MUK VC candidates deliver public presentations with vigor

The highly anticipated public presentations by candidates campaigning for the post of Vice Chancellor, Makerere University lived up to its billing, drawing a large audience, TV viewers as well as social media audiences from far and wide. The ceremony held last Thursday, 15th June 2017 in the Main Hall was lively, informative and brought forth the best of candidates’ public presentation and question answering skills.

The public presentation is part of activities in line with the Vice Chancellor Search Process, aimed at giving the candidates an opportunity to present their vision for Makerere University, interact with stakeholders and respond to questions from the public. The Vice Chancellor Search Committee consists of five members namely; Hon. Irene Ovonji-Odida (Chairperson), Mr. Bruce Balaba Kabaasa (Vice Chairperson), Prof. JYT Mugisha (Member), Dr. Betty Ezati (Member) and Dr. Frank Mwine.

First up to deliver his presentation was Prof. Edward Kirumira, followed by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and finally Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba. The event was moderated by Prof. Celestino Obua-Vice Chancellor, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Prof. Christine Dranzoa-Vice Chancellor, Muni University.

“I will ensure proper and timely accountability as well as restore stakeholder confidence in Makerere’s financial management. Through provision of research and advisory services to government, we shall also be able to generate revenue,” said Prof. Kirumira in his presentation.

He further intends to undertake Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), grow the endowment Fund, ensure every College undertakes flagship projects and strengthen convocation initiatives to widen the institution’s resource envelope.

Prof. Nawangwe however looks to embark on infrastructure development such as modern hotels, hostels for students and a teaching hospital as supplementary sources of finance.

“I am naturally a resource mobilize, therefore this will not be a problem. In my tenure as Deputy Vice Chancellor, I have successfully negotiated with KCCA and improved roads, lighting and other infrastructure on campus,” he said.

Nawangwe’s campaign largely dwelt on the accomplishments he has managed to register in his current capacity including the new tuition fees policy for students. He said; “My priority when I take office will be to convince government to hasten the process of taking over the staff wage bill. The salary incentive is draining the university.”

The former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Baryamureeba who received the loudest applause throughout his submissions wants to increase Makerere’s revenue by 25 per cent each year. His ambitious plan involves establishing a grants office at each College by 2018, development of idle land for commercial use and increasing enrollment for short courses.

“We must attract high profile individuals globally by either naming facilities after them or awarding them Honorary Degrees to make them our alumni. This will make it easy to get them to finance us,” Baryamureeba said.

Research and Innovation

Research is critical for an institution like Makerere and it is part of what is considered in its rankings.

Baryamureeba whose background is rooted in ICT stressed the need to have every College host an annual open day as well as an international; conference and journal. He also said he will link startups to the industry and to continue from where he stopped in boosting Makerere’s visibility.

On his part, Nawangwe said he will set up a government liaison office to keep the university abreast with upcoming policies and consultancy opportunities. By James Otai

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