of substantive Deputy Vice Chancellors who head critical dockets of finance, administration, academic affairs, and research.
“We urge the council and stakeholders to accept those who have been appointed and support them to speedily settle down and deliver their functions for the benefit of students, staff, our local and international partners and the country at larger,” George Omondi, the unions branch secretary said in a statement.
Senior staff that had been shortlisted for the top positions at the university included Prof Madara Ogot, Prof Bernard Aduda, Prof Maurice Amutabi, Prof John Kiumi, and Prof Isaac Mbeche.
Others are Prof Henry Mutembei, Prof Stephen Kiama, and Prof Enos Njeru.
CS Mohamed picked Prof Njenga as Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension, citing the need to conform to the provisions of the Constitution on gender parity.
She had been listed third with at 63.1 per cent, after Prof Ogot and Prof Aduda who were ranked first and second respectively having scored 74 and 64.5 per cent.
Prof Jama was appointed as Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance, Development and Planning, the CS citing regional balance and inclusivity.
He was preferred over Prof Mbeche who is currently Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Student Affairs for the second and final term ending in 2021.
CS Mohamed also argued that Prof Mbeche’s appointment as head of finance would create a vacuum in his docket “exposing the university to additional recruitments costs to find a replacement.”
Prof Mbeche had emerged as the top contender for the finance docket having been ranked first with a score of 82.9 per cent, followed by Prof Jama, 68 per cent, and Prof Mutembei, 65.1 per cent.
Prof Ogara who was ranked third with a rating of 62 per cent was appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor for Human Resource and Administration on the basis of regional balance.
He was shortlisted alongside Prof Kiama, 78.7 per cent, and Prof Njeru, 73.7 per cent.
Prof Ogara who emerged as the top contender for the Student Affairs docket was appointed on the basis of performance and regional balance. He emerged top among the shortlisted candidates scoring 82.4 per cent.
Prof Amutabi and Prof Kiumi were listed second and third at 57.1 and 54.7 per cent.