Mak’s Ddumba Quits VC Race
Makerere University will get a new Vice Chancellor and it won’t be the incumbent Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu.
Ddumba ruled himself out of the running for another term in office after what he called a flawed selection process.
He said: “I’m a decent man and I mean my word. I have criticized the process that is used to elect a vice chancellor. I believe it’s bad for proper management of this university; therefore, I can’t subject myself to a process I lost confidence in.”
The Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act stipulates that the search committee should be composed of two members from the University Council and three from the University Senate.
Last week Dr Betty Ezati, Dr Frank Mwine and Prof Joseph Mugisha were selected as Senate representatives. The University Council sent in Irene Odida and Bruce Balaba.
The committee will identify suitable candidates and forward names to the Senate which will then trim the list to three candidates to be considered by the University Council.
It is this process that Ddumba-Sentamu finds unhelpful; ‘My issue is the process of getting the vice chancellor. You can’t vote for a Vice Chancellor; it should be the president to appoint because it the office is not political, I believe it’s bad for proper management of this university.”
Ddumba added: “Like the president appoints ministers and he sends the names to parliament, let him appoint the Vice Chancellor, you cannot have people busy looking for votes. This is an academic institution for God’s sake.”
Professor Edward Kirumira, the head of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences agrees with Ddumba:
“In principle the policy is fine because it empowers university employees to have a say on who becomes their leader. However, in practice it has become extremely impossible to have the best leaders to lead this institution because of the nature of the electorate,” Kirumira was quoted in the The Observer.
“I think it’s time we paid more attention to the kind of members that sit at the senate and the university council. If you have members with a certain degree of competency and integrity, the process of election wouldn’t be a problem,” Kirumira said.