The Standard Blog

Students should elect Vice Chancellors

Published on 28/06/2009

By Kipkirui K’Telwa

On Friday, National Youth Service personnel kept vigil at Kenyatta University as deans and directors of various schools and faculties read out names of graduands.

Graduation, in my opinion and experience, is supposed to be a celebration marking the

culmination of academic endeavours.

I therefore find the presence of military-like people within the university precincts repugnant to the

status of the academic institution. This should not be tolerated. University should strive to uphold democracy, human rights, and tolerance of divergent views.

Those privileged to be in the university campus should demonstrate their prowess through

the pen. Freedom in the university is too sacrosanct to be compromised and if the Vice Chancellor Prof

Olive Mugenda feels the tension between her and the students is still high, then she should either resign or suspend all the activities of the institution until such a time when calm has prevailed.

It would not be fair to say the institution has moved on from its dark past. In fact, both the University Council and Senate are mired in the past. To get out of this trap, the university should break new ground by introducing direct vetting and election of Vice- Chancellor by both students and staff.

With the introduction of pay-as-you-learn, students’ representation becomes critical in the running of the universities.

A person agreeable to university stakeholders can assume the office for a prescribed period of time. Not just anyone with a PhD. To achieve this position, a human resource search firm should only be tasked to identify potential candidates and forward their names and CVs to the university Council who will

present them to both students and staff for vetting and voting.

Voting can either be direct or through respective unions representatives. The candidate who receives the highest votes cast becomes the Vice Chancellor. But one should win at least 75 per cent of votes cast by students. And a Vice Chancellor seeking to be re-appointed has to re-apply to be considered along with other potential candidates. Efficiency, teamwork and transparency, and not force, will earn an

individual re-appointment. Those building tribal enclaves can go to their village. That is

my thought.


1. On Thursday July 2, 2009, 20:10 PM , Benard Onserio, United States wrote:

  I think the above article is vague. Learners should not be included when it comes to matters dealing with the administration appointments and the recruitments.


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