Academic staff at the School of Law can now get their Practicing Certificates through the Directorate of Legal Affairs Makerere University that has been accredited by the Law Council to offer legal services. Prior to this the staff were applying for the Practicing certificates under Law firms.
This was revealed during a consultative meeting between the University Top Management led by the Vice Chancellor and the staff of the School of Law held at the Lower lecture theatre, Wednesday 14th February 2018.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe led a delegation of members of Management that included the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, University Librarian, Dr. Hellen Byamugisha, Director DICTS, Mr. Frank Kitumba, University Bursar, Mr. Augustine Tamale, Director Internal Audit Mr. Walter Bruno Yorac Nono, Acting Director Legal Affairs, Mr. Goddy Muhumuza and The Director Quality Assurance Dr. Vincent Ssembatya.
The Vice Chancellor while addressing School of Law staff said management had taken a decision to include more people in the running of the University affairs in an effort to reduce tension among staff. In order to do this, he said management would comprise 3 bodies namely; The Central University Management Committee of 16 members, The Top University Management Committee inclusive of the 10 College Principals, The University Management Consultative Forum which in addition to the Top Management Committee includes the Chief Security Officer, 3 MUASA Representatives, 2 MASA Representatives, 2 NUEI Representatives and 3 Guild Council Representatives. He said the University Management was making all efforts to practice an open and participatory management system to avoid taking decisions without consultations.
The Vice Chancellor explained that the objective of the meeting between University management and staff at the School of Law was to map out strategies on how to rebrand and improve quality of service, academic reform, administrative and financial restructuring and sustainability as well as institutional Human resource development.In order to improve the image of the University, management was committed to addressing the infrastructural challenges and that to date, a lot has been done as evidenced in the improvements on the roads, lighting, sanitation facilities and that more was to be done as resources flow in, he said.
Prof. Nawangwe however noted that what was of paramount importance in the effort towards rebranding the University was improvement in the relations between the University staff and clientele that include the students, parents and other stakeholders. “The way we treat people will determine whether we are rebranding or not. The way we engage with clientelefor instance the way support staff treat students isparamount and we need to realize that students are the main reason we are here” said the Vice chancellor while emphasizing the need for staff to improve customer relations more especially in offices that have regular student interactions citing the Academic Registrar’s office as an example.
While expressing his pride about the existence of high quality academic staff, Prof. Nawangwe stressed the need for management to ensure that in addition to having the right people the University policies are implemented. He cited the need for staff to publish papers and have them disseminated on the web in order to keep the international standing of Makerere University. He said this was also good for national development, adding that “the more we publish, the more information is given out to the public.” He however concurred with the observation by the Visitor that the University was not doing enough research on the conditions in Africa, despite the vision of becoming a research led University on the Continent.
While addressing himself on the issue of academic reforms and the college review processes, Prof. Nawangwe said work was in progress and that a preliminary report had been presented to the University Council. “Reforming Colleges was intended to have decisions taken at that level”, he said. On the impasse concerning the evening programs, he noted that the programs although designed to cater for the working class, the reality was different and that a review was in process to inform the University council on the way forward.
On the issuance of Transcripts, the Vice chancellor said management decentralized the issuance to the colleges to reduce on the congestion at Academic Registrar’s office. It’s planned that with improved capacity at the Colleges, the printing would also be decentralized.The Vice chancellor noted that despite the refusal by the School of Law to adopt centralized marking, the staff in the unit had marked and submitted results timely for which he commended them. He however said centralized marking was not only meant to ensure results are submitted in time but also to increase efficiency and to minimize loss of student scripts as well as avoid allegations of sex for marks on the side of the staff.
The Deputy Principal on behalf of the Management and staff of the School of Law congratulated the University management for the consultative approach in the running of the University. He said by training, Lawyers critique decisions more especially those imposed on them without due consultations.
Dr. Naluwairo highlighted a number of challenges affecting the smooth running of the School of Law citing the old dilapidated office structure that was technically condemned over forty years ago. He asked the Universitymanagement to make the School of Law a priority in the allocation of infrastructure that includes both offices and classrooms. He said because of lack of space the teachers were not readily available for consultations by the students. Relatedly, he mentioned the lack of storage facilities even for academic documents like examination scripts.
The Deputy Principal mentioned the challenge of inadequacy in teaching staff citing the example of the Environmental Law Centre which was established five years ago but to date no staff have been appointed despite the constant reminders. Relatedly was the embarrassment with the delayed payment of external examiners and other service providers that School of Law staff have had to bear in the past. He urged the University management to expeditiously handle the issue of the Results system which he said unless resolved, there were bound to be continuous clashes between the students and the staff.
