Ever thought of an office of an Ombudsman in an Institution of higher learning in the region? If not, JKUAT has become the University to establish an office that would address all its stakeholders concerns, starting with students all the way to government.
While it already had mechanisms in place to address similar issues, the University management has decided to have a permanent office that would take care of the interests of its clients. The idea to start the office of an Ombudsman was first floated by the Chancellor Prof. Ali Mazrui some three years ago during the University’s graduation.
He said most people like in any organization would not be free to raise their concerns with management due to fear of victimization, a reason why an office that would handle grievances would suitably be set up.
This is why during her extensive visit to Taita Taveta Campus recently where she had open discussions with staff, students and casual workers, Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga said she would continue to run an interactive administration that consulted widely with everyone on board.
She urged all in the university to remain united as a family and share their views constructively without fear as that was the only sure way of building an honest institution. Said Prof. Imbuga, “Criticism is healthy if we are to make any improvements in our institution. We should all encourage and embrace it positively other than creating enemity.”
She urged members of staff to advance their academic qualifications by enrolling themselves in various institutions so that they are competitive during promotions. She said the recently revised Strategic Plan 2009/2012 had equally revised the Vision and Mission to give the University a clear direction and relevance in line with the country’s Vision 2030, a reason why everyone needed to keep the same pace professionally.
She urged all and sundry to come up innovative ideas to help the university generate income. She called upon the staff and students to design programmes that would help the local community as part of the University’s Corporate Social Responsibility, stressing that the University’s growth needed to go hand in hand with that of the local community.
She said the University was undergoing an ISO 9001:2008 audit which would after certification put it in different circles.
In his remarks, Deputy Vice Chancellor academic Affairs, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo hailed the staff and students for their unity which he said had brought integrity to the Institution in Voi.
While he appreciated that there were various challenges in Voi, Prof. Odhiambo urged them to be forward looking as there were positive things ahead.
The Taita Taveta Campus Prof. Hamadi Iddi Boga said the campus was determined to change the face of Voi and hailed the local community which included the local administration and leaders for the tremendous support they have continued to accord him.
He also commended the role played by his members of staff whom he said worked tirelessly despite the tough conditions to create an institution that people in Voi were already proud of.
During the visit, the Vice Chancellor commissioned the Campus’s Internet, and laid a foundation stone for a hostel that will accommodate 312 students.
The entire hostel which has two phases will cost Kshs 24 Million when complete. The first phase which house 156 students will be complete next month (August).
The Vice Chancellor equally presented three best academic performing students with invitation letters to attend a two week summer school training at the Technical University of Dortmund in German, which were made available to the University through the Kenya DAADs Scholars Association of which the Principal is the Chairman.
The students in their Second Year of study include; David Mwangi Akisa studying Mining and Mineral Processing Engineering, Francis Mwania taking Bachelor of Commerce and Moraa Faith Ombongi in Bachelor of Information Technology.
Prof. Imbuga assured the students that they were eligible to compete for the various scholarships offered by the University, as well as use its facilities.