Saturday, January 15, 2022

The University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kiama Gitahi yesterday received strong support for the governance reforms from the leadership of the University Academic Staff Union.  UASU officials who had initially opposed the reforms and moved to court to stop the reform process said that they have reached an agreement with the Vice-Chancellor following a series of consultative meetings.

The Union led by its national leadership and the University of Nairobi chapter officials signed a deal that resolved the long-standing impasse and paved the way for the implementation of reforms. The Union also resolved to withdraw the court case against the vice-chancellor. In the meantime, the University management also agreed to make some adjustments. The Position of the Deputy Vice-Chancellors which had been renamed Associate Vice-Chancellors will return to Deputy Vice Chancellors. They also agreed to return to the old system of elected deans as opposed to appointed deans. The management also agreed to reorganize some faculties and departments.

Speaking on behalf of the Union, Dr. Constantine Wasonga, National Secretary-General, said they have established that the reforms will not affect their members negatively. “Now that we have been involved and we have been given the road map of restructuring, what else do we need the court for? We have agreed and the courts cannot restructure UoN. It is the parties concerned to sit down and come up with a restructuring road map’’.

Prof. Kiama on his side said that the University of Nairobi has a big responsibility in the higher education sector and it must offer leadership without fear or favor. It must lead by example and resolve the issues through consultation and agreement with the Unions is a good example that will be emulated by other universities.  He said that the University of Nairobi always set precedence- “when we are broke, you hear that all universities are broke “.