Prof. Ddumba Ssentamu is New MUK VC

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In short
Professor John Ddumba Ssentamu has been appointed the new Makerere University Vice Chancellor.

Professor John Ddumba Ssentamu has been appointed the new Makerere University Vice Chancellor.
 
Until his new appointment, Ssentamu has been Acting Principal College of Business and Management Studies (COBMAS).
 
The 59 year old economics professor beat Associate Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the Principal College of Engineering and Design. The two were early this month shortlisted by the University Council and their names forwarded to the Chancellor, Professor Mondo Kagonyera, who has now appointed Prof. Ssentamu to lead the 90 year old institution.
 
Ritah Namisango, the university publicist, says the new vice chancellor takes office effective September 1, 2012.
 
When contacted, Professor Ssentamu said he was happy about the appointment but noted that the challenge ahead is enormous. He says that he is looking up to his colleagues at the university to work as a team. The new vice chancellor said that after being appointed, he called several of his colleagues at the university, including those with whom they have been in the race.
 
He says his priority is on improving the academic standards at the university and improving the facilities to reduce congestion.

Ssentamu will replace Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba who has been serving in acting capacity since 2009. Baryamureeba, who was also in the race that initially started with seven candidates, was dropped by the University Council, a decision he unsuccessfully challenged.
 
The University Council had fronted Ssentamu and Nawangwe for the university’s top-most job after a round of voting in which they polled 14 and 11 votes respectively. The third candidate, Professor Edward Kirumira, tied with Nawangwe on 11 votes before being defeated in the second round of voting.

Out of the 18 council members who voted, Ddumba emerged the best with 14 votes as Nawangwe tied with Prof. Edward Kirumira at 11 votes. In the second tie-breaking round Nawangwe managed 10 votes to beat Kirumira.
 
Professor Ssentamu has been teaching at Makerere for over 35 years and is one of the longest serving deans.
 
He graduated from Makerere in 1977 with a bachelor’s of arts in economics degree, before obtaining a Masters degree in Economics two years later at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He later did a PhD in economics at Makerere University.