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Makerere could scrap schools, deans

To go? Makerere's School of Public Heath

To go? Makerere's School of Public Heath

Makerere University is considering a proposal to eliminate the school structure from colleges and elevate the status of school deans to a supervisory role at college level. 

Under the university’s current structure, a “school” is a unit of a college. Prominent schools include the School of Medicine, the School of Law and the School of Public Health.

The proposal that was commissioned by university Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe drew mixed reactions when it was presented to staff yesterday.

Whereas some members of staff welcomed the idea, others either opposed it or stood on the fence.

Dr Ronald Kakungulu-Mayambala, a lecturer at the School of Law and a member of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), supported the proposal, saying it will help to improve efficiency in running the colleges.

Citing the School of Law, which he said does not have deans but has delivered their core mandate of teaching and research, Dr Mayambala advocated for implementation of the same approach in the rest of the schools.

“The core functions of the university which are teaching, learning, innovation, research and community outreach are performed at the unit level, whether there are schools or not. It will be a good move to cut costs and improve efficiency since these deans’ roles are duplicating roles of heads of department,” he said.

Indeed, the roles of schools and departments appear to overlap considerably, according to the university’s definitions of the two. The university’s website describes a school as “an academic unit of a college engaged in teaching, learning, research and knowledge and technology transfer partnerships based on a focused body of knowledge” and a department as “a unit of a school that deals with core functions of teaching, learning and research functions of a particular focused discipline, with at least one programme leading to the award of a degree”.

Associate Professor Dr Umar Kakumba from the College of Business and Management Sciences welcomed some of the proposals, but said others left many questions unanswered. 

He argued that removing schools would overload heads of departments who are already coordinating both the graduate and undergraduate programmes. 

“It (the proposal) is a double-edged sword. It curtails departmental growth because if they are to grow, what do they grow into? Worldwide, we have units that are called schools which can grow independently but not departments. What are you going to do with the existing schools? The School of Gender does not have a department. What happens?” Dr Kakumba stressed.

The chairperson of MUASA said he could not speak on behalf of the association as they had not been consulted and had not looked at the document. He argued that since the college system is due for review, that process should allow for a conclusive debate, rather than an apparently piecemeal and “sneaky” approach the proposal entails.

Associate Prof Goretti Nabanoga, the Deputy Principal at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said it will be difficult to manage the colleges if the position of deans for co-ordinating academic programmes is removed. 

According to the vice chancellor, the report will be discussed by “management” and sent to the Senate before it is presented to the University Council.

Comments

0 #1 Lakwena 2018-11-12 09:23
In other words, except more and more workload for the heads of departments and the College Principals and their Deputies; what difference has it made by moving away from Faculties to Schools alias college arrangement?

To Collegiate the faculties into schools was too idealistic. It only complicated matters: increased cost by creating more administrative desks (positions): the Principals, deputies, their handlers and fat pay check; yet most of the donkey work remained with the Deans.
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0 #2 gwok 2018-11-12 15:26
Quoting Lakwena:
In other words, except more and more workload for the heads of departments and the College Principals and their Deputies; what difference has it made by moving away from Faculties to Schools alias college arrangement? .....


Let us make this boring story more interesting.

The Last Lady (Dr SN) is a scholar in one of those schools and she is, of course, well schooled herself.

As to whether she is also well educated remains questionable [being well schooled and being well educated are different things].

As I said before, if she was a well educated northerner, the situation that she is in right now would not have arisen.

Therefore, MUK is just acknowledging that its school system has produced, among others, the largest proportion of the Stellas and Crime Preventers - both undesired for their already rather shaky reputation.
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0 #3 rubangakene 2018-11-12 18:53
Makerere University should re-organize to cut costs and not standards.

At present the whole place seems awash with "names and duplication": I suggest a study be done to weed this institution of the 'chafes' for ease of and good of the students and the country at large. Create departments and sack the "loafers"!
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0 #4 Lakwena 2018-11-13 10:37
Quoting rubangakene:
Makerere University should re-organize to cut costs and not standards.

At present the whole place seems awash with "names and duplication":


Rubangakene, Mak University is administratively wasteful and CAPRICIOUS in the image of the regime. E.g., draw a parallel: How many Deputy Prime Ministers are there and what do they do?

Compared to the previous Academic Administration (before NRA/M); the University Secretary and Academic Registrar, have been overshadowed by the DVC Finance & Admin, and DVC Academic.

In other words, although they are the most technically accountable, and take the beating whenever things go wrong; you would think the University Secretary and Academic Registrar are resting in peace, while the DVCs take the credits and wear the Laurel Crown.
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