By Innocent Anguyo and Raymond Walwimbi
MAKERERE University Chancellor Prof Mondo Kagonyera has advised the institution to diversify its source of revenue and not depend entirely on tuition fees and government allocations.
He made the remarks on Thursday morning while inaugurating the Board of Trustees, Makerere University Endowment Fund.
The purpose of the Endowment Fund is to mobilize resources from Makerere alumni and well-wishers, to diversify the institution’s constrained resource base.
Renowned corporate business manager Dr. Martin Jerome Okec Aliker is the founding chairperson of the seven-member board. All the members are Makerere alumni.
Other members include Barnabas Tumusingize of Sebalu & Lule Advocates; Grace Isabirye, the former acting director of NSSF; Martin Owiny, a former board member of KCB; Ambassador Edith Ssempala; Youth MP Gerald Karuhanga and Makerere Vice Chancellor Prof John Ddumba Ssentamu.
Defining members of the board as ‘persons of substance’, Prof Mondo Kagonyera, the Makerere University Chancellor asked them to come up with innovative projects that would expand the university’s resource envelope.
Noting that most of the problems at Makerere were anchored on money (or lack of it), Kagonyera noted that the establishment of a body to seek alternative source of financing for the university was long overdue.
“I am extremely happy to see you Aliker and your team being inaugurated to be able to help Makerere try to get out of the chronic disease of financial in efficiency,” said Kagonyera.
Kagonyera said in great universities all over the world, finances have been greatly helped by endowment funds, citing an example of Harvard that has such a resource granary to the tune of $38b.
“As Makerere, we have the brains and physical capability to get the job done. The problem with us Africans is that we talk and talk and talk without action,” he reiterated.
As if responding to Kagonyera, Ddumba said by establishing the Fund, Makerere has taken a bold step to walk the talk.
(L-R) Martin Owiny, Chairperson Makerere University Council Eng. Charles Wana-Etyem, Vice Chancellor Prof Ddumba Sentamu, Chairman Board of Trustees Dr Martin Aliker, Chancellor Prof Mondo Kagonyera, Amb Edith Ssempala, Hon Gerald Karuhanga, Grace Isabirye and Barnabas Tumusingize in a group photo during the launch of the board of trustees of the Makerere University Endowment Fund. Photo by Tony Rujuta.
“We are embarking on a strategic journey focused on delivering a financially stable Makerere University. The inauguration is an indicator that we have started on the long term plan of exploring several strategies, all aimed at making Makerere University financially stable,” said Ddumba.
“Makerere University is determined to remain an intelligent institution. Intelligent institutions do not rest on the laurels of complacency reminiscing on their past and current successful performance, but instead pursue continual improvement and strive to listen to their stakeholders.”
Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem, the chairman of the Makerere University Council, the institution’s supreme governing organ said the board of trustees would receive and or mobilize funds for the benefit of University operations.
“Our long term goal is that part of the proceeds will be used to fund scholarships, research, infrastructure, high quality teaching and learning services,” said Wana-Etyem.
Ddumba urged Makerere’s alumni to embrace the initiative, saying the Makerere University Endowment fund provides institution and her alumni the opportunity to build a firm foundation for future generations.
Aliker said his team was up to the task. The board yesterday held their maiden meeting in the Council room. It was resolved that the Board of Trustees shall serve for a term of four years. Members are eligible for re-appointment for one more term.
The Makerere Council recently approved the establishment of the Fund and the board to steer it.
The initiative will be initially operationalized using the existing endowment fund (880,000 British Pounds) managed by Crown Agents.