By Alexander Kyokwijuka
Makerere University is supposed to have a new Vice Chancellor by July, 2017. Prof. Venancious Baryamureeba, Prof. J.W. Balunywa, Prof. Edward Kirumira, and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe are said to have expressed interest in the job.
Prof. Venancious Baryamureeba is a Professor of Computer Science and currently the founder and CEO of Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU. He serves as: Chairperson, Makerere University Business School, Chairperson, Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board, Chairperson, COMESA Innovations Council and Chairperson, Uganda Vice Chancellor’s Forum among many other high profile roles.
Prof. J. Waswa Balunywa is an exceptional management, leadership, entrepreneurship scholar and academic administrator, credited for having revolutionalised business education and spearheading the private students’ scheme in Uganda that has become a model for many universities across the country and region. He is currently the Principal of Makerere University Business School, a position he has held since 1999 to date. The 61 year old Business Administrator has served on the Bank of Uganda Board from 2001 to 4 June 2012 and was the last board Chairman of Uganda Airlines. He also had a short stint at Busoga Kingdom where he served as a Prime Minister of the same kingdom from 2007 to 2008. He thus presents the requisite experience in Management that Makerere University would enjoy in a VC.
Makerere University DVC F &A Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, a Registered Professional Architect and Chairman of the Architects Registration Board and a Past President of the Uganda Society of Architects, is a founder member and the National Coordinator of the Innovation Systems and Innovative Clusters Programme for Uganda. He was elected the first Chairman of the Council of the Pan-African Competitiveness Forum (PACF) in 2008. He is also a Board member of The Competitiveness Institute (TCI).
Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, the Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere University who was the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences since 2003 for eight years and a long time senator at the same university is the other gentleman eyeing the Makerere University VC job. Having been one of the finalists in the last search process that saw Prof. J.D. Sentamu take office and has not yet lost hope for the same. The population and reproductive health expert has associated with extensive research and is well exposed to some of the most thought after educational institutions in the world like Harvard University, Exeter University (UK), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the University of Copenhagen Denmark. This thus proves the resilient VC hopeful in Prof. Edward Kirumira.
In my opinion, the Makerere University Search Committee, the University Senate and University council should carefully scrutinise the four gentlemen and deliver the best innovative, visionary, energetic and competent person for the top administrative job, leaving politics behind. Repeating old mistakes would thus deepen the troubles of the Ivory tower, should the drivers of this process fail to read between the lines.
The writer is a member of Makerere University Convocation and executive director of the Youth Aid Africa, can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org