Mount Kenya University (MKU) installed Prof Deogratious Jaganyi as its new Vice-Chancellor, at a ceremony held at the institution’s main campus in Thika town.
While acknowledging the achievements realized over the years under the stewardship of outgoing VC, Prof Stanley Waudo, Education Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia urged the new Vice-Chancellor to continue with the good work being done by the institution of establishing numerous affiliated technical institutions.
“As the second Vice-Chancellor, you have Prof. Waudo’s standards that he has set for you to not only attain and maintain but also to surpass,” Kinuthia told Prof Jaganyi.
Kinuthia noted that MKU has grown into a premier institution within a period of 10 years since it was granted the university charter.
“I have noted the strategic support to Technical and Vocational Training Institutions that are affiliated to MKU located in Kitale, Kisii, and Thika,” he said.
Prof Jaganyi promised to drive MKU forward in the new era of digital technology amidst a global pandemic, Covid-19, which has devastated global economies, killed millions of people and disrupted academic learning worldwide.
He said the types of jobs being created are in the emerging fields, Information Communication and Technology (ICT) driven while the old require digital problem-solving skills.
“These are emerging skills that companies need to remain globally competitive and they look to universities to provide the required human resource,” he noted.
His predecessor, Prof Waudo, narrated MKU’s humble beginnings, looking back to when it started off as a Computer Training Center (CTC) in 1996 before it was elevated and called Thika Institute of Technology (TIT). Later on, Prof Waudo says TIT later transformed to become MKU.
“In recognizing that “experience is the best teacher”, the MKU Management uses lessons learned and experience gained in the past to make decisions that support MKU growth and business continuity,” he added.
Prof Waudo noted that the country’s education was moving in the right direction citing the establishment of numerous institutions of higher learning.
“The increase in the number of universities has increased competition for programmes, staff, students, funding and partnerships among others.” He said
On his part, MKU founder and Chairman Dr. Simon Gicharu, pointed out that former Barrack Obama’s campaign motto “Yes We Can” has been the guiding principle of the institution noting that this spirit has driven MKU to where it is today.
“Prof. Stanley Waudo had been part of that process since 2007. It was under his academic leadership that the university was awarded a Charter, won several global meritorious awards, and sprinted to position one in a number of international research grants awarded to private universities in Kenya.” He said
While appreciating the role played by the outgoing VC, Gicharu noted that “under Prof. Waudo’s stewardship, the university has graduated over 100,000 students, achieved internationalization and established several allied institutions notably Equip Africa Institute.”
The varsity chairman announced that Prof Waudo has been appointed a council member at MKU and will be the chairman of the proposed Mount Kigali University of Technology based in Rwanda.
Gicharu disclosed that it took a year to recruit Prof Jaganyi, a person he says has more than 20 years of experience in the management of academic institutions of international repute. He further dispelled concerns that the new varsity boss was South African, asserting that Prof Jaganyi was a Kenyan who had worked for decades in South Africa.