In the discussions that ensued, staff mentioned a number of issues that included Human Resource challenges like delayed promotions, poor communication in regard to contract renewal for post-retirement staff , lack of staff appraisals, operating a non-streamed structure for the secretarial staff, the Human Resource Manual that has unfavorable clauses for persons who may want to go on sabbatical viz-a-viz inadequate staffing, the lack of a research fund specifically for the humanities that do not easily attract funders, inadequacy in library resources, the quality assurance concern arising from the high teacher student ratio, lack of plagiarism test equipment at Units, inadequacy in ICT facilities, the delayed accreditation of the School of Law to College status by the National council for Higher Education among others.
The respective directorate heads reacted to the issues raised. The Director Research and Graduate training, Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza while reacting to the request for publications from staff amidst resource constraints said management was considering instituting a research fund especially for the humanities. He said there were proposals for each unit to establish a Grants office and asked the School of Law to identify three people that would be trained. He further informed the meeting that the University press was revitalized and that the editorial board was in place and working.
The Director Quality Assurance, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya said staff appraisals were centralized and that the information collected had been analyzed by his unit and would be shared with the respective units. He also mentioned that the National Council for Higher Education was expected to come and inspect the school of Law in the near future for accreditation.
The University Librarian Dr. Hellen Byamugisha, while reacting to limitations in the number of books and other teaching resources said the University had not procured bookfor a while. She urged the academic staff to embrace use of online materials adding that such electronic resources were enormous.
Staff appreciated this interaction between management and staff and commended the VC for this initiative. “This mode of communication will go a long way in improving service delivery. The management at the School of Law was asked to emulate the strategy of closely interacting with the staff.
Article by Harriet Musinguzi, Communication Officer, LAW
Rotary International President visits Mak
Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has appreciated Makerere University for supporting and carrying forward the newly introduced programme aimed at advancing peace on the African Continent. Launched in January 2020, the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University runs a postgraduate diploma programme in Peace-building and Conflict Transformation. The hands-on program entails coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.
At a high level meeting held with the University leadership on 15th September 2021 at CTF1, President Shekhar Mehta said Rotary International was proud to be partnering with Makerere to promote peace on the African Continent. “The mere absence of war does not translate into total peace. Besides war, there are many other factors undermining peaceful co-existence. It is our duty to address these issues so as to create harmony in our communities. Through the Rotary Peace Centres across the globe, we are undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at promoting peace. Since 2002, the Rotary Peace Centres have trained more than 1,300 fellows who are working to advance peace in more than 115 countries. We are happy to work with Makerere University to foster peace and development on the African Continent,” he noted. President Shekhar Mehta, who was on a three-day tour of Rotary projects in Uganda, was visiting Makerere for the first time since the University won the bid to host the International Rotary Peace Centre, the first of its kind on the African Continent.
President Shekhar Mehta, who was in company of past and current Governors of Districts 9213 and 9214, said peace was a necessary catalyst for the progress of humanity and general development of nation states across the globe. Elected for the 2021-22 term, President Shekhar Mehta, through his year theme Serve to Change Lives, asks Rotarians to participate in service projects where they can make a difference in their communities and the people who live in them. Since he joined Rotary in 1984 as a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, President Shekhar Mehta has led many major service initiatives in India and South Asia, including among others, constructing 500 homes for Tsunami survivors at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and starting the Shelter Kit programme in India which has served about 20 disasters and benefited about 75,000 disaster victims.
Delivering her remarks, the Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara appreciated Rotary International for entrusting Makerere University with the mandate to host the first rotary peace centre on the African Continent. “Choosing to house the Centre at Makerere University shows Rotary International’s trust and confidence in Makerere and her vision for building for the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of Rotary International’s agenda. We also sincerely appreciate Rotarians all over the world who have committed funds to support the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University,” she noted. Similarly, she appreciated The Rotary Foundation (TRF) of Canada for setting up an endowment fund for the Peace Centre. “This will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Peace Centre at Makerere University. The fund will help in the Capstone week where Fellows will present their social initiatives. These initiatives will showcase how the Rotary Peace Centre contributes to positive peace initiatives all over the world.”
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe informed the President that the decision to establish the first Rotary Peace Centre in Africa at Makerere University was welcomed with ‘excitement and gratefulness’. “We consider this to be a vote of confidence in our efforts in the peace and conflict resolution agenda. We extend our appreciation to Rotarians in Uganda and beyond for selflessly supporting this noble cause.” The Vice Chancellor appreciated the leadership of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere, and the Director of the Centre, Dr Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala for their tireless efforts in ensuring the centre achieves the intended objective.
