BY ALEX TAREMWA
The Chancellor of Uganda Christian University (UCU) and Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali on August 1, paid a pastoral visit to Mbale University College.
“It is important for me to visit our campuses and colleges so that I can interact with the students and staff at a personal level, know their grievances as their Chancellor, and find better ways of working together,” Ntagali said.
Ntagali held meetings and discussed various issues with the college administrative staff, guild officials, student leaders, academic staff and the board of governors.
In a meeting with the guild officials, tension was high after a member of parliament informed the chancellor that they were not comfortable graduating from Mbale University College as opposed to the main campus, as has been the case previously.
“I cannot be born in Mbale, study in Mbale and graduate from Mbale. I want to cross the Nile and graduate from Mukono,” he argued.
Even when Ntagali tasked the Vice Chancellor, Dr John Senyonyi, to explain to the student leaders the benefits of upgrading to constituent college status, they didnot appreciate the fact that Mbale was being referred to as “a college.”
New campus in Sebei
In a meeting with the College Governing Council (CGC), it was proposed that the college set up a campus in the Sebei region to serve the ever growing student population that cannot travel to Mbale to university education.
The campus, to be housed by the defunct St Peter’s Girls Secondary School building in Kapchorwa District is set to start this September pending Senate approval.
According to Jessica Chekweshek, a senior lecturer at Mbale University College, and the acting director of the new campus, the process of recruitment for lecturers is already underway.
“We hope to start with arts and sports courses first and fuse with nursing when required structures are put in place. In the next 15 years, we hope that the new campus will be a fully-fledged university,” the Daily Monitor quoted her as saying in an interview on August 27.
Previously, the chancellor’s pastoral visits were limited to only the main campus in Mukono until this year when Ntagali wrote to the vice chancellor, expressing willingness to include the university’s regional colleges and campuses on his programme. The chancellor will visit Kampala campus on October 26 and Arua campus on November 22.