Why Makerere Dropped 12 Professors in Principal Job Search

Out of the 19 people that responded to the September 30 and November 11, 2019, only seven (7) professors were shortlisted based on the minimum requirements.
Senior advocate Kirowa Kiwanuka, the chairperson of the Search Committee for the Principals and Deputy Principals.

The report of the search committee for Principals and Deputy Principals for Colleges at Makerere University show a total of 12 professors were dropped from competing in the race.  

Out of the 19 people that responded to the September 30 and November 11, 2019, advert, only seven (7) professors were shortlisted based on the minimum requirements.  

A Principal is the academic and administrative head of the College, responsible for promoting and maintaining academic excellence, management efficiency and good order of the College. It is a senior management position in the University structure.  

The University had advertised seven positions of Principal and Deputy for the Colleges of Health Sciences, (CHS) College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) and the School of Law.  

The Makerere University Colleges are semi-autonomous academic units comprising of Schools, Institutes and Departments, which carry out academic and administrative functions to fulfill the mandates of teaching, research, community outreach and knowledge transfer.  

According to the Short Listing Report, four of the six candidates that expressed interest for the Principal and three of the four candidates for Deputy Principal of CHS had their applications rejected by the search committee.  

Those that applied for the job of Principal the included the incumbent Professor Charles Ibingira, Professor Sarah Kiguli, Dr. Josephat Byamugisha, Professor Jacinta Opara, Professor Moses Joloba and Professor Damalie Nakanjako.  

The shortlisting report indicates that only Professor Moses Joloba and Professor Damalie Nakanjako were initially shortlisted, by the committee, rejecting the rest.  

According to the report, Dr. Opara had no proof of PhD, academic ranking and proof of academic leadership. Being a non-Uganda citizen disfavored her too while Dr. Byamugisha, the current Director Makerere University Hospital was not shortlisted, according to the report, because the search team received only one letter of for  recommendation, for his application, after rejecting the second one, for late submission, submitted on November 25, 2019.

For Professor Kiguli and Professor Ibingira, the Search Committee declined to shortlist them, after they allegedly could not show proof of their PhDs.   

URN has also learnt that only one of the four candidates who had applied for Deputy Principal in the College of Health Sciences Dr. Isaac Kajja was shortlisted. The rest, Dr. Etheldreda Nakimuli-Mpungu, Dr Charles Kiiza Mondo and the incumbent Dr. Isaac Okullo were rejected.  

As per the analysis of the shortlist report, Dr. Nakimuli-Mpungu application for Deputy Principal job was rejected for submitting one reference letter, a day after the closing date and with no second referee.  

The committee says Dr. Kiiza Mondo, did not adduce evidence of his academic managerial experience in an institution of higher learning, while Dr. Okullo was blocked because he was above the minimum required age at the time of his application.  

In the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, only Associate Professor Josephine Ahikire was shortlisted out of the three candidates that had applied for the job.  

Professor Jacinta A. Opara, from the Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences, at Kampala International University was rejected for being a non-Ugandan. According to the report, the committee could not find proof of her PhD, proof of her academic ranking and proof of her academic leadership.  

Also rejected was an application for Dr. Moses Lukwago, a senior English Lecturer in the Department of English Language Studies (ELS) in the University’s Institute of Languages.  

The committee report shows there was no proof to show Dr. Lukwago had a PhD or other academic Doctorate and was not at a rank of Associate Professor in the Makerere academic staff ranks. This was in addition to lack of evidence to prove his teaching experience, as well as lacked referees.  

While the shortlist for candidates for principal and deputy for School of Law was mid-way the process halted, only one of the three candidates that had applied was shortlisted. They include Dr. Christopher Mbazira, who only submitted his application with only one referee, out of the required two. Mbazira is the only candidate from the law school who had applied for the Principal position.  

Meanwhile, Dr. Ronald Kakungulu-Mayambala’s application was rejected for lack of experience of academic and managerial experience. Dr. Anthony Kakooza, the Dean of Uganda Christian University (UCU)’s Law School was shortlisted for the Deputy Principal position. For one to be considered eligible for the job, an applicant was expected to have a PhD, be at least the rank of Associate Professor or its equivalent at the time of application and with four years’ experience in managing an institution of Higher learning.  

The search committee also indicated one ought to have had a teaching experience of at least six years in one of the disciplines taught in the College and must be a citizen. Applicants at the rank of Associate Professor were supposed not to be above 61 years while those at a rank of Professor were not to be above 66 years, at the time of application.  

The search committee observes that majority of the candidates were blocked for lack of information on requirements that was not detailed in the adverts.  

It recommends that such adverts (for the positions) should be more detailed, concerning submission requirements including attachments as proof of the applicant’s academic ranks, managerial experience, and proof of citizenship, age, among others.  

“Applicants should be requested to submit their application letters for each position being applied for together with the reference letters in sealed envelopes,” says the report.  

Meanwhile, the committee has also recommended a review of minimum age requirement of at least 40. Advocate Kiryowa Kiwanuka, the head of the search committee wants the lower age limit removed in favor of maintaining the upper age limit.  

The five-member search committee was led by senior advocate Kiryowa Kiwanuka. Other members are Eng. Dr. S. P. Kagoda. Dr. Winston Tumps Ireeta, Lord Councilor Doreen Nyanjura and Dr. Fredrick Kitoogo. The committee produced its report on February 12, 2020 and it was expected to be discussed at a special sitting of council sitting on Wednesday February 19, 2020.

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