The University Act should be amended to she the Vice Chancellor serve as a Managing Director as in these Universities the University Secretary is the authority over finances. 2ndly, it is true the jobs of the top people should be advertised such that the competent people can be got (however, in Uganda's case, it is political influence which can mess up everything). 3rd, these Universities should have the equivalent of a clearing house manned by competent financial managers such that the academics people again don't take on the role which leads to conflict and may be focusing on making money hence compromising efficiency at teaching. Lecturers should stick to lecturing and competent financial managers deal with finance related matters including daily balancing of books in income generating areas.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
AMEND UNIVERSITY ACT - VICE CHANCELLORS
Kyambogo University Vice Chancellor Isiah Ndiege before the parliamentary committee. PHOTO BY GEOFFREY SSERUYANGE.
By Yasiin Mugerwa
Posted Thursday, March 1 2012 at 00:00
Vice chancellors have rejected a new legislation that requires them to advertise jobs in public universities, including that of the vice chancellor, to competition as part of a wider plan to ensure more transparency and recruitment of the best candidate for the job.
The vice chancellors led by Prof. Frederick Ian Bantubano Kayanja of Mbarara University of Science and Technology, who heads the Public Universities Forum, yesterday demanded that the government amends the whole Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act instead of amending the act piecemeal.
“All public universities have suggested amendments to the Act,” Prof Kayanja said.
“Even with that the government is proposing, there is already plenty of water yet to go under the bridge. We have very many complaints.”
The vice chancellors said without amending the parent Act, in the amendments targeting jobs in public universities, the government is treating symptoms.
They were appearing before the parliamentary Social Services Committee to give their views on the new Bill titled: “The Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions (Amendment) Bill, 2012”.
While the government says the decision to have all jobs in public universities advertised is to ensure transparency, Prof Kayanja said, this will add pressure on the meagre resources to public universities.
“Most of the public universities operate at 30 per cent of the establishment and to advertise these jobs without increasing the wage bill will definitely affect our operations,” Prof Kayanja said.
Presenting areas in the parent law which needs urgent amendment, Prof. Isaiah Ndiege of Kyambogo University said there was a need to amend the current law to increase the number of vice chancellors to about four to help the current single vice chancellor.
Prof. Ndiege also said Section 38 should be amended to provide the qualifications of the members of the council and its leadership. He said the council should also be stopped from interfering with the management of the universities.
“We need to amend the Act to free the Senate from the rigours of the council. There is also need to ensure that Senate is the final authority on academic matters,” Prof. Ndiege said. “The current law says Deans can be elected from senior academic staff, but the senior staff is not defined. This is opened to legal interpretation and subject to legal battles.”
In the proposed legislation, the government wants the jobs of the vice chancellors, deputy vice chancellors, deans and head of departments be advertised in the media.