Dr Isaac Kajja Appointed Ag. Principal Mak College of Health Sciences

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Kajja was in the recent search process for the Deputy Principal nominated unopposed for the position and subsequently appointed. However, the position of the Principal remains contested, a move which has created a leadership crisis at the College.
Dr. Isaac Kajja
Dr Isaac Kajja has been appointed the acting Principal of the College of Health Sciences at Makerere University, seven months after the staff blocked the appointment of Professor Damalie Nakanjako for the job.

Dr Kajja will serve in acting capacity over the next six months or until a substantive Principal is appointed, according to a communication by Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe.

In the recent search process for the Deputy Principal, Kajja was nominated unopposed for the position and subsequently appointed.  However, the position of the Principal remained contested, a move which has created a leadership crisis at the College.

According to the search committee report, Prof. Nakanjako scored an average mark of 76.2 per cent while her challenger, Professor Joloba scored 77.3 per cent out of the agreed 60 per cent pass mark. But the staff rejected her appointment citing that they were alienated from participating in the selection process, which they say was strange to them as it contravened guiding laws and principles.

They contend that they were not consulted throughout the process and that the public presentations were done only as an attempt to sugarcoat the process, after removing the academic rights of the constituent faculty. The staff also say Professor Nakanjako doesn’t have the requisite experience for the job.

URN has learnt that one of the minimum requirements were at least four years of managerial ability and experience in an institution of higher learning as per the shortlisting tool by the search committee. A person to qualify is expected to have at least been a Head of Department, Dean of School, or Deputy Principal.

However, staffers say the recommended candidate for Principal has never headed the Department but has been a substantive Dean of the School of Medicine for only three months, having served previously as Deputy Dean –a position that does not exist in the University Structure.

Despite the controversies, the search committee declined to recommend Professor Joloba for appointment due to “…several complaints against him” despite lack of a conclusive report on the status of the complaints and evidence of disciplinary action against him. 

On February 12, 2020, the Senate, the Academic Organ of the University sat to deliberate over the qualifications of candidates selected for the positions including the College of Health Sciences. It is during this meeting that members punched holes in the search committee recommendation to appoint Professor Nakanjako as head of College. 

The University Council, the supreme governing body of Makerere University noted that the petition from more than 40 staff of the College of Health Sciences was received late about the date of the Council meeting, noting that more time was needed to study the matters raised. 

Speaking to the University Council Chairperson on Tuesday morning, Lorna Magara told URN that the “Process is ongoing” to find a substantive Principal for the College. 

Professor Charles Ibingira has been in an acting capacity since November 2019 following the expiry of his term of office. His six months contract extension was renewed in April for another three months which ended on July 31. professor Ibingira is slated to handover office to Dr Kajja on Monday, August 17, 2020.