This is the first installation event, of its kind, in the history of our nation. The COVID-19 pandemic has confounded us and presented unprecedented challenges, that we must surmount for our own continued survival.
Historically, installation of a Vice Chancellor is an essentially significant and functionally symbolic rite of passage. In the University rich in tradition and heritage, installation is a symbolic rite of transition signifying succession at the helm of the university. It signifies that one leadership era has ended and ushers in a new one.
Stephen Kiama Gitahi Professor of Veterinary Anatomy formerly Principal College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences has had an enviable track record in academia, research and publication. This is demonstrated in his contribution to several publications that he has authored or co-authored in peer reviewed journals. His scholarly contributions are widely cited by peers as evident in his google scholar.
During the installation process, several instruments and symbols of authority were passed down to the Vice Chancellor, these being : the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Universities Act No. 42 of 2012, the University of Nairobi Charter, 2013, the Universities standards and guidelines, 2014, the Code of Conduct and ethics for Public Universities, 2009, the University of Nairobi Statutes, the Seal of the University of Nairobi, the University of Nairobi Logo, the Professor Yajnik Fountain aka Fountain of Knowledge, the Custody of records and finally the University of Nairobi Mace. The Mace represents the authority of the University of Nairobi as an institution of higher learning.
While addressing the audience the Vice Chancellor shared the need to refresh management, administrative, oversight and governance structures. This includes the need to invest our energies and resources towards setting up a comprehensive and integrated data management system. This will entail reengineering 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. Additionally, the need to embark on the path of fit-for-purpose training. We all have a role to relook at our university course offerings and to assess the level to which they respond to market, industry, societal and government needs as well as to weed out redundant and overlapping courses and programmes.
The Vice Chancellor’s installation ceremony was graced by Chair of Counci Professor Julia Ojiambo, Chancellor Dr. Vijoo Ratansi, former Vice Chancellors, Ministry of Education officials, Senate and student representatives, staff union leaders and other key stake holders.