Kyambogo: VC candidate shuns Senate interview

Mar 15, 2017

The University Council is set to meet on Friday to discuss what Senate will have forwarded to them

Dr. Samuel Baker Kucel, one of the candidates who were shortlisted for the position of Kyambogo University's Vice chancellor, did not show up for his interview with Senate on Tuesday.

New Vision has learnt that of the five candidates that were recommended by the Search Committee headed by Dr. Mary Muhenda recently, Kucel, currently the deputy vice chancellor for Busitema University, did not request to be absent in the interview.

"We did not get concrete information about Kucel. We only learnt from a second person that he was attending a certain workshop at the same time" a reliable source who spoke on condition of anonymity revealed.

By press time, Kucel's known telephone number was switched off.

On Tuesday, Senate, the university's top academic organ, held a meeting to discuss among others, the recommendations that were forwarded by the Search Committee on choosing a substantive VC.

However in the meeting that lasted close to seven hours, Senate members were advised not to speak about the matter until a report on what transpired is concluded.

"We took oaths, promising that we shall not reveal anything to the public until we approve our report," the source said.

New Vision has also learnt that the University Council is set to meet on Friday this week to discuss what Senate will have forwarded to them.

The candidates who were interviewed by Senate yesterday include the acting VC Prof. Eli Katunguka, Makerere University Business School's deputy principal Prof. Geoffrey Bakunda, Prof Aaron Wanyama; the former dean faculty of science at (KYU) and Umar Ahmad Kasule, an Associate Professor at Islamic University in Uganda.

Role of a VC

A vice chancellor is responsible for the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the university. He or she supervises the university, attends Government meetings and carries out other duties.

In the absence of the chancellor, the VC has powers to preside at ceremonial assemblies of the University and confer degrees and other academic titles and distinctions of the university.

Kyambogo University was established in 2003 by merging Uganda Polytechnic Kyambogo, the Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambogo and the Uganda National Institute of Special Education.

However efforts to get a suitor for the above position have in the recent past crushed.

Efforts to install a substantive VC have in the recent past flopped. In the previous search process, the search committee headed by Prof. Patrick Mangheni produced two candidates yet the law stipulates that three candidates should be identified to vie for the post.

Mangheni in his argument explained that the two candidates then Katunguka and Bakunda, were the only qualified candidates.

What the law says

According to the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act of 2001, the search committee composed of two members from the University Council and three members from the University Senate shall identify suitable candidates for the post of VC and forward them to the Senate to nominate three candidates for recommendation to the University Council.

The Act also states that the VC shall be appointed by the Chancellor on the recommendation of the University Council from among three candidates recommended by the Senate and his appointment shall be on terms and conditions determined by the University Council for five years and shall be eligible for re-appointment for one more term.

The past acting VCs include Dr. John Opuda-Asibo who assumed office following the suspension of Prof Isaiah Omolo Ndiege and Prof Fabian Nabugomu who is the University's Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration. 

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