- LETTER OF MOTIVATION FOR THE POSITION OF VICE CHANCELLOR OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY BY PROFESSOR VENANSIUS BARYAMUREEBA
My name is Venansius Baryamureeba. I was born on 18th May 1969 in Ibanda District, Uganda. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Master of Science in Computer and PhD in Computer Science among other qualifications. I am a Professor of Computer Science, a researcher, consultant, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and accomplished businessman.
I am motivated to apply for the position of Vice Chancellor of Makerere University because of the following reasons:
As per Section 31(1) of the Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 as amended, the Vice Chancellor is responsible for the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the University. I have performed these responsibilities before with distinction having served as the 14th Vice Chancellor of Makerere University (2009-2012) and Founding Vice Chancellor of Uganda Technology and Management University (2012-2015). Prior to serving as Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, I also served as Dean of the Faculty of Computing and IT (2005-2009) and Director of the Institute of Computer Science (2001-2005) both at Makerere University. In both positions, I was responsible for the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the Faculty/Institute. As Dean/Director, my service to the University was exceptional and the results/ outputs are well documented in the Institute/Faculty/University annual reports for the respective years and I have briefly documented them in my Curriculum Vitae (CV) as well.
With over 14 years of senior management experience and over 16 years of governance and boardroom experience, I am one of the most experienced University leaders in the region. This wealthy experience and exposure explains why I have been sought after to serve on various boards. I am currently Chairperson of the following boards/councils: Makerere University Business School Council; St. Augustine International University Council; UTAMU Board of Directors/Trustees; Busitema University Appointments Board; and Uganda Business and Technical Examinations (UBTEB) Board. In the past, I have also served as the Chairperson of the following boards/councils/bodies: The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Innovation Council; the Regional Universities Forum (RUFORUM); Inter University Council for East Africa (IUCEA); the Uganda Vice Chancellors’ Forum (UVCF); Research and Education Network of Uganda (RENU); Makerere University Senate and UTAMU Senate among others. I have also served as a member of the following boards/councils: African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD); National Council for Higher Education (NCHE); Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB); Makerere University Council; Busitema University Council; Uganda Technology and Management University Council; Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) Senate; and Busitema University Senate among others. My detailed work and boardroom experience is contained in my CV. Through my service on agencies such as the National Council for Higher Education and the Inter-University Council for East Africa, I have gained experience in monitoring quality in higher education institutions. Under both NCHE and IUCEA I served on several visitation committees in the capacity of Chairperson, Team Leader or Member to institutions in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to monitor and ensure quality standards. This experience will definitely come in handy in ensuring that the quality of Uganda’s ivory tower, Makerere University, is never compromised.
Besides the above boardroom and leadership experience, I have received several awards and recognitions at national, regional, continental and international levels. The details of these and much more are documented in my CV as well.
As a Former Vice Chancellor and Professor of Computer Science, I have demonstrable experience and expertise required to promote and oversee teaching and learning, research and innovations and knowledge transfer partnerships and networking, which are the core functions of Makerere University. I ably understand the roles of the different players in a University since I have served in all capacities. This experience in management and governance is very important for the smooth running of a large University since the Vice Chancellor must work, interact and relate well with the different players, stakeholders and officers of the University.
As a sign of confidence and recognition of the wealth of expertise shown above, I have often been tasked to participate in recruitment and selection of chief executives of universities and other agencies. This is also a clear testimony of my stature, calibre and standing in society. I was a member of the Search Committee for the Chancellor of Makerere University (2007), Vice Chancellor of Busitema University (2007-2008), Vice Chancellor of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (2014), and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Busitema University (2012). I was Chairperson of the search committee for the Deputy Vice Chancellors of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (2014). I chaired the Administrative Board of IUCEA that searched for and recruited the Executive Secretary and Deputy Executive Secretary of IUCEA (2010). I also chaired the Board of UBTEB (2015, 2016) that recruited the Executive Secretary and the Deputy Executive Secretaries of UBTEB among others. These and other responsibilities speak volumes about my suitability to serve as a rational leader in a critical position of Vice Chancellor of Makerere University.
