On 17th December 2010, Makerere University Council approved the Senate recommendation to transform Makerere into a collegiate University. The transformation was aimed at improving service delivery. In July 2011, Makerere University officially transitioned from the Faculty-based to the collegiate system with 10 Constituent Colleges including the School of Law, all operating as semi-autonomous units of the University. The Uganda Gazette of Friday, 30th December 2011 Vol. CIV No. 76 containing Statutory Instrument No. 68 –The Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions (Establishment of Constituent Colleges of Makerere University) Order, 2011 officially declared the transition.
According to the Makerere Constituent Colleges Statute, Section 12, each College should be headed by a Principal who is appointed by the Chancellor on the recommendation of the University Council. Following the set policies and guidelines, the University Council periodically constitutes a Search Committee to nominate suitable candidates for the position of Principal and Deputy Principal for a term of four years. As the Chief Administrative Officer, the Principal is mandated to promote and maintain academic excellence, efficiency and order at the College. Principals are also mandated to implement University policies and enforce applicable regulations at the College.
In 2019, the University Council constituted a Committee to search for suitable candidates to fill vacant positions of Principal and Deputy Principal in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), College of Health Sciences and the College of Business and Management Sciences. As part of the selection processes, the Search Committee organizes public presentations for shortlisted candidates to explain how they intend to manage their respective Colleges.
The Public Presentation
On 21st January 2020, Dr Josephine Ahikire, Substantive Deputy Principal of CHUSS and the only candidate vying for the position of Principal of CHUSS made her presentation before the Search Committee and members of staff. The Search Committee led by Uganda Government Appointee to the University Council, Mr. Kiryowa Kiwanuka comprised of Council members, and a team of experts from institutions outside Makerere. These included Eng. Dr. Steven Paul Kagoda, Government Appointee to the University Council; Dr. Winston Tumps Ireeta, Representative of Academic Staff on the University Council; Ms. Doreen Nyanjura, Representative of Kampala Capital City Authority; Dr Edgar Mwesigye Kateshumbwa from Uganda Management Institute; Ms. Hilda Twongyeirwe, Executive Director Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE); and Mr. Mabonga Mike Wambi, Commissioner, Rehabilitation, Psychosocial Support and Resettlement at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs.
The presentation was moderated by Dr Julius Kiiza, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, also a member of Makerere University Senate. It was witnessed by among others, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration, Prof. William Bazeyo; the Director, Gender Mainstreaming, Dr Baine Euzobia; and the Senate Representative to Council, also Dean, School of Women and Gender Studies, Dr Sarah Ssali.
In her submission, Dr Ahikire highlighted a number of achievements registered during her one-year tenure as Acting Principal, CHUSS. These included increased academic vibrancy in the College, enhanced graduate training management, budgetary transparency, minimization of wasteful expenditure, maintenance of donor confidence - reflected through the increased number of grants to the College, enhanced student confidence and a reduction in cases of sexual harassment.
She pledged to further enhance transparency in the implementation of the College budget, scale up experiential learning and to expand partnerships and networks. She also pledged to scale up resource mobilization, support the expansion of the College infrastructure and enhance participatory decision-making.
If appointed, Dr Ahikire will replace Prof. Edward K. Kirumira who resigned from the position in 2018 following his appointment as Director of the prestigious Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS).
About Dr Josephine Ahikire
Dr. Ahikire is an Associate Professor of Gender Studies at Makerere University. She previously served as Dean School of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University and has been the Substantive Deputy Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) since 2017. She has also served as Acting Principal of CHUSS since November 2018 when Prof. Edward K. Kirumira resigned to take on another responsibility as Director of the prestigious Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). She has over the years worked in the area of feminist political theory and has extensively published works on women and politics as well as labour and urban culture. She has led various research teams on gender and land, elections, women and parliamentary performance, gender and the politics of Access and many other areas connected with livelihood and social justice. She is an active member of the Uganda Women’s Movement and is also member of regional bodies such as the Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and African Gender Institute (AGI) University of Cape Town.
See pictorial of the public presentation below