The Dean School of Social Sciences Prof. Andrew Ellias State on 1st December, 2022 handed over the office to the Dr. Justus Twesigye at ceremony presided over by the Principal CHUSS at the school’s premises.
Prof. State assumed office as Dean on 4th December, 2014 from Assoc. Prof. Charles Bwana, the then Dean, served for the first four- year term and was re-elected for another term culminating into eight years of service. State extended appreciation to all staff in the school and outside of it for the cooperation and support that has enabled him execute his eight years of Deanship.
“I also wish to thank Makerere University for giving me the opportunity to serve in the capacity of Dean. I am aware that my service may not have been so pleasant to some members. I wish to sincerely apologise for the discomfort my work in the capacity of Dean may have caused to you. I wish to thank all those who actively supported me all the way through”, He said.
Prof. State reported that, there have been major changes in the university such as the consolidation of the collegiate system, composition of college committees and the introduction of blended learning under the COVID 19 pandemic where, as Dean was involved as a member.
In his 22 paged handover report, State highlighted a number of achievements during his eight -year term. These included changes in staffing levels and promotions, the establishment of the Schools Ethics Research Committee which increase the visibility of the school, revival of the Mawazo journal, restoration of the school generator and increased number of linkages.
Other achievements reported included repairs and maintenance of the school infrastructure, beautification of the school offices and corridor, improved water storage capacity and lighting system, securing funds for the installation of a video conferencing facility for the school and the Uganda Military Academy Kabamba, revamping grounded vehicles and a significant movement from individual based research projects to collaborative research teamwork among others.
He highlighted a number of challenges including the general lack of space for staff offices and teaching graduate programmes, low completion rates, lack of facilitation for graduate programmes, and the inability to pay part timers.
Prof. State also presented a list of pending issues for follow up by the incoming such as processing and submitting final examinations results for 2021-2022, payment of local graduate supervision and examination, the renewed participation of students in examination malpractices and the review of the collegiate system to grant the independent status of the school.
“Since I am leaving, the office, I hope you will continue promoting the schools’ position as far as the collegiate system is concerned without fear or intimidation” He stated.
New Dean accepts to serve, softens restrictions on wearing masks, calls for peace and social cohesion in the school.
The incoming Dean Dr. Justus Twesigye congratulated the outgoing dean for the service rendered to the school. Twesigye also appreciated staff for working and supporting the outgoing dean. He also commended Prof. State for withstanding the office pressure with aggressiveness.
“You have done a good job, served diligently and experienced challenges. Congratulations. To be able to serve in a public office for eight years without an investigation or checking in the coolers, is commendable”, Dr. Twesigye appreciated.
It is heavy to work as an insulator to get the directives from above that must be digested and communicated to colleagues. You have made your presence felt in the school and university. State has been firm in coordination issues of teaching, research and implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPS) for CoVID prevention. I think he saved some of us who did not care about ourselves”. Dr. Twesigye stated.
Prof. Andrew Ellias State was credited for the implementing the Ministry of Health SOPs that required handwashing and wearing of masks to prevent and control the spread of COVID 19. State, firmly implemented the SOPs without fear or favour irrespective of one’s age, social, political and economic class, making the building and all premises of the School of Social Sciences a no - go zone for non- compliant citizens.
Prof. State’s health stance on wearing masks to access the school could have saved many from contracting the deadly Corona virus.
Unlike his predecessor, Dr. Justus Twesigye relaxed on the measures basing on the Ministry of Health recent pronouncement.
“On the issue of masks, the outgoing Dean has told you that the no longer has the powers. The Ministry of Health has indicated that people can use masks at their individual discretion. If you feel you need to have a booster dose, do that, but, I think from now we can allow people make their choices including students. If they can, or cannot afford, let people make choices so that we have a bit of peace. It had began raising so much stress. I am going to see how to handle but of course we have Ebola, it is still with us , maintain handwashing”, Dr. Twesigye explained
Dr. Twesigye recognised his undergraduate teachers for nurturing him and thanked staff for voting him and entrusting him with the duty to serve as dean.
“I would like to accept taking over this responsibility as Dean basically to serve. It is my humble prayer that God grants me Grace to serve. You are part of this service. I will constantly coordinate and persuade but where applicable add a bit of controlled aggression for the good of all”, He pledged.
Dr. Twesigye highlighted a number of issues facing the school he would like to start working on including reorganisation of the teaching space to provide room for graduate Masters students, expediting the process of examining and processing the graduation lists, internet connectivity in the school, following up on the recruitment of a custodian for the school and how to ease access for students with disabilities to the school premises.
As a social worker. Dr. Twesigye said he takes pride in having the School of Social Sciences operate as a family on grounds that staff spend most of their time at the school.
“We spend most of our time here even on weekends, people coming on Saturdays. Registrars have been here in the nights meaning that they spend very little time in their families.
We would like to make this place our family, just bond, let us create a kind of connection. Let us feel free with each other. Symbolically, I made sure my daughter (Blessing) is here. I did not bring her here to brag but I want you to know that our children, your children, my children can find this place their home.
Once you have an opportunity bring your children, let us know them, this is the network they are going to have. There is no other network we are going to have other than the one we have here. Our grandchildren should come and enjoy this place.” The Dean elect asserted.
Speaking on behalf of the Principal College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dr. Eric Awich expressed happiness to be a witness of the peaceful transfer of responsibilities from Prof. State to Dr. Twesigye.
Dr. Awich pledged the commitment for the Principal’s office to support the new dean in the execution of his duties.
Awich also implored the incoming Dean to work on the pending issues as highlighted by the outgoing dean and to ensure that staff expedite the process of examining, nominating examiners and processing the graduation lists to avoid unnecessary delays.