I am very passionate about higher education and I would like to make more contribution to higher education in Uganda through serving as the Vice Chancellor of the largest and premier University in Uganda. Makerere University transformed into a collegiate University on 30th December 2011 under my leadership as Vice Chancellor but shortly thereafter on 31st August 2012 my term of office came to an end. At the time when I handed over the office of Vice Chancellor, Makerere University was still undergoing change management. Once an institution has gone through the four stages of change management (overcoming resistance, engaging employees, implementing change in phases, and communicating the change), a Chief Executive should focus on building a foundation for success despite the fact that the four (4) stages are repetitive. Five years later, Makerere University is still building a foundation for the success of constituent colleges. So I am more than willing to complete what I started since I was the main driver behind a collegiate University, which is definitely the way to go for a prestigious university. I acknowledge that a lot needs to be done to ensure that Makerere University operates smoothly in a fully-fledged collegiate system. There is still need to push for devolution of powers and functions to the colleges from the centre. Thus by end of 2018, under my leadership, I would like to pledge that I will work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that Makerere University will have delegated the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the University to the constituent colleges in conformity with the delegation levels stipulated in the Makerere University constituent colleges statute. A reasonable proportion of revenue generated at each college from tuition fees, research overheads and services shall remain at the college to support college activities. Also after more than 6 years of implementation of a collegiate system, there is need to review/assess the structures under each college to cater for uniqueness and optimise efficiency and operations in each college. If given an opportunity to serve Makerere University again, this review/ assessment shall be completed before end of 2018.
At Makerere University, the Vice Chancellor is the Chief Public Relations Officer of the University. Throughout my tenure as Vice Chancellor, I ably took on this significant role of Chief Public Relations Officer. In fact, when I took over as Vice Chancellor of Makerere University in 2009, I played a key role in revamping the public relations function of the University. I started regular monthly press conferences where we would inform the public about current news and developments in the University. We also held special press conferences whenever there was need. Later alone, we created positions of communication officers in all colleges and this greatly improved public relations of the University. Generally, we were able to greatly improve the University relations with government, development partners, the media and the general public. Also the good publicity led to increased support from government and development partners to Makerere University towards research and innovations. After leaving Makerere University in 2012, I started UTAMU and served as Founding Vice Chancellor and Chief Public Relations Officer of this young university and within a space of less than three (3) years, UTAMU became a household name and grew from 40 pioneer students to over 1000 students. I have also engaged successfully in public relations for other agencies/ boards/ councils/ organisations where I have served as Chairperson.
By virtue of my training in computer science at master’s and PhD levels, I bring on board a lot of expertise in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the academic, administration and financial affairs of the University including financial management and academic records. I have experience in successfully managing tele-education programs under the Pan African E-Network Project that was funded by the Government of India and the African Union. As Director of the Institute of Computer Science and later as Dean of the Faculty of Computing and IT, I managed the development and successful delivery of e-learning courses in the institute/ faculty but also extended training in e-learning across the University. In the period 2009—2012, as Vice Chancellor, I did promote and implement e-learning across Makerere University. During my tenure as Vice Chancellor of Uganda Technology and Management University, I worked with my robust team to fully computerise the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the University. As a Consultant, I also have been involved in information systems development, deployment and integration in several African countries. My expertise and leadership will greatly enable Makerere University to fully migrate online all the services including teaching and learning, library services, academic records, financial records and student and staff services. If given this opportunity to serve, I shall ensure that Makerere University is fully computerized to enable transparent, efficient and effective service delivery.
