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Mak Chair Council Launches ARIS Development

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The Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara on Thursday 6th May, 2021 launched the development of an in-house Academic Records Information System (MakARIS) aimed at ensuring full control by the University of its academic processes and records. The launch follows a resolution by the University Council at its 151st meeting, and undergirds four overarching goals of the Makerere University Strategic Plan 2020-2030.

The four goals are: A research-led University responding to National, Regional and Global development challenges; Innovations in Teaching and Learning that respond to the changing environment; An engaged University with enhanced partnerships with industry, the community and international institutions; and A professionally governed, equitable, inclusive and gender mainstreamed institution.

Mrs. Lorna Magara – Chairperson, Makerere University Council

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe in his welcome remarks thanked the Chairperson and Members of Council for the resolution that paved way for the development of MakARIS. He thanked Acting (Ag.) Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Dr. Josephine Nabukenya for accepting to chair the Steering Committee that will spearhead the development of MakARIS.

“I believe that all processes in the University should be digitized and effected on an integrated system. I therefore thank the Acting DVCFA who since her appointment has ensured that IT-dependent systems are implemented promptly” remarked the Vice Chancellor.

Prof. Nawangwe’s appointment of Dr. Nabukenya as Chairperson MakARIS Steering Committee was based on her vast experience as Associate Professor of Information Systems, developer of IT polices and leadership of various research projects.

In her acceptance remarks, Dr. Nabukenya noted that Makerere University has the requisite capacity to develop a fully integrated Information System and introduced her committee members. These are;

  1. Dr. Umar Kakumba – Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)
  2. Mr. Hudson Musoke – Ag. Director Legal Affairs
  3. Mr. Yusuf Kiranda – Ag. University Secretary
  4. Mr. Alfred Namoah Masikye – Academic Registrar
  5. Dr. Vincent Ssembatya – Director Quality Assurance Directorate (QAD)
  6. Mr. Samuel Mugabi – Director Directorate for ICT Support (DICTS)
  7. Prof. Henry Alinaitwe – Principal College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT)
  8. Assoc. Prof. Josephine Ahikire – Principal College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS)
  9. Mr. Silas Ngabirano – Assistant Commissioner ICT, Ministry of ICT and National Guidance

Also introduced were members of the technical team consisting of Software Engineers, System Integration Specialists, Systems Analysts, Enterprise Architects, Programmers and Research Assistants. The technical team made up of staff from the School of Computing and Informatics Technology (CIT) and DICTS.

Chairperson MakARIS Steering Committee – Assoc. Prof. Josephine Nabukenya

The Ag. DVCFA shared that the development will be carried out within a period of 6 months and is justified by; Reduction of costs as there will no recurring license fees, Accommodation of user stakes (students, banks and other stakeholders to be consulted) and Ownership (the system will be owned by Makerere University).

Furthermore, the development is justified by; Customization (the system will be customizable to meet emerging needs), Reduced security risks on institutional data, and Improved service provision to various users. The MakARIS enterprise architecture will ensure that all process and systems that feed into the management of student records will be integrated so as to cater for both present and future requirements.

“It gives me so much pleasure to be able to participate in this launch, which is at the heart of what Council has always desired to do” remarked the Chairperson Mrs. Magara as she commended the Steering Committee for the presentation and planned activities.

She noted that once fully developed, the system will provide an enriching environment for the University to draw out and utilize the vast potential that exists within the various colleges. The Chairperson added that efficiency and effectiveness are key elements of Information Systems, short of which, they are as good as dead.

“Automation will greatly improve information flow, alleviate the frustrations that many have experienced in the past and as a result, holdups will be history” said Mrs. Magara.

She applauded the University Management and technical team for the efforts taken to develop the system so far and pledged Council’s support in the form of any policies that will need to be enacted to ensure that the system is implemented.  Mrs. Magara concluded her remarks by challenging University units to look beyond solving institutional challenges to helping Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies tackle national needs.

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UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021

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A male researcher inspects a maize cob in a demonstration plot on 13th August 2010 at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK), Wakiso Uganda.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.

Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;

  • JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
  • Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
  • Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
  • For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
  • Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
  • Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
  • Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
  • In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.

Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.

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4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors

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URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.

MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.

Eligibility

  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
  3. Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.

Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors

Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.

Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal

There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.

How to Apply

Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.

Confirmation/Approval Process

MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.

NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.

Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.

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Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University

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An older photo of the Main Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda as seen from across the Freedom Square. Date taken: 22nd October 2012.

7th June 2021

All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
Makerere University

RE: CLOSURE OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY

Following the address to the Nation by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, on 6th June 2021, this is to inform you that the University will be closed with effect from today 7th June 2021 for 42days.

During the closure, the University shall observe a 30% physical presence of staff while other faculty and administrative staff shall continue to work online.

Management will inform staff and students on the implementation of teaching, learning, and research activities online. Construction activities shall continue as per the President’s directives and with strict adherence to the COVID-19 SOPs.

Yours sincerely,

Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council

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