By the end of this year, the Centre will have hosted two cohorts of peace fellows. The first cohort was at Makerere University between February and May, 2021. Currently, these Peace fellows are carrying out their peace initiatives in their communities. The second cohort will report on September 27, 2021. In both cohorts, Peace Fellows were chosen from 20 countries and by the end of the year, the Centre will have had a total of 36 Fellows.
Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders
The Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD), Makerere University on 14th September 2021 presented findings from phase one of the study on Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research. The study team led by the Director GMD and Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine also consists of Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Anna Ninsiima, Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Susan Mbabazi and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.
The team is also made of coordinators from participating Universities such as Busitema University-Ms. Elizabeth Birabwa, Kabale University-Sr. Dr. Eva Tumusiime, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)-Dr. Specioza Twinamasiko, Muni University-Ms. Amandru Stella Wawa, and Gulu Univeristy-Sr. Rosalba Aciro.
Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the study was inspired by the fact that women are persistently few in numbers as staff, more so in leadership and decision-making organs of Ugandan Public Universities. “This is despite all the various efforts at national and international levels; the numbers are not growing as fast as needed to meet development goals of the country” explained Dr. Euzobia.
Based on this background, the study team therefore sought to conduct a situational analysis of the gender terrain of the six public universities to obtain baseline information encompassing the composition of governance and leadership organs and senior staff by sex, as well as a needs assessment and profiles of potential mentors and mentees.
Furthermore, the team sought to explore the capacity to conduct gender-responsive research as well as the role of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions within the universities as the drivers of development.
Dr. Mugisha-Baine shared that results of the baseline would then be used to design participatory training manuals or guides on gender and leadership. The manuals would cover; Institutionalized mentorship, How to conduct gender-responsive research, gender and equity budgeting, among others.
“Within these manuals, we shall have a male staff engagement strategy in gender equity interventions in universities” she explained.
The development of the aforementioned materials would then be followed by their adoption and use to build capacity for women not only in leadership of participating and other public university but also beyond. “We shall periodically evaluate whether the capacity we have built has influenced women’s participation in leadership and decision-making organs of the university” supplemented the PI.
The capacity building trainings for women, it is envisaged, will lay the foundation for the formation of a functional Uganda University Women’s Think Tank, starting with the six participating universities. Dr. Mugisha Baine added that through this Think Tank, a monitoring and tracking system for gender representation in recruitment, promotion, retention/turnover and leadership of public universities shall be established and maintained.
At the conclusion of phase one, the study team had drafted participatory training manuals in gender and leadership with content on; gender specific critical analysis of the leadership spectrum of public universities, positioning of individual women within the institutional framework and strategies for their advancement, gender equity advocacy in the university setting, institutional mentorship, building capacity in conducting gender-responsive research, among others.
“This content will be validated by the participating universities before the actual research training is conducted” added the PI.
On behalf of the research team, Dr. Mugisha Baine thanked the Government of Uganda for providing the resources that facilitated phase one of the study and prayed that the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) would support the next phase of capacity building.
Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF GMC Chairperson, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala thanked and congratulated the team led by the Director GMD upon the milestones registered in the critical research.
“We are very proud of that work that is being done by all researchers in Mak-RIF and we would like to most sincerely thank Management for all the support throughout this process” she remarked.
Dr. Nkabala encouraged the research team to continue disseminating and using the findings for the furtherance of gender mainstreaming, particularly through the aspect of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions.
Prior to delivering the keynote address of the day, the Executive Director National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Prof. Mary Okwakol thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for inviting her to the important forum, noting that women’s participation in decision making and governance is a priority area of the Uganda Gender Policy 2007.
She commended Makerere University for being at the forefront of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, noting that this prominence was one of the reasons why the Gender in Education Policy 2007 provides for replicating the institution’s strategy in all other Higher Education Institutions.
Prof. Okwakol whose keynote address was punctuated incisive personal examples reaffirmed the statistics that women are generally not visible in leadership of Universities. That notwithstanding, in instances where they rise to leadership and decision-making positions, they are regularly subject to roles traditionally deemed as women’s inconsiderate of their managerial seniority and experience.
She nevertheless rallied the women to play their respective roles in enhancing participation and visibility at a personal level. The following were some of the strategies she proposed; work hard to acquire academic credentials so as to compete favourably with men, acquire necessary administrative training and experience, network among women, join professional networks as well as do research and publish.
On joining professional networks, she shared her personal experience as a young zoologist who joined UNESCO’s Tropical Biology and Fertility Programme. “Within a short time I was appointed Coordinator for Africa and after two years, I was elected as a Member of the International Board of Management. After serving for two years, I became Vice Chairperson of that Board and finally I became Chairperson of that International Board.”
