Prof. Stephen Kiama has been installed as the 8th Vice Chancellor, University of Nairobi. Prof. Kiama, a professor of Veterinary Anatomy will serve as the institution’s Vice Chancellor for a 5 term until 2025.
Prof. Stephen Kiama has been installed as the 8th Vice Chancellor, University of Nairobi. Prof. Kiama, a professor of Veterinary Anatomy will serve as the institution’s Vice Chancellor for a 5 term until 2025. The Installation ceremony held on Friday, June 5, 2020 was unique in that it was the 1st virtual installation ceremony since the inception of the University. Due to the prevailing conditions brought about COVID-19 pandemic; the institution streamed the installation ceremony online on various platforms to reach a global audience. Click HERE to watch the ceremony online.
Prof. Kiama has 30 years of active service at the University of Nairobi, he was first employed as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Veterinary Anatomy in 1990. Prior to his appointment as Vice Chancellor; he served as the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Human Resource and Administration, the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor In-charge of Finance, Planning and Development, Principal College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences from 2016 to 2019, Director of Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies from 2010 to 2016, Chairman of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology from 2005—2010, Acting dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 2014 and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine from 2003-2010.
While making his inaugural speech; Prof. Kiama acknowledged the challenges plaguing the premier University and promised to institute reforms that will transform the University for the better. Further, “We need to institute financial reforms, governance reforms even as we make key decisions based on data. We need a data management system. We need to re-engineer our business processes.” In addition Prof. Kiama challenged all staff and students to embrace online learning and teaching, he further highlighted the necessary steps the institution is continuing to implement to ensure all the University remains operational during this pandemic. In his remarks he promised to make decisions grounded on the rule of law; stating, “With your support, we are set to reach the promised land. Together we can seize the tide and secure our ventures. Let us retreat to our stations of work, embrace teamwork: Unitate et labore.”
Education Cabinet Secretary and former University of Nairobi VC; Prof. George Magoha joined students, staff and friends of the University to endorse Prof. Kiama and send him well wishes as he embarks on leading the leading University in the region. Also at hand to endorse the VC were; Prof. Francis Gichaga, Prof. Crispus Kiamba and Prof. Peter Mbithi all who have served as former Vice Chancellors.
The Role of the Vice Chancellor:
- The Vice-Chancellor is the academic and administrative head of the University and is responsible to the Council for maintaining and promoting the academic image and maintaining and promoting the efficiency and good order of the University.
- The Vice-Chancellor is by virtue of his office a member of every committee appointed by the Council or Senate, unless otherwise expressly provided.
- The Vice-Chancellor is also by virtue of being the overall administrative head of the University, the accounting officer of the University.
- The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for policy matters, planning, coordination, public relations, fund-raising and general development of the University.
The Vice-Chancellor is also the:-
Chairman of Senate
- Chairman of Associate Professorial Appointments Committee
- Chairman of the University Management Board
- Chairman of the Students Welfare Authority
The Installation Tradition:
The installation ceremony contains elements which are based on the tradition of the university such as use of gowns, the oath and the mace as symbols of power. The installation of a Vice-Chancellor points to a most significant event in the life of a university.
(i) There is an established tradition of the University following the practice of appointing a single head to act on behalf of a community of scholars.
(ii) After a specific period, the University appoints a new Vice-Chancellor to bring his/her gifts to bear on this most important academic institution and steer it into the future.
The installation of the Vice-Chancellor ceremony is an important rite. It is the process of welcoming and including the Vice-Chancellor into the academy rites. These rites are ceremonial acts that reflect the beliefs, values and traditions of the University.
During the installation process, several instruments and symbols of authority were passed down to the Vice Chancellor, these being : the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Universities Act No. 42 of 2012, the University of Nairobi Charter, 2013, the Universities standards and guidelines, 2014, the Code of Conduct and ethics for Public Universities, 2009, the University of Nairobi Statutes, the Seal of the University of Nairobi, the University of Nairobi Logo, the Professor Yajnik Fountain aka Fountain of Knowledge, the Custody of records and finally the University of Nairobi Mace. The Mace represents the authority of the University of Nairobi as an institution of higher learning.