Members of the Makerere University Council under the leadership of Mrs. Lorna Magara reached out to the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology with a view of getting acquainted with the college and how it operates especially for the new members on the board.
The team had an interface with the CEDAT leadership and staff on Wednesday 1st March 2023 during which issues of mutual interest were discussed. Key among these was the need to ensure quicken the accreditation process of programs offered by the college.
‘The purpose of our visit is to get to know you, know what you are bringing on the table of the University and the nation’, said Mrs. Lorna Magara during the meeting held in the college Boardroom, attended by the Principal, Heads of Departments, Deans and other staff of the college.
The entourage of members of the Council included Mr. Karugire Edwin, the Chairperson of the Appointments Board, Dr. Sarah Ssali, Chairperson Quality Assurance, Gender & ICT Committee, Mr. Ssenngonzi Ddamulira, a Council member, Mr. George Bamugemeriire, the Chair Chairperson – Legal, Rules, Privileges & Estates Committee, Mr. Bruce Kabaasa, Chairperson of the Finance, Planning, Administration & Investment Committee.
The Principal College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology Prof. Henry Alinaitwe while welcoming the delegation to the college extended his congratulations to the Chairperson and other members of Councils for their election to the University’s high office. He informed the meeting that by June 2023, he was leaving the office of Principal and also took off a moment to extend his appreciation to his constituents in the college that gave him the mandate to serve a two-year term.
Prof. Alinaitwe highlighted a number of programs and activities ongoing in the College, citing some programs that were getting phased out namely Computer Engineering and the Bachelor of Fine Art that was replaced by three individual programs including Visual Communication, Design and Multi Media, Industrial Art and Applied Design and Fine Art.
Prof. Alinaitwe introduced the Council members to the International Centers operating at the College such as theAfrican Center of Excellence in Materials, Product Development and Nano-Technology, MAPRONANO, the Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) among others.
The Principal also highlighted staffing issues at the College noting the high staff turnover coupled with the big number of part time staff that needed to be addressed and council was urged to render all the needed support in ensuring that the staff matters are handled with the urgency they deserve. The low number of technicians and support staff that left a serious challenge in the administrative functioning of the college was also noted.
In the area of research, members of council were informed that the college benefited greatly from Government of Uganda support through PRESIDE, as well as the MakRIF project that continues to support the ever increasing research output by staff. He noted that until recently when it came to a close, CEDAT benefited greatly from SIDA support which helped address the area of staff training and research. The Principal further informed the Council members of the need to increase the laboratory spaces as well as equipping them with modern equipment and software
During the deliberations, it was revealed that majority of the challenges were cutting across colleges and CEDAT as a college comprised of Engineering programs was encouraged to support the University by coming up with solutions to some of the challenges faced by the University for instance infrastructure. It was proposed that CEDAT was well placed to design a staff performance monitoring system as well as come up with measures to curb the dropout rates in programs like Architecture.
By Harriet Musinguzi