Professor Elly Katunguka Rwakishaya describes as smooth his first 100 days as Kyambogo University Vice Chancellor. He shifted his office from the ceremonial third floor reserved for the Vice Chancellor only to relocate himself in the office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor â€“ Academic Affairs on the second floor. The move, he says, allows him to easily monitor and work with his other colleagues.
Kyambogo University has been a myriad of internal wrangles and fights in the past two years. Former Vice Chancellor, Professor Isaiah Omolo Ndiege, complained on more than one occasion that lecturers in the university were involved in infighting geared towards pushing him out. He retorted that a ‘mafia’ group of lecturers were fighting him and sliding threatening notes into his office. As part of his farewell notes, Ndiege advised that the chair of the VC was untenable and anyone who will occupy it will face the same hardships.
Four months on and Professor Katunguka seems to be defying his predecessor’s predictions. Katunguka says he has no issues with anybody and what lacked at the University was team building.
He shifted his office from the ceremonial third floor reserved for the Vice Chancellor only to relocate himself in the office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor – Academic Affairs on the second floor. The move, he says, allows him to easily monitor and work with his other colleagues. He says ‘sitting on top of everybody’ makes him uncomfortable and gives off the wrong impression that others are not as useful.
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On any typical day, Katunguka will be found reading and signing off a stash of papers plus roaming the Senate Building corridors for meetings and appointments with his colleagues.
Katunguka is new face at Kyambogo, but he is not quite new to the lecturers and top echelons of the university.
His illustrious academic career has seen him teach at Makerere University for over 33 years from where he held different managerial positions for 18 years. He notes in his interview that the smoothness of his job is because of a shared history between him and other administrative officials at Kyambogo.
Part of his major focus at the moment is the African Development Bank-funded Students Centre that he estimates to start in September and the Students educational centre whose funds will be generated internally and through fundraising events.
Kyambogo University Staff Association (KYUASA) spokesperson, Jackson Betihama, told URN that the working relationship between staff and Katunguka is good and keeps on improving.
Despite Katunguka's assurances, Kyambogo University still suffers from organisational mishaps and fraudulent transactions. In the recently concluded graduation in February, students complained of errors on their transcripts. The university infrastructure is still wanting with many buildings lacking renovation.
Katunguka also admits that some of his administrators fail to live to their bidding. He says some administrators connive with students to forge marks, recruit students into the university and even misdirect tuition fees to other unknown account.
The mess in Kyambogo has attracted the offices of the Inspectorate of Government and the Auditor General who have been hounding the University for information for over a year now with no conclusive report published.
Katunguka officially took over as the acting Vice Chancellor of Kyambogo in February this year. Prior to the Kyambogo top job, Katunguka was the head of the Makerere University directorate of research and graduate training.