Engraved on the University of Nairobi logo are the Latin words, 'Unitate et Labore'.This means 'unite in labor'. As a community, we are bound to this call. During my installation as Vice-Chancellor on June 5, 2020, I appealed to all staff and students to make every effort to recalibrate our collective culture and attitudes towards teamwork, while upholding discipline and integrity; commitment to duty and scholarship; and efﬁciency and excellence.
Indeed, with your support and dedication of time and energies in honest service to our university, we are set to reach the promised land in building an enduring legacy of academic excellence. In faith, we will reclaim our glory and build an academic ediﬁce that inspires fresh hope as we push the frontiers of university education locally, regionally, and internationally.
In my inaugural speech as Vice-Chancellor, I shared with you my considered thoughts on the path we need to embark on to advance the University of Nairobi towards a trajectory of excellence.
Firstly, we will need to invest our energies and resources in setting up a comprehensive integrated data management system. This will entail re-engineering our business processes and embedding the use of technology in curriculum content delivery; human resource management; ﬁnancial management; student management, including the administration of exams; research grants management; and timetabling among others.
Secondly, we will need to refresh our management, administrative, oversight, and governance structures. This will entail the elimination of redundant and overlapping systems, processes, structures, and reporting centres. It will also entail encouraging the ﬂow of power, resources, responsibility, and accountability to the lowest levels. We will also need to institutionalise efﬁcient decision and policy making and implementation at every level.
Thirdly, we will need to embark on the path of ﬁt-for-purpose training. We shall relook at our university course offerings and assess the level to which they respond to market, industry, societal, and government needs as we also weed out redundant and overlapping courses and programmes.
The three proposed interventions will go hand in hand with ﬁnancial reforms geared towards institutionalising prudent ﬁnancial management and controls, efﬁcient and participatory budget formulation mechanisms, and ﬁscal and budgetary discipline. It is my expectation that the proposed ﬁnancial reforms will lead to efﬁcient payment and receipts management to check revenue leakage while enhancing the optimal utilisation of resources, reduction of wastage, and review of the ﬁnancial viability of income-generating units. These reforms will also cover the e-procurement functions so as to maximise efﬁciency, increase transparency and accountability, and deliver value for money. An efﬁcient and optimal internal ﬁnancial ecosystem will allow the university to m o v e wi t h c o n ﬁ d e n c e w h e n mobilising for external resources because of the assurance that every cent received will, at the very least, render 100 percent of its value.
The net effect of these measures is an increased university value proposition, making us the destination of choice for both local and international students, scholars, innovators, and industry. We are also aiming at becoming the preferred knowledge partner for government as regards ideas, solutions, consultants, and policy direction.
I am confident that with the implementation of these measures, we will be true to our mission, 'To provide quality university education and t raining and to embody the aspirations of the Kenyan people and the global community through creation, preservation, integration, transmission, and utilisation of knowledge.