As I start my second month at USIU, I am pleased to share with you that my “90 Days of Listening” are going exceedingly well. I am learning a lot about what makes this university exceptional, your pride and commitment to its continued success, and your ideas on how best to overcome some of our current challenges and take advantage of the numerous opportunities as we move forward. I have also been meeting with various external constituencies including our alumni, employers, and public officials.
In the various meetings the issue of communication has been mentioned as being in need of our concerted efforts. A lot of great things are taking place in this university by our students, faculty, and staff that we all need to be made aware of and share with the outside world. Improving communication is an area that the university will be looking into to ensure that there is an effective two-way feedback loop within the institution. An internal communication strategy will be developed so that we are all well informed and are able to celebrate our achievements and successes. I believe sharing news on a regular basis is indispensable to strengthening of our community.
As part of this communication process, I will be writing a regular blog sharing with you developments about or of importance to our beloved university. This is my first blog.
Let me begin by celebrating some of the notable achievements that have come to my attention. They include the following:
- Two Global Executive MBA alumni were appointed to the cabinet by President Uhuru Kenyatta in December 2015. They were Charles Keter (GEMBA ’15) – Cabinet Secretary for Energy & Petroleum, and Mwangi Kiunjuri (GEMBA ’15) – Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning. A special celebration was held for them with USIU alumni who were joined by several faculty, and the Dean of the School of Business, Professor Achoki at Panafric Hotel on 11th January.
- The Ladies Basketball team qualified for the Finals of the Kenya Basketball Federation Women’s Premier League when they won the best-of-five series against Equity Bank Hawks 3-2. At the moment, they are drawn 1-1, with Game 3 and 4 taking place this coming weekend (February 6-7) at the Nyayo National Gymnasium in Nairobi.
- Linus Sang was nominated to the Sportsperson Of the Year Award. Linus is an IST sophomore, who is not only a member of the USIU-Africa men’s hockey team, but also represented the country in December during the Africa championships in South Africa.
- The Marketing and Communication department entered the African Excellence Award Competition that looked at the Public Relations and Communication strategies, implementation and outcomes and they have won 1st place in the Education Category. The African Excellence Awards were created to honor the most outstanding achievements of communications professionals in their field in the 5 regions (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America).
I would like to conclude by bringing to your attention ongoing and upcoming events. I wish to thank the organizers of Black History Month for the series of exciting events they have organized. I was impressed by the colorful launch on Tuesday morning. Black History Month gives the Pan-African world an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate the history of African disaporas and their connections and contributions to the continent. I gather preparations are underway for an exciting and innovative program of activities for Culture Week next month. I have heard so much about Culture Week that I am eagerly looking forward to it.
Also, the university is in the process of finalizing the self-study for the Institutional Quality Audit by the Commission for University Education, which is due February 29. It will be followed by a campus visit by the Commission between 14th and 18th March. Another important activity currently nearing completion is the new Strategic Plan which will be reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees at its next meeting on March 10. My thanks to all the people involved in preparing the CUE audit and strategic plan.
Finally, preparations are advanced for the VC’s Inauguration on April 7. You will soon be getting more information about the latter event from the Transition Planning Committee headed by the DVC Academic Affairs, Ambassador Professor Rono.
I trust the semester is going well for all of you.
Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
United States International University-Africa
P.O. Box 14684-00800, Nairobi, Kenya
+254 20 360 6411