Today, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Linus Muthuri Gitonga, held an inaugural meeting with administrative Heads of Departments and Sections where he laid out his vision for the University.

Acting Deputy Vice Chancellors

The Ag. Vice Chancellor started by introducing the newly appointed acting Deputy Vice Chancellors who will work alongside him.

Dr. Hellen Kamiri has been appointed the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic, Research and Student Affairs). She is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Agriculture and Biotechnology (SAB) where she previously served for two terms as the Dean.

Dr. Richard Kiai has been appointed into two positions; Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Planning, Finance and Administration) and Dean, School of Business. Dr. Kiai, a Senior Lecturer, has been the Acting Senior Internal Auditor and boosts of extensive experience in handling finance and audit matters.

The Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Linus Muthuri Gitonga (Centre), the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Planning, Finance and Administration), Dr. Richard Kiai (Left) and the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic, Research and Student Affairs), Dr. Hellen W. Kamiri (Right).

“I have full confidence in these two Ag. DVCs. My focus has always been to grow young talent. I, therefore, would like to see them grow, thrive, and rise because they are forward looking and are willing to take on new grounds,” said the Ag. Vice Chancellor.

He further emphasized that he desires to grow other young talent in the University. In what he termed his ‘pronunciation’, the Ag. VC stated that he is willing to see young people in positions of leadership grow at a personal level, career wise and also in growing others.

“Let us work together to grow one another. As we grow ourselves, the University also grows.”

Return to normalcy

The Ag. VC stated that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of University operations had been disrupted. One among these is that, for a while now, some staff members have been working remotely. He, therefore, called for a return to proper ways of working in view of the fact that the pandemic is no longer a threat.

“As Heads of Departments and Sections, I challenge you to be an example to those under you by observing normal working days and hours of 8a.m to 5p.m.”

End divisions

The Ag. VC also called for an end to unproductive and negative divisions in the University. Instead, he encouraged members, and by extension each member of staff, to build positive relationships as one community of Karatina University.

“Divisions do not help an institution. So, let bygones be bygones. I value each one of you. Let us unite as one people.”

He noted that as it is expected in change management, he will be putting in place measures to break any injustices that have been committed and also streamline a number of operations.

The Ag. Vice Chancellor and Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellors with Heads of Departments/Heads of Sections

Institutional structures and systems

The Ag. VC urged the department/section heads to get back and observe properly established institutional structures and systems. According to him, a system helps smoothen everything towards a desired goal. Therefore, every component of the system must work properly.

“Do your reports. Make timely requests and hold regular departmental meetings.”

While enhancing institutional structures and systems, he challenged the department/section heads to work on introducing operational improvements in their areas.

“What do you need to do to bring about efficiency and effectiveness in the services you offer? How do you bring ease of operation? How can we automate systems to ease doing business? I challenge you to embrace the young way of thinking of how we can do things differently to bring about efficiency, better service delivery, and better products among others.”

Community engagement

In the same vein, he encouraged them to think of how each department or section can engage and impact the community around the University. Members of staff, and students, were urged to make a difference in the community.

 Resource Mobilization

Finally, the Ag. VC challenged the heads of departments/sections to think further on resource mobilization and what, as departments or sections, they can do to mobilize resources.

“Even cutting operational costs and improving efficiency is a way of resource mobilization.”

The Ag. VCs final call was to respect one another, be kind to one another, being considerate and harmoniously working together as an institution towards the desired end.

The Ag. DVC (ARSA), Dr. Hellen Kamiri, appealed to everyone to recognize the transition period the University was going through and to handle it effectively.

“During this period, let us work together. We are here because of students who are our main stakeholders. Let us serve our stakeholders.”

The Ag. DVC (PFA), Dr. Richard Kiai, called upon everyone to embrace a culture of team work. He also stated that the driving force of each department should be to serve and operate with objectivity.

“We have been given a chance to serve, let us serve with humility. As experts in our departments, let us put our skills to use. We should also embrace proper management tools like having work plans and instituting aspects of risk management.”

The heads of departments/sections congratulated the new administration and pledged to support them in the execution of their duties.