At the institutional level, Prof. Okwakol appealed to the Chairperson Council and Vice Chancellor to proactively recruit women who meet the requirements for leadership positions even if it means actively seeking out the reluctant ones. In this regard, she shared that it would be useful for the university to develop a database of women and their qualifications to ease this process.
She shared that NCHE has in recognition of female underrepresentation at every level in Higher Education approved the establishment of a Gender and Equity Unit with the aim of promoting inclusive gender participation in the sub-sector.
“This unit has been placed under the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation which implies that as we look out for and regulate quality, gender will be a very important aspect of that regulation” she reassured.
Prof. Okwakol concluded by urging participants to read the; Third National Development Plan (NDPIII), Uganda Vision 2040, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that there is no way all three can be achieved while women are left behind because they each make a case for inclusion of the female gender.
“What we are addressing here are historical injustices” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as he commenced his remarks, “And in the case of Makerere University, it is well known that the institution started as a male-only institution and we all know the original motto was ‘Let us be men’” he added.
Citing examples from history such as; Marie Curie – one of the smartest physicists, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra – prominent Pharaohs of Egypt, George Eliot, Rosa Luxemburg and Hypatia – all great philosophers as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel – first female Chancellor of Germany, the Vice Chancellor said there is no plausible argument that there are things women cannot do as well as their male counterparts.
He said it was against this knowledge and in a bid to correct historical injustices that Makerere University pioneered initiatives such as putting in place affirmative action for girls, establishing a Gender Mainstreaming Directorate as well as a School of Women and Gender Studies. The Vice Chancellor nevertheless stressed the need to go beyond pioneering to protecting these gains through legislation. “Historically we have seen that discrimination can only be addressed by laws and policies.”
Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government for providing funds to support Mak-RIF as well as the Funds GMC and Secretariat for ensuring that these funds are put to good use. He equally thanked the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara for her not only her support but also sparing time to attend a good number of the research dissemination events.
Delivering the concluding remarks, Mrs. Magara acknowledged that the study was timely and relevant the contemporary University, as one of the critical drivers of the national and international development agenda. She therefore reechoed the Vice Chancellor’s thanks to the Government of Uganda for generously supporting the University’s research through Mak-RIF.
Turning to the keynote speaker she said, “I thank Prof. Okwakol for ardently discussing the critical issues affecting the female gender, the strategies to overcome the challenges, including sharing her inspiring personal experiences.”
Mrs. Magara equally thanked Prof. Okwakol for her very instructional analysis, providing mentorship guidance with the resultant impact of enhancing the female gender in decision-making positions. In the same breath she congratulated the PI and her team upon successfully concluding phase one of the project.
“Phase one has generated insights in understanding the status of women in leadership in public universities, the legal and policy framework and its implications on women’s visibility, the institutional mentoring systems and the gaps therein” she observed.
The Chairperson of Council acknowledged that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles cannot be resolved at an individual level. She therefore advocated for broad based strategies that can address deep-seated structural and cultural biases facing women. “These include developing mentorship networks, enacting laws and policies that address the imbalances and providing training programmes to address the leadership gaps.”
She therefore pledged the University Council’s unwavering support to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme by ensuring an enabling policy environment that facilitates gender-responsive teaching, learning, research innovation and community service.
The research dissemination was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms. Ritah Namisango and the Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and PRO Mak-RIF, Ms. Harriet Adong.
Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal
The CABI Agriculture and Biosciences Journal (CABI A&B) is still in search of both Associate Editors to join the CABI A&B Editorial Board, as well as a Regional Editor-in-Chief to lead for Africa in addition to serving as a Section Editor in the area of either Environmental and SOIL SCIENCE, AGROECOLOGY, OR AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES. Ideally CABI wants Section Editors (SE) who are prominent members of their research communities, with high-level established positions at a research institution, with a strong, current record of international collaborations and publication, with an H-index of at least 25. For Associate Editors (AE) we hope for researchers who have with established positions at a research institution (e.g., not post-docs or Ph.D. candidates), with a strong growing record of international collaborations and publication (e.g., around 8 publications in the past two years), and have an H-index of at least 15.
Very importantly, CABI hopes for SEs and AEs who are good communicators and are passionate about serving and building the journal to be an outlet for both large and small steps of sound science that will improve the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide.
Please see Downloads for the CABI EDITORIAL DIRECTORY
Interested applicants should email PHILIPPA J. BENSON, PH.D. MANAGING EDITOR | _CABI A&B | P.BENSON[at]CABI.ORG