Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | As the Makerere University Search Committee concludes the search for the next deputy vice-chancellor in charge of finance and administration, two former students have asked that Prof. William Bazeyo be ejected from the race due to lack of credible qualifications.
The alumni are; Sam Ninsiima and Amos Welikhe. Through their lawyers Birungi, Nalunkuma and company advocates they allege that Prof. Bazeyo, who is the current acting DVCF&A obtained his PhD from Hawaii based Atlantic International University which is not accredited by agencies recognized by the United State Department of Education.
Monica Birungi, Alumni’s lawyer says that her clients have on several occasions raised the matter at hand to the University management highlighting that if the institution is not recognized then all degrees and other awards by the same university are regarded as ‘fake’.
According to correspondent seen by this reporter, the alumni through their lawyers on June 29 brought the matter to the attention of the University academic registrar Alfred Masikye Namoah so that “Ugandans are saved from any future extortion if at all the university is not accredited and thus offering fake degrees.”
However, in reply Namoah noted that Makerere didn’t have the mandate to give the accreditation status of any University advising them to instead address the matter to the National Council for Higher Education which they subsequently did.
On July 29, Dr Puis Achanga the acting director of quality assurance and accreditation at NCHE noted that the University in question was not recognized by the council.
“The purpose of this letter is to inform you that Atlantic International University is not accredited by the US department of education. Awards of Atlantic International University are therefore not recognized by the National Council for Higher Education,” the letter reads in part.
On its official website, AIU admits that it is not accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education. The institution, however, notes that it is accredited by the Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges, and Universities which is an independent UK quality assurance body specializing in the institutional accreditation of education providers worldwide.
AUI goes on to explain how the accreditation factor may affect its potential students advising them to consider how it may affect their interests.
“In some cases, accredited colleges may not accept for transfer courses and degrees completed at unaccredited colleges and some employers may require an accredited degree as a basis for eligibility for employment. Potential students should consider how the above may affect their interests,” the university disclaimer reads in part.
For someone to apply for the position of deputy vice-chancellor at Makerere must be Ugandan aged 40 to 65 by the time of application, holding a PhD or other academic Doctorate, with at the level of Associate Professor in an institution whose academic ranking is comparable with Makerere University among other qualifications.
During the public presentation that was held this afternoon in the University’s main hall, Prof. Bazeyo who is currently serving in an acting capacity in the office, he is vying for noted that he obtained his PhD from the University in question.
However, when the question of the accreditation status was raised, Bazeyo did not get a chance to answer it as he was timed out. After the presentation, Bazeyo declined to comment on the matter. “Am done with my presentation. Am not talking to the press, we are now waiting for the (search) committee to do its job,” he said.
Dr Deus Kamunyu, the Chairperson of the Makerere University Staff Association-MUASA, notes that the revelation of the academic credibility of one of the applications is serious and of great concern more so in the academic world and therefore needs to be studied and handled carefully.
The search committee shortlisted three candidates for the position of deputy vice-chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration after almost a year without a substantive office holder. Besides, Bazeyo, the committee also shortlisted Prof. Anthony Mugisha of Veterinary Sciences and Socio-economics, and Associate Prof. Allan Mulengani Katwalo, the dean school of business and applied technology at Clark International University.
In the same development, Prof Mugisha is questioning the composition and selection of the search committee which he says was single handily done by the university Vice-Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe contrary to the due process which requires that they are selected by the senate.
Prof. Mugisha, who in 2018 challenged the same process in the court of due irregularities, notes that Prof. Nawangwe reassigned the entire committee that had previously mismanaged the process. He, however, decided to enter into the race by giving the committee a benefit of doubt that this time around they will follow the due process.
Meanwhile, during the presentations, the three candidates promised that stressed that if given chance they would tackle the seemly chronicle issues that that hunting Makerere including but not limited to limited funding, internal conflicts that are leading to endless litigation, improvement of the resource management and lobbying for more funds for the University.
The Deputy vice chancellor for Finance and Administration oversees the finances and administration of the University and is responsible for planning, budgeting and development of the university, resource mobilization, investment, human resource management, security, estates and works, and procurement.
The office also monitors the Finance Department, the planning and development department, and the security department among others.