The Commission for University Education (CUE) has constituted a raft of regulations aimed at streamlining and strengthening Kenya’s higher education system. Universities now have up to 2019 to fully implement the harmonized criteria to govern appointment and promotion of academic staff in the institutions. Besides outlining acceptable grading and titles, the policy document also captures what it takes to move from one academic rung to the next.
To be appointed graduate or research assistant; the entry level position, one must be a holder of at least Upper Second Class Honours degree from a recognized University and be expected to register for a relevant Masters degree. Where applicable, such a candidate should be registered with relevant professional body.
The position of a Professor, the highest rung, will only be filled by seasoned academics whose teaching, research, leadership and community service is beyond reproach. To be appointed a Professor, one must have earned a PhD or equivalent degree qualification in addition to having taught and undertaken research for three years as an Associate Professor. Such candidates are also required to have supervised a minimum of five students to completion, two at doctoral level.
The new grading system scraps the position of Assistant Lecturer while prescribing how industry players can transition into the academia.
Addressing the University staff on the new regulations and a panoply of other policy issues, Monday January 11, 2015, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga announced the University had made arrangements to support the faculty align their skills to the new benchmarks. JKUAT she said had a robust staff training scheme that enables lecturers to undertake advanced training and research.
The new regulations have also come as a relief to a number of faculty who had to satisfy more stringent requirements by JKUAT before promotion to Professorship. Instead of six years, Associate Professors can now be promoted in three years, subject to meeting other requirements, under the new order.
Prof. Imbuga further challenged the faculty to observe high academic, leadership and ethical standards; attributes which she opined, had enabled JKUAT to emerge as a regional centre of excellence in training research and innovation.
The Vice Chancellor also urged the staff to take advantage of emerging consultancy opportunities, particularly under the devolved system of governance to assist the country address existing development gaps.
The Vice Chancellor was accompanied by deputies: Prof. Romanus Odhiambo (Academic Affairs), Prof. Otoki Moirongo (Finance) and Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi (Administration).