To all members of the University Community,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I want to start by acknowledging the milestones that we have achieved in our stride towards becoming a vibrant, relevant and sustainable University. This has been made possible through your contribution and sacrifice in tandem with the Philosophy and the spirit of University of Nairobi. We have downsized our program offering from over 572 to 326 programs. This will enable us to focus more on where we have a competitive advantage and channel more resources to our flagship programs. We have also managed to implement a series of financial strategies that have sealed loopholes for financial leakages and yielded cost savings. Overally, we have also eliminated duplication of functions and processes that has resulted in enhanced efficiency in service delivery and ensured compliance with the applicable legislation. The momentum for a vibrant, relevant and sustainable university must be maintained. This is the only pathway to world-class status. According to Jamil Salmi, 2009, world class universities have in common the following attributes.
A) a high concentration of talents (faculty and students),
B) abundant resources to offer a rich learning environment, and
C) favorable governance features that encourages innovation, flexibility and absence of bureaucracy. These attributes are our compass. The journey is tortious but we shall reach our destination.
Ladies and Gentlemen
We must now turn to the other critical intervention areas, namely the people and data. The University is about People. The people include members of staff-the teaching staff and the non-teaching staff, Students, the Community, the collaborators and the enduring linkages with the Industry and other academic institutions.
Ladies and Gentlemen
We shall continue to implement various interventions that make the student life at the University of Nairobi memorable. A space where they are molded to become responsible citizens and leaders of our time and in the future. The senate recently appointed a committee to address and enrich the student representation in decision committees of senate. Prof. Fred Jonyo is chairing the committee. I call upon all staff and students to present their views to the committee.
During the 65th graduation, I pronounced myself on the issue of Work study program for our students. I mentioned that henceforth all temporary/casual jobs in the University will be reserved for students unless where they do not have capacity or competing demand for time will not allow. To implement this, I ask the DVC AA, the Chief Operations Officer, and the Dean of students to finalize the development of implementation guidelines and have the program rolled out immediately. Good character will be a key consideration when offering an opportunity for work study program.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Staff motivation is a key factor in people reforms. Building an organizational culture that Motivates and recognizes the contribution of employees is vital in the success of any organization. Last weekend, I held a consultative meeting with three staff unions namely UASU –for academic staff, KUDHEHIA for support staff and KUSU for technical and administrative staff. We discussed various issues including the need to address staff motivation and performance. To that end we agreed on the finalization of the implementation of the 2017-2021 CBA in compliance with the SRC guidelines. Consequently, I directed the Director of Finance and the Director Human resources to ensure that due diligence is taken in placing all staff in their correct salary notches beginning 30th October 2021. Of note however, is that compliance with the CBA 2017-2021 in line with SRC guidelines will further strain the fragile financial position of the University. This is because the finances to implement the CBA only covered the CBA 2017-2021 cycle which ended in June 30th 2021. Capitation to university has not been enhanced to cover for the new salaries neither has more money been given for enhanced doctors allowances. Thus there are attendant challenges that will be brought about by the implementation of the CBA. I call upon all staff to continue to work diligently to enhance efficiency in performance and to support management as we develop more strategies for generating more income and implementing cost saving measures.
Ladies and gentlemen
Data is a key resource. It’s noteworthy that in the present technology-based and data driven world, data has become the raw material of efficient operations and an innovative source for enormous socio-economic value. Quality and reliable institutional data is critical for positioning the University of Nairobi, and allow it to continue to build on its strengths, improve on its performance, execute the developmental strategy, establish a competitive differentiation and buttress its reputation in higher education sector. Furthermore, the Chancellors, Dr. (Mrs. Vijoo Rattansi, OGW Visitation Panel conducted in the year 2016 observed that planning and efficient management at the University was being impeded by the absence of a coordinated university-wide data management and access system. There is urgent need to reengineer the way data is managed at University of Nairobi. We shall soon embark on university wide data gathering focusing on all our operational areas. I call upon all staff to support this exercise.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to thank you all for the very successful September graduation ceremony. I am now pleased to announce the date for second graduation this year. The 66th graduation ceremony shall be held virtually on 17th December 2021. This is to request all those who are slated to Graduate on this date to make all arrangements and clear in good time before the deadline.
Thank you and God bless you richly
PROF. STEPHEN KIAMA GITAHI, PHD