I am also happy to note that I have expertise in resource generation and mobilisation. I have demonstrable experience in resource mobilization from donor communities, government and generation of Appropriation in Aid (AIA). During my tenure as Director and Dean at Makerere University, I mobilised a lot of financial resources for my Institute/Faculty. During my tenure as Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, I mobilised resources for the University from the Government of Uganda, development partners and foundations among others. As Vice Chancellor of Makerere University (2009-2012), I supported the implementing units to submit project/research proposals and this enabled the Planning and Development Department, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training and the Colleges (Schools, Institutes and Centres) to win and manage several project/ research grants on behalf of the University. As Vice Chancellor of Uganda Technology and Management University (2012-2015), I did mobilise vast resources from development partners, international agencies and the government of Uganda. I plan to aggressively spearhead the generation and mobilisation of financial and other resources for Makerere University to enable it fulfill its vision and mission.
I have proven experience in planning and development of educational infrastructure. In 2005, I spearheaded the construction of the largest computing building in Africa, Block B with 12,500sq metres of space worth over US$ 20 million. On 28th January 2009, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, officially opened the building. The Block B building was funded from internally generated funds in the Faculty of Computing and IT. It was equipped and furnished with grants from the Dutch Government and other development partners. I had previously spearheaded the construction of the Faculty of Computing and IT Block A building with 2500sq metres of space, which was funded by the Royal Kingdom of Norway and was commissioned on 28th January 2004 by the Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda. Thus, in a space of 8 years, the Faculty of Computing and IT under my leadership increased its educational infrastructure by 15,000 sq. metres. Through projects mainly funded by the Dutch government, the Faculty of Computing and IT was able to equip its various laboratories in both Block A and Block B with thousands of computers and other specialised laboratory facilities. During my reign as Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, I was the Overall Project Coordinator of ADB V Project– Makerere University Component. I was part of the three-person team that wrote the initial project concept of ADB V. This was a 5-year government initiative coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Sports and spearheaded at Makerere University by the Vice Chancellor and funded through the ADB V loan worth US$30.04 (UA19.4) Million contributed towards improving the infrastructure and research capacity of Makerere University. The centralized facilities/ buildings under the ADB V Project were launched by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and President Mwai Kibaki at Makerere University Freedom Square on 24th January 2012. It was on this same day that the two Presidents officially inaugurated the Constituent Colleges.
I have a lot of experience in investment projects. Over the next 5 years, I plan to work and mentor teams towards having state of the art infrastructure including buildings and facilities to support the core functions of teaching and learning, research and innovations and knowledge transfer partnerships and networking. We will also work towards strengthening the Investment arm of the University to undertake projects such as Makerere University Teaching Hospital, Makerere University Bank, Makerere University Hotel, Makerere University Shopping Mall, Makerere University Insurance Company, Makerere University Travel Agency, Makerere University Student Centre and Makerere University Fuel and Service Station among others. The investment arm of the University will also be supported to take lead in the development of the University land in partnership with the private sector. I intend to focus on strengthening the established Makerere University Foundation and Makerere University Holding Company to effectively oversee all companies established by Makerere University.
My private sector experience (as a Consultant, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman) enriches my profile especially in performance based management, customer care, customer responsiveness and introduction of business models within the University especially in the operations of the constituent colleges. I intend to support and mentor colleges to focus on their niche areas and generate/ mobilise additional financial resources for their budgets.
I also bring on board relevant consultancy experience needed by the 21st Century Vice Chancellor. For instance, I am a Team Leader/ Lead Consultant engaged by the East African Community (EAC) through East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) for the period 8th May– 26th June 2017 to carry out an assessment of Knowledge and Technology Transfer institutions and identify potential Regional Centers of Excellence in Knowledge and Technology Transfer in the EAC. As part of this consultancy, we shall also develop regional guidelines on Intellectual Property Rights.
