Deputy Vice Chancellor - Academic & Student Affairs Amb. Prof. Ruthie Rono delivers her address during the DVC-ASA’s Convocation on Wednesday, October 3,at the auditorium. PHOTO: ANTONIO LONGANGI
By Ernest Anguru
On Wednesday, October 3 the Deputy Vice Chancellor - Academic and Student Affairs Amb. Prof. Ruthie Rono addressed the university community on the state of academic and student affairs, during the second annual DVC-ASA Convocation at the auditorium.
Speaking to a gathering of staff, faculty and students, Prof. Rono highlighted the key initiatives, activities, achievements, and challenges from the previous academic year, and set out the 2018-19 Academic Year priorities in her division.
Following the launch of the four new academic programs during the 2017-18 academic year, she announced the development of 2 programs at graduate and one at undergraduate level in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; two undergraduate programs in the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; two programs at undergraduate and one at graduate level in the Chandaria School of Business, and finally two programs at undergraduate and one at doctoral level in the School of Science and Technology.
Dwelling on the research activities undertaken in the last academic year, Prof. Rono announced that 13 proposals qualified for funding in 2017/18, the number of publications rose by 14%, while external research grants almost tripled.
On the matter of improving the employability of students, the University has embarked on building relationships with industry such as the establishing a partnership with Microsoft which led to the launch of the AppFactory in March, as well as skills training sponsored by Devki Steel Mills.
Moving on to the priorities for the current academic year, Prof. Rono confirmed the University will continue its focus on the establishment and strengthening of new programs in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM); health sciences; and communication, cinematic and creative arts; as well as the establishment of institutes and centers. In particular the proposed East African Research Center will provide academic support services to international researchers in Kenya and East Africa. Other institutes and centers to be established include the Institute for Higher Education Leadership Development, Institute for Diaspora and Migration Studies, Network for Impact Evaluation Researchers in Africa (funded by Hewlett Packard), and the Coding for Employment Center of Excellence (funded by the African Development Bank).
Prof. Rono also indicated that the University will continue its expansion of short courses and programs, as well as implement strategies aimed at enhancing student recruitment, retention, service support and success.
The DVC concluded by reminding her audience of the University’s commitment to building additional academic facilities such as the new home for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the student hostels and the completion of the construction of the Kenya Women’s and Children’s Wellness Center. The University will also being exploring the construction of a new facility to house the new School of Communication, Cinematic & Creative Arts.