Give us a chancellor that is not academically stained, Mak staff tell Museveni

Education
Give us a chancellor that is not academically stained, Mak staff tell Museveni
Prof William Bazeyo

In March, Makerere University Search Committee interviewed William Bazeyo for the position despite knowing his stained integrity, and the Council proceeded to recommend him for appointment

MAKERERE | The Makerere University Joint Staff Associations has asked President Museveni to trash the recommendation of the University Council for the appointment of Professor William Bazeyo as its chancellor.

The joint staff, in an April 15 letter to the President, said they had learnt from various media reports that the Council had recommended Mr Bazeyo for possible appointment as Chancellor of Makerere University.

"We are requesting that you give Makerere University a Chancellor that is not academically stained and befits Makerere's image and legacy," the joint staff said, notifying the President that the University Council had made it clear in the advertisement for the position that they were looking for someone of high integrity.

The joint staff associations comprises Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), Makerere University Administrative Staff Association (MASA), and the National Union of Education Institutions - Makerere branch.

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The letter, signed by Dr Robert Kakuru for MUASA, Bennet Magara for MASA and Isaac Okello for NUEI, said while the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act gives the University Council the powers to recommend candidates for the position of Chancellor, Mr Bazeyo holds a doctoral degree from a university that is not accredited.

"The National Council for Higher Education confirmed this in a letter a July 29, 2020, letter," they said.

In 2020, Mr Bazeyo was the acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration when he applied to be appointed as a substantive office bearer.

But two former students, Sam Ninsiima and Amos Werikhe successfully exposed the fact that Mr Bazeyo had acquired his PhD from an institution that was not accredited.

The professor of occupational medicine at Makerere University School of Public Health suddenly resigned from his position as acting deputy vice-chancellor for finance and administration on October 8, 2020, and pulled out of the race for the same.

The joint staff have since brought the same to the attention of the President, saying Mr Bazeyo submitted the unrecognised degree to secure substantive appointment to the same position.

"This was indelible academic dishonesty, not least by a Professor and acting Deputy Vice Chancellor, of whom high standards of academic honesty, integrity and judgment are expected," they said.

"It is unconscionable that a holder of an unrecognised degree can be qualified to head a university of Makerere's reputation as a chancellor let alone to confer degrees."

A chancellor is the titular head of a university who presides over at all ceremonial assemblies of the institution and confers degrees and other academic titles and distinctions.

On March 31, Mr Ninsiime wrote an Open Letter to the President in which he urged the head of state - who is the visitor to the university - to "protect the image" of the premier university in the country and Africa by rejecting Mr Bazeyo's recommendation.

Makerere has been searching for a replacement for Dr Ezra Suruma, whose second four-year term ended last December.

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