Taifa Hall, UoN
The University of Nairobi formally installed the seventh Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi in a colourful ceremony held in Taifa Hall.
During the ceremony presided over by the Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi, Prof. Mbithi was entrusted with the instruments that symbolize the powers of the office. The instruments included the University Mace, Seal, Charter and Standard.
Prof. Mbithi shared his vision of ensuring that UoN becomes a top-ranked, sustainable, world-class institution with enduring and valuable scholarly excellence. Among the areas that Prof. Mbithi will address will include reviewing academic processes and developing and up scaling the integration of ICT into learning and teaching and inbuilt experiential learning in the programmes. In addition, he will focus on enhancing the capacity of researchers, improve the management of research funds, enhance dissemination of research outputs to society, incubate research efforts and partner with industry. Further, he will work on the improvement of academic and social facilities for students with paying close attention to student mentorship, orientation, beyond classroom extracurricular activities and social life. His landmark projects will include the construction of a 5,000 capacity student hostel, School of Law towers, a teaching hospital and the CD4 laboratories all through the public-private-partnership financing model.
In order to enhance financial resources, the University will establish endowment funds, create a university foundation, partner with the private sector to finance capital projects and increase the involvement of alumni in fundraising for the alma mater. In addition, the University will work closely with the Government and lobby them to support UoN’s reform agenda, increase capitation to cater for the payroll in order to free the internally generated funds to be used for revamping facilities.
In his remarks, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Jacob Kaimenyi challenged universities to shun the ivory mentality and instead work for and with communities. He emphasised that the university should realign its activities around the core values, mission and vision. He noted that the university must invest in its middle level management because they are a core part of the development of the university and its pursuit of excellence.
Prof. Mbithi takes over from his predecessor Prof. George Magoha who served as Vice-Chancellor for a ten year term. Prof. Magoha has played a key role in transforming the University. Magoha’s major contribution to the University in a decade of service include restructuring the University, entrenching performance contracting, performance appraisal systems, launching a Service charter, carrying out intense training for change management, pursuing ISO certification, and reviewed and revitalized the University of Nairobi’s Strategic Plan. He spearheaded the landmark construction of the 22-storey University towers.
Dr. Rattansi lauded the University for being the first public university to publicly install the vice-chancellor noting that the installation of a vice-chancellor is one of the best practices among reputable universities worldwide.
Congratulatory messages were read by representatives of academic staff, administrative staff, staff unions, students, vice-chancellors, chairmen of councils and chancellors.