I have experience in talent identification and nurturing of innovators and incubation of start-ups. Currently, I serve on on the The National Science, Technology and Innovation Programme (NSTIP) Evaluation Committee that provides seed grants to innovators among others. In 2008 with support of USD 300,000 from Rockefeller Foundation, I was able to start a National Software Incubation Centre at the School of Computing and IT, Makerere University. The students were mentored by professionals from industry in Uganda and international organisations such as IBM, Cisco and FedEx who developed problems in form of projects for the students to undertake. The facility not only provided the students with technical skills, but also with other skills like entrepreneurship, marketing, and product branding among others. During that time, we graduated at least 100 Certified Software Engineers/ Developers every six months. Most graduates of this programme are self employed with well established businesses. Once appointed Vice Chancellor, I shall link such innovation and incubation facilities with similar entities in the developed world and venture capitalists in places like Silicon Valley. In a space of five (5) years, Makerere University should be able to buy equity in its own promising start-ups and be able to own shares worth at least USD 1 billion by 2022.
I have vast knowledge and experience in the various ranking criteria for higher education institutions. During my tenure as Vice Chancellor (2009-2012), I did set the foundation for international quality assessment at Makerere University and since then the rankings of Makerere University improved from being among the top 60 Universities to the top 10 Universities in Africa by the time I left Makerere University. So we shall build on the current state of ranking to make it better. I shall be able to work with the rest of the University community to ensure that we improve on the various parameters used in the rankings to ensure that Makerere University becomes the leading institution in research and innovations in Africa.
As a leader, I have demonstrable experience to turn my rivals/ competitors into a winning team. One of the most revered American Presidents, Abraham Lincoln after winning the Presidency did appoint his rivals in cabinet and his successes are documented in a book, ‘’Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln’’. When I was appointed Vice Chancellor in 2009, I did work very well with my competitors in the position of Vice Chancellor of 2009 and I plan to do the same once I am appointed Vice Chancellor of Makerere University this time round.
I have a proven track record of relating well with government. I have continued to provide advisory services to government ministries, departments and agencies. Within the Ministry of Education and Sports, I currently serve on boards in key institutions like UBTEB, Makerere University Business School and Busitema University. In the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations, I serve on on the The National Science, Technology and Innovation Programme (NSTIP) Evaluation Committee. I continue to advise Uganda Bureau of Statistics and Ministry of Information and Communications Technology on matters of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). I have maintained good relations with key persons in the three arms of government. This will enable me to lobby for Makerere University’s interests and financial resources in form of increased government subvention and projects.
I am a results oriented leader and manager. This can be confirmed by several achievements at Makerere University when I served as Vice Chancellor (2009-2012) and those of the Institute of Computer Science/Faculty of Computing and IT in the period 1st July 2001 to 30th June 2010 as summarised in my curriculum vitae, annual reports of the Institute/Faculty/University and Makerere University website among the many sources. Also the annual reports of Uganda Technology and Management University since 2012 attest to the fact that I am a results oriented leader and manager.
As I conclude, I would like to note that Makerere University aspires to become the leading institution for academic excellence and innovations in Africa. For this to be possible, it needs excellent leadership. I have a proven managerial record in handling of the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the University. I have a private sector orientation that has enabled me to integrate business models in the management of the affairs of the University. I have a proven fundraising/resource mobilisation record. I am ready to work towards increasing the University’s resource envelope through lobbying, fundraising and resource mobilisation in order to improve on staff welfare, teaching and learning, research and innovations, knowledge transfer partnerships and networking among others. I have proven experience in enabling partnerships with the Government of Uganda, development partners, donors, alumni, friends of Makerere University and the general public. I possess international stature credentials and recognitions and I am an eminent Professor in my own discipline. More so, Makerere University is my alma mater and previous employer, which only gives me more zeal to serve it to the very best of my ability. As Vice Chancellor, I shall spearhead the provision of innovative teaching, learning, research and services responsive to national and global needs. I am therefore more than willing and able to serve as the next Vice Chancellor of Makerere University (2017-2022) and make Makerere University the leading institution for academic excellence and innovations in Africa. AS WE BUILD FOR THE FUTURE.
Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, PhD
APPLICANT FOR THE POSITION OF VICE CHANCELLOR OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY (2017-2022)