Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology held a two-day virtual seminar to sensitize Heads of Departments (HoDs) on policies and practices to fast-track implementation of University’s strategic plan.
Speaking during the first day of the training that opened, Monday, March 29, 2021, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Victoria Ngumi, reminded the Heads of Departments of their roles and responsibilities and encouraged them to familiarize themselves with the statutes in order to understand their obligations.
She urged Chairpersons of Departments (CODs) to step up and take the lead as academic and administrative heads in their departments.
“As the Chair of the Department, you represent the Vice Chancellor and you should ensure programs and activities run smoothly in your department and that you communicate in case of any issues. Ensure prudent use of funds,” Prof Ngumi advised the CODs.
The Vice Chancellor asked the Heads of Departments to adhere to the Blueprint of the University and come up with cost cutting measures. She further reminded them to implement performance contracts.
“Adhere to the hierarchy of management. This ensures efficient communication paths between the departments. Plan and budget for the departmental activities. Carry out impactful and meaningful research since JKUAT is an institution of research and innovation,” the Vice Chancellor, advised.
Prof. Ngumi encouraged the HoDs to continue contributing to the Big Four Agenda of the government and congratulated the departments which are working towards their attainment, and called upon all staff to maintain the good name of the University.
Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Prof. Bernard Ikua, underscored the importance of staff training as a strategy for attracting and retaining staff. He encouraged the HoDs to conduct succession planning and mentorship, further advising them to identify staff who need counselling services particularly during the COVID-19 period.
“Identify potential successors and have a strategy of passing on the leadership roles to ensure your successors have the required skills. This is a crucial responsibility for you as the HoDs, and adhere to the staff code of conduct.” Prof Ikua said.
The acting Chief Legal Officer, Richard Wokabi, asked the HoDs to carry themselves with integrity, abide by the statutes and adhere to JKUAT Charter which is the establishing instrument of the university and contains the vision and mission of the University.
Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Dr. Hindzano Ngonyo asked the HoDs to carry out effective communication in their departments, and encouraged them to help employees understand their roles as well as working harmoniously.
Dr. Ngonyo reminded the HoDs to maintain a good corporate image since it is everybody’s responsibility and not a departmental responsibility.
The University Librarian, Dr. Roselyne Mangira, called on HoDs to share their published work with the library since this will enable the University to compete favorably with other institutions.
The two-day seminar also covered issues such as; university risk management, implementation of ISO, performance contracting, procurement process, curriculum performance evaluation, management of university grants, intellectual property, and research and innovation activities, among others.