L-R: Prof. Nawangwe, Prof. Bazeyo, Mr. Sanyu and Dr. Nakayiwa during the meeting

The Vice Chancellor Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe yesterday held a meeting with staff of CEDAT. The Vice Chancellor was accompanied by members of Management who included the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration, Prof. William Bazeyo, the Director Planning and Development, Dr Florence Nakayiwa, Director DRGT, Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, the Director Estates, Dr Niwagaba Fred, the University Librarian, Dr. Helen Byamugisha, the Director HRD was represented by Mr Lawrence Sanyu. Also present was the Director DICTS, Mr Frank Kitumba.

The VC, in his address to CEDAT staff said management had taken a decision to include more people in the management of university affairs in an effort to reduce tension among staff. He said management will comprise of 3 committees/ bodies

  1. The Central University Management Committee consisting of 16 members.
  2. The Top University Management Committee which in addition to the Central Committee also includes the 10 College Principals.
  3. The University Management Consultative Forum which in addition to the Top Management Committee includes the Chief Security Officer, 3 MUASA Representatives, 2 MASA Representatives, 2 NUEI Representatives and 3 Guild Council Representatives.

“With these committees in place, we are positive that we will implement a transparent communication framework,” Prof. Nawangwe said.

He called on staff to avoid strikes, saying that strikes have not yielded much. He called on us to embrace dialogue as it’s the best way to achieve what we want especially salary enhancement from the government.

Rebranding and Quality of service delivery

Members of staff during the meeting

The VC shared with staff that it was important to rebrand Makerere University. This rebranding will not only be physical but also behavior. “The quality of human resource is important to any institution, therefore it’s important for the human resources to offer its clients the best service they can,” he said.

He called on staff to offer the students and other staff as well as the public good customer care. He decried harassment of students in the university and called on all those involved to stop henceforth.  “It is such actions that tarnish the image of the university,” he added.

He said the university would punish staff implicated in sexual harassment of students.

Issuance of Transcripts

Following the completion of investigations into alteration of marks, the issuance of transcripts has resumed, the VC said. He said students can now view results online.

“To ease service delivery, the University Central Management has decentralized the issuance of Makerere University academic transcripts. With this arrangement, the Academic Registrar will send printed Makerere University academic transcripts to the Office of the Principal in the respective Colleges. The graduates will be in position to receive Academic transcripts from the respective Colleges. The Academic Registrar is making modalities to ensure the successful implementation of this decision.”

Late submission of student marks/ Centralized marking

The cub the vice of late submission of student results, the university has adopted a policy of centralized marking. Each department will have a room where scripts are kept and lecturers will be expected to mark in that room and leave all scripts there. This, staff were told, would help reduce delays in submission of results and also minimize loss of student scripts as well as sex for marks.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. William Bazeyo, said the centre would fund the process of centralized marking by providing teas and lunch to the staff using the room a time.

Museum for the university

Prof. Nawangwe challenged the staff of the Magaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts as well as that Directorate of Planning and Development to ensure that the university has a functional museum by July 2018.

The museum will be charged with conserving, protecting and displaying artifacts from our past and thus preserving our rich heritage which might otherwise be lost to private collectors or to time itself. 

Staff learnt that the Makerere Art Gallery has been collecting art pieces since 1960 but is now limited by space. The gallery is no longer big enough as a storage centre as well as an exhibition centre, creating the need for a museum.

Research and innovations/ Grants office

The VC and Prof. Mukadasi Muyinza called on staff to sumbit proposals for grants in an effort to grow the research culture of this great institution. Prof. Buyinza said that while DRGT had made an effort to soliticte for grants, its important for all colleges to be like the College of Health Sciences which has over 20 grants.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bazeyo, said the university would support staff in this endeavor by creating grant units at every college. The office would be tasked with working with academic staff to write and submit proposals for research grants.

To improve the rankings of the university, the VC called for more publications. He emphasized that all Masters Students should be encouraged to publish at least on paper before they graduate. This will help improve the rankings of the university.

Prof. Nawangwe said the university would lobby the government to sponsor graduate training in an effort to grow the research culture and spur innovation in the country.

Review of the collegiate system

The VC informed staff that a committee had been set up to review the operations of the collegiate system. He also noted that the college system was a good one, despite its challenges which management hopes to address in the near future.

Staff welfare

The VC reminded staff that the government had agreed to enhance salaries in a phased manner. He called on call to be patient as this is being done. He discouraged strikes as they don’t show good will. The DVC F&A called on all those sub renting university houses to stop henceforth or risk being vacated. He said all senior staff living in jounior staff houses would be asked to vacate to create room for the right category of staff to occupy the houses.

He called on retired staff to vacate the houses and leave then to staff you urgently need university accommodation.

He called on staff to set up SACCOs as a way of growing financial independence. He reminded staff that the government had started giving out money to registered SACCOS. These institutions usually offer loans at very low interest rates.

The Deputy Principal, Dr Venny Nakazibwe, who represented the Principal listed some of the college’s challenges.

  1. The establishment of a grants office has not taken off as was envisaged.
  2. Most vehicles have reached end-life and there is need for new cars to transport students to the field.
  3. Acute shortage of technical and support staff
  4. Inadequate number of academic staff in some departments
  5. Inadequate space for teaching and learning especially for the Department of Architecture and Physical Planning
  6. High turnover of academic staff
  7. High maintenance costs of the old technology building and the old buildings at MTSIFA
  8. Delays in paying external supervisors
  9. Dilapidated laboratories and studios
  10. Inadequate funds for teaching materials, examinations, internship and recess term activities.
  11. Delayed payment of part-time and contract staff.
  12. Reduced and unpredictable remittance of Presidential Initiative Funds.
  13. Patenting of innovations.

Other challenges identified by staff included;

  1. Lack of a health insurance policy
  2. Patenting of the university emblem needs to be done
  3. Management’s failure to promote secretaries and lack of career growth for other administrative staff.
  4. Abolition of the position of teaching assistants has not only frustrated teaching and learning but also failed the university’s ability to retain its bright students.
  5. It was noted that the university needed to generate funds from the newly constructed wall. This will be done inform of advertising.

Staff appreciated this interaction between management and staff and commended the VC for this initiative. “This mode of communication will go a long way in improving service delivery, communication and management of university affairs for the growth and development of the institution,” a member of staff said.