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TAKING CHARGE

VC Kiama signals drastic changes at UoN

Some positions will be declared redundant as VC moves to save costs

In Summary

• VC also seeks to review of the courses offered at the university and weed out redundant and overlapping courses.

• Kiama says the reforms will open the institution doors beyond the country’s border to create a strong edu-tourism to international students.

University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Stephen Kiama during an Interview on June 10, 2020.
University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Stephen Kiama during an Interview on June 10, 2020.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Stephen Kiama has outlined a five-point agenda to turn around the institution and solidify its position as an academic giant.

The VC was addressing the university fraternity virtually on Friday.

Kiama said he will streamline the finance systems, develop a data management system, review curriculum, re-examine governance structure and tap into the university talent.

 

The reforms, he said, will open the institution doors beyond the country’s border to create a strong edu-tourism to international students, scholars, innovators and industry.

"I promised to provide leadership and initiate reforms that will make our university great through relevance and impact... We are at a critical stage where change in the way we conduct our business is inevitable," Kiama said.

Kiama inherited the institution at a time of unprecedented financial distress that continues to threaten its operations.

In his address, Kiama said the university is operating under a huge financial deficit that impedes its path to world-class status. 

But to correct this, the VC said, the reforms would stop revenue leakage, wastage, and optimise utilisation of resources.

 

The financial reforms will see re-engineering of grants management to support research and extend to procurements sector.

 

In 2019, Auditor General Edward Ouko reported the university was drowning in debt. It was unable to remit workers’ deductions of Sh2 billion.

The university also failed to remit PAYE of Sh283 million, National Social Security Fund deductions of Sh3.4 million and National Hospital Insurance Fund deductions of Sh10.8 million.

It failed to submit pension contributions of Sh1.5 billion, Sacco deductions of Sh204 million and Helb deductions of Sh828,387.

In his address, the VC also said he seeks to invest in modern data management system, to help in decision making.

“This will entail reengineering our business processes and embedding the use of technology in curriculum content delivery, human resource management, research grants and management in administration of exams and timetabling,” he said. 

Kiama also said that in the coming days, the institution will review its management structure.

This will entail, identification and elimination of redundant and overlapping systems, processes, structures and reporting centers.

The VC also seeks to review of the courses offered at the university and weed out redundant and overlapping courses.

Kiama said he will "assess the overall cost of implementation of each program and the level to which they respond to market, industry, societal and government needs."

Additionally, Kiama said he will integrate industry in the teaching and research at the university, identify and celebrate talents and achievements, exploit intangible assets through commercialization and ensure the university attracts, recruits, supports and retains outstanding staff and students.