The outgoing Principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Prof. Oswald Ndoleriire, successfully handed over to the first substantive Principal of the College, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, at a ceremony that was held yesterday, 15th May, 2013 in the School of Women and Gender Studies Conference Hall.
The ceremony was witnessed by among others, the Manager Internal Audit, Mr Benson Barigye, Deans, Heads of Department, School representatives on the College Academic and Administrative Boards and student representatives.
On behalf of the School Deans, Dr Okello Ogwang appreciated the good work done by the outgoing Ag. Principal and welcomed the new Principal, pledging their support, more especially in improving the image of CHUSS both within and outside the College.
In his handover remarks, Prof. Ndoleriire explained the status of the College in terms of structures, facilities, staff and student numbers, programmes, infrastructure and finances. He noted that CHUSS still faces a lot of financial and administrative challenges and made a number of recommendations as a measure of improving the functionality of the College.
Prof. Ndoleriire appealed for increased percentage transfers from the Centre in a bid to improve the operations of the College. He urged the College Bursar to provide the Principal with regular briefings on the financial status of the College for the latter to make informed decisions especially when authorizing expenditure.
The outgoing Principal called for discipline among teaching staff to ensure that lectures are provided fully, coursework is offered and examinations marked in time. “Lectures should begin during the first week of the Semester and not weeks later as it sometimes happens,” he said.
Prof. Ndoleriire also called for continued repackaging of programmes to make them more market-oriented in a bid to attract more staff and students. “Some units such as Performing Arts and Film, Women and Gender Studies and Languages, still need to mount some new programs or recast the existing ones at both undergraduate and graduate levels, for them to be more viable and to justify their existence.”
He appealed to the new leadership of the College to focus more on research activities and on the dissemination of research findings. This, he said, will enhance the image of the College and reduce dependency on tuition fees.
Prof. Ndoleriire called for increased motivation of staff for improved performance. “CHUSS staff should be made to feel that they belong to one family. To that end, college assemblies, end of year parties and other opportunities for interaction should be worked out. Eventually, a bonus for all staff at certain periods of the year could be envisaged,” he advised.
He urged the management team of the College to fast track the operationalization of the non-functional centres to boost income generation and to improve the image of College. The proposed centres include the Centre for Performing Arts, the Centre for Strategic Studies, the Centre for Public Policy Analysis, the Centre for Leadership and Domestic Governance services and the Centre for Cultural Services.
In his concluding remarks, Prof. Ndoleriire appreciated all staff, more especially, the former Acting Deputy Principal, Deans and Heads of Department for the support and cordial working relationship during his term of office.
“I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the authorities that appointed me to serve, for the cordial working relationship that I enjoyed with the outgoing Deputy Principal, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, the Deans, Director and Heads of Department of CHUSS and with all the staff in CHUSS.”
In his remarks, the incoming Principal, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, expressed gratitude to the staff of CHUSS for entrusting him with the authority to lead the College for the next four years. “It is exciting to be given the opportunity to be the first substantive Principal of the College and I am grateful for all the congratulatory messages. I am committed to lead by example as I promised during my Public Presentation,” he said.
Prof. Kirumira urged each school, through the Deans, to come up with one flagship research project or programme that can be used as basis for resource mobilization. “The College should stop being dependent on tuition fees. We should be more pro-active in research as an alternative source of funding.” Prof. Kirumira challenged the senior academic staff members to bring in institutional not personalised research projects. He said he is in the process of sourcing funds to establish a Grants Office and an Institutional Review Board as a measure of boosting research in the College.
Prof. Kirumira noted that the College has been missing in Public Debate on matters affecting the population and called for increased and pro-active participation of staff.
He noted however that the forecast for the College is very promising. He said that, the University of California at Berkeley together with CHUSS had signed a Consortium grant contract worth USD20 million. Under this grant, USD1 million will be available annually for competitive research grants. Prof. Kirumira urged academic staff from the College to take advantage of the project. He also said he is in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with The Aids Support Organization (TASO) and other NGOs and Civil Society Organisations for the College to provide technical assistance on a regular basis. In April this year, Professor Kirumira was elected to chair PANGeA. The Partnership for Africa's Next Generation of Academics (PANGeA) originated in a meeting of deans of humanities and social science faculties in Stellenbosch in November 2006 to address challenges facing higher education in Africa in general and the humanities and social sciences in particular.
He promised to work towards boosting the College infrastructure to create a more conducive teaching and learning environment for staff and students. He noted that the African Development Bank has already committed funds towards the construction of the slab near the School of Social Sciences.