June 29th 2017

Society / Education

Kibabii University lecturers threaten strike to demand appointment of VC

The Kibabii VC's position has been vacant since the institution's founding through a charter handed to them by President Uhuru Kenyatta in November 2015. Former principal, Prof. Odeo Ipara, acted for several months as vice chancellor but his contracted expired last month.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 04 Jul 2016 18:12 EAT

Lecturers at Kibabii University, which received a charter last year to become the newest public university in Kenya, have threatened to go on strike to protest the delay in appointment of a substantive vice chancellor. The University Academic Staff Union (UASU) Kibabi chapter boss Robert Nyukuri told journalists in Bungoma that the union has raised the issue with the management for several months and its patience was running out.

Dr Nyukuri said the absence of a VC was causing friction between the management and academic staff as important decisions could not be made or implemented due to a vacuum in institutional leadership. “Interviews (for the VC position) were conducted in April and May but since then the University Council has not released the names of the successful candidates. This is creating tension because other management issues cannot be handled well,” said the lecturer.

Following the interviews, the university has appointed successful candidates to two positions of Deputy Vice Chancellors, one in charge of administration, development and finance, and the other in charge of Research, Planning and Innovation. However, the institution has remained silent on the positions of Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor for academic affairs.

“We are seeing vested interests in the appointment of the Vice Chancellor and the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academics and Students Affairs. We would like to know what is happening,” said the UASU leader. He said that the interviews were flawed; there was no fairness because some candidates had prior information of the questions they were going to be asked.

The local UASU chairman, Dr Nobert Wanyonyi, said the chapter would press for the promotion of a number of lecturers who had served in their current positions for longer than is necessary. "Some of us have been in the teaching profession but our young brothers are being promoted while some of us remain in the same job group for long, let those who have taught for years also be promoted, nobody wants to remain in the same cadre forever,” he said.

The Kibabii VC's position has been vacant since the institution's founding through a charter handed to them by President Uhuru Kenyatta in November 2015. Former principal, Prof. Odeo Ipara, acted for several months as vice chancellor but his contracted expired last month.

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