Historical Attachment between ICT Directorate and ICSIT
The foundation of the ICT Directorate dates back to the birth of the Institute of Computer Science and Information (ICSIT) in 1998. ICSIT was curved off from the Faculty of Science. It was mandated with training, research and innovation in Computing and Information Technology which it ably executed leading to the commencement of Computer Science and IT in 1999, Computer Technology in 2001, M.Sc. in Computer Based Information Systems (CBIS) and Information Technology Management (ITM) in 2002 in collaboration with the University of Sunderland as well as Ph.D. in ICT Governance in 2004 and M.Sc. in Software Engineering in 2006. It also offered certificate and diploma courses in IT.
ICSIT also offered ICT service courses to all students across the University in line with JKUAT’s pursuit of ensuring that every student whether in Science, Engineering, Agriculture, Enterprise or Health Science was ICT literate and able to utilize ICT as an enabler to training, research and innovation.
Stemming from this rich history as the ICT hub of the University and rising to be the premier source of ICT skilled human resource for national economy, prior to and into the Kenya Vision 2030 era, ICSIT acquired a wider mandate of offering ICT services to meet the demands of the University student and staff community including the laying of the Local Area Network (LAN) and development of application systems.
Formation of ICT Committee and Oversight Role
An ICT Committee of Senate was formed in 2003 to provide oversight and ICSIT under the Director then, Muliaro Joseph Wafula, was tasked with the management of the expanding ICT services demands including the hiring of the first fully-fledged ICT service staff. Thus Joseph Nyaga Gacheru and Harrisson Mumia Nyende (from the pioneer class of B.Sc. Computer Science) were hired as the Systems Administrator (Networks) and Systems Administrator (Academic Affairs) in mid 2003 respectively. Other staff were hired in the subsequent years building a formidable ICT service workforce.
Rationale for Separation of Academic and ICT Service Roles
By 2006 the ICT service burden had risen to tremendous levels and laid a high burden on ICSIT. It was deemed necessary to separate the ICT academic arm from the ICT service arm to facilitate effective management of ICT services. The lack of a scheme of service and clear career progression for ICT service staff had also led to the departure of staff within 1-2 years of engagement.
Consequently, in 2006 the ICT Committee chaired by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga (the then Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs) tasked the Director, ICSIT, Dr. Waweru Mwangi, to develop structures for the ICT service arm. The drive was also pushed by external factors including a research done by Boniface Mwirigi Kiula under the supervision of Dr. Muliaro Joseph Wafula (who also involved in the development of a strategy for e-governance in Kenya) under the Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA).
The proposals were approved through the University Management Board and the Senate leading to the formation of the IT Services Department in September 2006. Dr. Waweru Mwangi was formally appointed as the ICT Coordinator in addition to the duties as the Director, ICSIT with Boniface Mwirigi Kiula as the caretaker IT Services Team Leader up to February 2008.
Formal Independence of ICT Service Arm and Appointment of ICT Manager
In March 2008, the University formally hived off the provision of ICT services from ICSIT and appointed the first ICT Manager, Ms Anne Muthoni Kibe who served the ICT Department up to June 2009. The Department obtained its first physical office facilities when it was accommodated in Hall 7 Building 4th Floor in May 2008. Ms Kibe was succeeded by Dr. Muliaro Joseph Wafula from July 2009.
Reengineering and Transformation
Dr. Wafula took the Department through a major reengineering in order to make it an effective machine for ICT service delivery to the University community and its expanding population and rising number of campuses as well as enhance its capability to meet the infrastructure, information systems, research, consultancy and training demands of the local and national community in line with the Kenya Vision 2030.
Following this reengineering and change management, the ICT Department was transformed into the ICT Directorate with three departments all of which has received the approval of the University Management and the Senate. Dr. Muliaro Joseph Wafula was appointed the first ICT Director on March 1st, 2010.