14 Jan

Prof. Peter M.F. Mbithi, the just-installed UoN Vice Chancellor.

The new Vice Chancellor for the University of Nairobi is officially Professor Peter M.F. Mbithi, who was inaugurated today morning at Taifa Hall in main campus.

After beating three other candidates to clinch the prestigious position, Prof. Mbithi enters the university’s annals of history as its 7th Vice Chancellor after Professor Magoha who served with distinction for 10 years, since 2005.

Present to witness his official installation were, among other distinguished guests, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi and the Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi.

In honor of his predecessors, Prof. Mbithi announced being “determined to ensure that the University of Nairobi becomes the ultimate”.

Hence his first priority is to ensure that the University of Nairobi produces quality and holistic graduates in diverse fields of study to meet the expectations of the market and to provide solutions to the challenges affecting society. This will be achieved when the academic processes are reviewed with a view to ensuring quality programmes and increasing the relevance of  graduates to industry. The areas targeted include upscaling the integration of ICT into teaching and learning, in-building experiential learning in all programmes, implementing all-round student mentorship by faculty, and sustained faculty training on pedagogy and hydragogy.

In enhancing the quantity, quality and relevance of research, the university administration is expected to focus on building the capacity of researchers, improving the management of research funds, enhancing dissemination of research outputs to society, incubating research efforts and partnering with industry to commercialize research outputs. This will even mean the administration increasing internal research funding “starting with at least KSh 1 million funding to any staff with a fundable proposal”.

The VC also envisions to improve academic and social facilities for students. The move, among other things, entails the construction of a building for the Computing Centre of Excellence and incubation lab (C4DLab).

Lastly, the administrator’s other major goal is to professionalize resource management, which will see the increase in staff productivity as well as  improvement in institutional efficiency. This will call for the automation of all core business processes and ensuring managers make decisions informed by computer-based information and analytics; more power, resources and decision-making would be devolved to the university’s basic operating units, among other courses of actions.

Incidentally,  the Vice Chancellor indicated that his reform agenda is captured in the university’s 10 “strategic objectives”. They are :

  1. World class University Status
  2. Fundraising, Resource Mobilization and Sustainability Strategy
  3. Infrastructure Development
  4. Graduate Skills Enhancement Program
  5. Students’ Experience in Campus
  6. University Research
  7. Develop Visionary, Innovative and Creative Leadership
  8. Image and Competitiveness of the University
  9. Our Alumni, Our Strength
  10. Community Service

 

About the Writer

Moses Omusolo is the Social Media Manager, C4DLab.