The Makerere University Deans Forum (MUDF) on Friday 3rd September, 2021 held a training session during which newly appointed Deans were inducted and the members of the new Executive Committee elected. Organised by the Interim Executive Committee, the training held at Hotel Africana was presided over by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)-DVCAA and Patron MUDF, Dr. Umar Kakumba.
Welcoming both physical and virtual participants to the launch, the Chair of the opening session Dr. Sarah Ssali congratulated the Chairperson of the Interim Executive Committee and Dean School of Public Health (MakSPH), Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze and her team upon the strides made since they volunteered to serve MUDF. She equally thanked the Patron for hatching the MUDF idea and his untiring support to the Interim Executive Committee and individual Deans.
On 14th June 2019, the Office of the DVCAA in collaboration with the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) organised the Inaugural Deans’ Workshop. One of the outcomes of that workshop was the formation of MUDF.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Kakumba said that the MUDF was platform for Deans to engage and share experiences for the advancement of research, teaching and learning beyond Senate meetings where the business of the day and formalities cannot permit.
“The objective of MUDF is to promote academic excellence through collective action, capacity building and harnessing each other’s expertise, experiences and best practices” noted Dr. Kakumba. He added that the day’s training would specifically recapture momentum of MUDF that was interrupted by COVID-19, foster implementation of the Forum’s work plan, and build cohesive leadership especially between new Deans and their senior colleagues.
In the training’s first session, Dr. Ronald Naluwairo, Acting Deputy Principal at the School of Law presented the revised constitution of MUDF, which provides for the composition, leadership, functions of the Executive Committee, meetings of the Forum, among other articles.
Under article 4, Dr. Naluwairo outlined the core values of MUDF as; (i) Leadership, (ii) Integrity, (iii) Equality, (iv) Transparency and Accountability, and (v) Solidarity. Equality, he said, was particularly important in ensuring that members have the confidence that their Schools have the same say in Forum matters as their bigger or older peers.
Furthermore, MUDF’s Constitution Article 5 on Leadership makes provision for an Executive Committee that will comprise of “a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and three other members all of whom shall be elected by members of MUDF.”
The constitution was debated by members present both physically and online, and the changes agreed upon will be incorporated into the final document. Members nevertheless unanimously agreed that election to the Executive Committee shall be by simple majority of members voting, an exercise that was conducted at the end of the training to appoint the first office bearers.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America is quoted to have said in 1736. It was in line with these wise words that two Deans who had each served two consecutive terms were asked to share their experiences in delivering on their mandate.
Prof. Johnny Mugisha the outgoing Dean (2013-2021) of the School of Agricultural Sciences shared that his leadership on the whole brought good feelings that he looked forward to.
“I always felt good to see staff getting promoted, winning research grants and other awards, graduate students passing their viva voce examinations especially at PhD level, and students graduating in large numbers” remarked Prof. Mugisha.
He shared a few pointers on how to maintain this ‘good feeling’ as highlighted below.
- Deanship is full-time service. Make yourself accessible to staff, students and guests but delegate a lot, especially where circumstances don’t allow
- Strengthen team building activities such as social gatherings and recognise achievers
- Involve each staff in different assignments based on their strengths
- Hold informal interactions with all categories of staff in their offices, corridors, etc.
- Hold formal and informal interactions with students especially those facing challenges
- Establish close working relationships with offices and Managers that are a priority to your School
- Regularly conduct self-assessments on whether you are delivering on your mandate
“Always lead by example; teach, supervise students, do research, publish and manage your time” concluded Prof. Mugisha.
Continuing with the pointers based on his terms of office, Dr. Andrew Ellias State, the Dean School of Social Sciences shared that one of the most taxing responsibilities leaders at this level have to deal with is curriculum review. “Curriculum review is a very tedious process that can take its toll on you. However, I am happy that all the programmes we submitted were considered, reviewed and passed by the National Council for Higher Education.”
He equally cautioned colleagues to always look at examinations as an intricate process with various stages of preparation of scripts, rooms, invigilation all the way to submission of final scores from marking exercises. The latter, he noted, ought to be handled expeditiously as it is one of the triggers of unrest. Dr. State on this note agreed with Prof. Mugisha’s position of maintaining formal and informal interactions with student leaders, as a way of putting out feelers to preempt any unrest.
“Allow yourself to serve outside the School, especially on committees constituted by the university leadership,” Dr. State further advised. “Your service to Makerere University is service to community and the experience you acquire should be shared with colleagues at the School” he added.
Making the day’s final presentation on how to maintain a vibrant grants and partnerships portfolio, Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze emphasised the need for Deans to ensure that the pursuit of research funding goes hand in hand with the teaching and learning experience. “You cannot move grants forward if you are neglecting education.”
She explained that students, especially those at graduate level, are in some instances already well-placed in Government and other organisations, whose funded activities could be in line with Schools’ research interests. In this regard, she stressed the need for teaching staff to treat students as assets and prospective collaborators.
Prof. Wanyenze further noted that maintaining a vibrant grants and partnerships portfolio calls for striking a delicate balance between large and small grants, as well as staff’ and funders’ interests. “As Dean, you should be ready to perform the uncomfortable task of asking colleagues, who in some instances might be senior, to step aside from the role of Principal Investigator for the sake of maintaining a good relationship with the funder.”
On how to ensure a good mix of both large and small grants, Prof. Wanyenze asked Deans to deliberately equip everyone in their Schools, particularly the smart young ones with grant proposal writing skills. “At my School, we expanded the base of people bringing in grants by equipping our students with these skills. This paid off when two of them under the mentorship of a colleague won a grant worth 100,000 Canadian Dollars.”
She additionally urged Deans to use their offices to knock on the doors of line ministries and organisations whose work relates to their disciplines. Citing a Memorandum of Understanding signed between MakSPH and the WHO Uganda country office in 2019, Prof. Wanyenze shared that this collaboration born out of a deliberate effort had resulted in 29 projects being conducted between the two institutions in the last three years.
“We ought to partner with our line ministries and community. We need to step out and engage at the highest level and expand our collaboration networks” she concluded.
At the close of the training, a new MUDF Executive Committee was elected in a brief ceremony conducted by Dr. Grace Kibanja. Following a unanimous simple majority vote, the following four officials and three members were elected as the new Executive Committee.
- Chairperson – Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze, Dean MakSPH
- Vice Chairperson – Prof. Edward Bbaale, Dean School of Business
- Secretary – Dr. Grace Kibanja, Dean School of Psychology
- Treasurer – Prof. Robert Tweyongyere, Dean School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Resources
- Member – Dr. Ronald Naluwairo, Ag. Deputy Principal School of Law
- Member – Dr. Gilbert Maiga, Dean School of Computing and Informatics Technology
- Member – Dr. Dorothy Okello, Dean School of Engineering
The DVCAA and Patron MUDF, Dr. Umar Kakumba in his concluding remarks thanked the New Executive Committee for accepting the call of duty as well as Dr. Aaron Mushengyezi for his service to the Interim Executive Committee. He requested members of the MUDF to draft a memorandum from the action points raised in the training, which he pledged to present before Senate.
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
Agriculture & Environment2 weeks ago
My Academic Journey
Agriculture & Environment2 weeks ago
Press Release: Twenty Two (22) winners of RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition 2021 announced
VC's Diary1 week ago
Congratulations Drs. Joloba, Kateete & Batte
Agriculture & Environment2 weeks ago
Mak, GoU &World Bank Partner to Build Capacity in Public Investment Management