NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 5 – The University of Nairobi inaugurated its eight Vice Chancellor on Friday, ending a long-drawn leadership tussle at the premier education institution that lasted two months, and delayed the installation of a Vice Chancellor for almost five months.
Prof Stephen Gitahi Kiama, whose appointment by the University Council on January 5 was revoked by who later withdrew the revocation on February 27 after intense court battles, was installed as Vice Chancellor on effectively succeeding Prof Peter Mbithi at an event that was presided by University of Nairobi Chancellor Vijoo Rattansi.
While presenting the instruments of power to Prof Kiama, Rattansi reassured him of her support describing him as a leader with a remarkable gift in people management, eye for detail, and exemplary skills in financial management, networking, fundraising, and resource mobilization.
“I pray that wisdom and foresight may be in your stead from this day onward so that you may act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. For as long you tread this narrow path in the service to our community and country, be assured of my unqualified support,” she said.
On his part, the new VC expressed his commitment to ensuring the University attains a legacy of academic excellence
“With efficient systems, structures, processes, curriculum, and financial systems, we will eradicate internal wastage and achieve optimal resource utilization, attract quality students to our classrooms and draw the best minds across the globe,” he said.
“In faith, we will reclaim our glory and build an academic edifice that will inspire fresh hope and push the frontiers of university education locally, regionally, and internationally,” Prof Kiama added.
He reiterated the need to focus on purposeful-training that ensures the students access courses that will enable them to meet the market, industry, societal, and government needs.
“I believe that there is a compelling need to refresh our management, administrative, oversight, and governance structures. This will entail the elimination of redundant and overlapping systems &reporting centers,” Prof Kiama noted.
Prior to his appointment as the 8th VC , Prof Kiama served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Human Resource and Administration and Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor in-charge of Finance, Planning, and Development.
He replaces Prof Mbithi whose attempt to serve for the second term was rejected last year.
Prof Kiama started his career as an Assistant lecturer at the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and climbed up the ladder being a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, and Full Professor.
Besides his role at the University, Prof Kiama is the Chairperson of Deans and Principals of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) which brings together 114 Universities in 38 African countries.
He was handed the instruments of power which include; The Constitution of Kenya, The Universities Act. No. 42 of 2012 (2015, 2016, 2018), The University of Nairobi Charter 2013, The Universities Standards and Guidelines, 2014, The Code of Conduct and Ethics for Public Universities, 2009, The University of Nairobi Statutes, The University of Nairobi Seal, The UoN Logo, The Replica of the Fountain of Knowledge, The Custody of Nairobi Records and the University of Nairobi Mace.