The first 365 days: How successful was it for the new UCU Vice Chancellor?
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2021/09/the-first-365-days-how-successful-was-it-for-the-new-ucu-vice-chancellor/
By Patty Huston-Holm and Frank Obonyo
Uganda Christian University (UCU) Vice Chancellor Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi marked his one-year anniversary by listing achievements with a hint of what is yet to come. Despite walking into the leadership role in the middle of a pandemic, much positive occurred in this first 365 days.
He discussed these key accomplishments in a 36-minute video released Sept. 2 by UCU’s Communications and Marketing Department. A condensed list is below.
UCU One-Year Achievements (Sept. 1, 2020 – Sept. 1, 2021)
- UCU e-campus transformation
- National Council for Education permission for online learning and assessment
- Achievement throughout all key academic areas
- Recruitment assistance for Medicine, Law, Dentistry programs through online pre-entry tests
- Two virtual graduations (December 2020 and, pending, October 2021)
- ICT infrastructure online learning advancement with support by UCU Partners
- Kampala campus property acquisition, allowing avoidance of rent
- Service (security, food, etc.) outsourcing to private entities, saving internal costs
- (Anglican) Church of Uganda strengthened relationship, including clergy training
- Return of most staff with implementation of a performance-based system with motivation and reward incentives, including retirement benefits and Uganda Revenue Authority debt clearance
- USA supplier donation of equipment for School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, Allan Galpin as well as for hospital partners
- Academic program restructuring to eliminate those not viable with start of work to blend duplications
- Reorganization of administrative units, including HR
- Follow up to presidential pledges, including support of Guild, solar lights and Bishop Tucker Road upgrades
- Donation of clock tower by Prof. Stephen Noll, UCU’s first vice chancellor
- Improved partnerships that include funds and collaboration for Journalism and Media PhD training and internships; School of Business birding tourism and an incubation center; agriculture grain projects; theology e-learning equipment and training; research within the School of Research and Post-Graduate Studies; and privately funded student scholarships; among others.
Reflecting further on his life, the 52-year-old Vice Chancellor credited three main inspirations as drivers for his work. These are: 1) upbringing in a large, poor family with strong appreciation for education; 2) his wife, Patience, who has “walked the journey of faith” with him for 23 years; and 3) faith in God and salvation.
When asked about what might be next at the start of his second year at the helm, Mushengyezi talked about even stronger partnering with the Church of Uganda, ongoing improvements with the Mukono campus infrastructure (one-stop center with all student services under one roof), improved branding (i.e. signage) and more research innovation.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” the Vice Chancellor said, quoting Ephesians 3:20. “God uses people like us. By faith, the best is yet to come.”
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