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UASU Backs Magoha’s Proposal To Have Appointing And Management Powers In Public Universities

UASU Backs Magoha’s Proposal To Have Appointing And Management Powers In Public Universities

The Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) has backed Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha’s proposals for greater control over public university management, including the appointment of vice-chancellors and control over councils.

Prof Magoha is proposing radical changes to the Universities Act of 2012 in order to give him the authority to appoint VCs following a competitive hiring process.

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He claims that the proposed Universities Amendment Bill 2021 will ensure transparency and accountability. Uasu has previously clashed with the CS over public university reforms and management.

The union has pledged to support the proposed changes to the appointment of university top executives and council members.

Uasu, on the other hand, suggested that the interview process for all vice-chancellors of public universities be held in an open forum for the sake of transparency and accountability.

Uasu national chairperson Grace Nyongesa said a special panel should be formed to appoint vice-chancellors for public universities, with key stakeholders such as Uasu represented on the interviewing panel.

She stated that this is one of the union’s major proposals in the proposed changes to public university management that Education CS wants to implement.

Nyongesa said it was a huge mistake to entrust the appointment of VCs to the Public Service Commission (PSC) without first consulting with other key stakeholders such as unions.

Ms Nyongesa allayed concerns that if the CS is given broad powers to choose who will be the VC of a public university, he or she will abuse those powers.

According to the union boss, financial management in public universities is still a difficult issue.

“When you have VCs who don’t want to implement the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) as ordered by the court then we’re having a big problem in these public institutions,” she said.

Prof Magoha, according to Uasu, must have the authority to appoint and dismiss council members, but he cautioned the CS against micromanaging the councils.

“Some decisions made by these councils are not good for the management of the institutions. The CS must have control over the councils.

Ms Nyongesa cited the University of Nairobi’s recent council decision to raise fees and reorganize departments.

The Uasu boss urged Parliament to pass the proposed law because public institutions are critical in the training of the country’s future human resources.

UASU Backs Magoha’s Proposal To Have Appointing And Management Powers In Public Universities


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