Starting the presentation, Mr. Kahundha-Muhwezi shared with the participants that the University Council is the supreme governing body of the University, which also oversees the development and adoption of the University strategic plan and key policies. He explained the governance and administrative management structure as well as the roles of officers/offices in the structure. He emphasized the purpose of transforming Makerere University, to a collegiate system, which was to reform the CORE and SUPPORT functions in order to make the university more efficient.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Arch. Dr. Barnabas Nawangwe who chaired the University Research Administrative Finance and Research (URAFR) Committee that recommended the transformation of Makerere University from a faculty based to a collegiate university shared with the College leadership the numerous University Policies that were crucial in the execution of their duties.
"I urge you to carefully study the university policies and use them to facilitate your work while serving others. We are all members of management. Whether you are a Head of Department, you are managing people and resources," he advised.
To crown the first day, the Session Chair, Dr. John Magero Mango invited Professor Mukadasi Buyinza, Director, Research and Graduate Training to share with the participants on research function in the university and the roles of the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training. He reiterated the need to prioritise research so as to promote a research-led university. He appealed to the participants to be part of the processes aimed at aligning the Makerere University Research Agenda to national development priorities.
On the second day-15th April 2014, those being inducted dared the generous early morning hours down pour and convened in the Conference Hall to continue with the Induction workshop.
The day kicked off with a presentation on institutional communication. The Session Chair, Dr. William Tayeebwa invited Ms Ritah Namisango, Senior Public Relations Officer to present the Makerere University Communication Direction.
Ms Namisango explained that communication is a management function. Focusing on the collegiate system of governance, she pointed out that the Principal is the Chief Public Relations Officer at the college level and as such, he/she should prioritise the communication function in the execution of duties.
"Principals, Deputy Principals, Dean and Heads of Departments are key players in institutional communication. You are leaders duty bound to communicate to your constituents. By virtue of your positions, you occupy a special position in the communication hierarchy; you are the liaison between the University Management, those you lead, and stakeholders," said Ms Namisango.
She added that communication is very broad, and as such, could not be left to an individual, although it was imperative for each and everyone to understand their role in the execution of an effective communication function.
"Where as the College Communication Office handles expert based communication, website management and content development, developing messages for communication to internal and external stakeholders, writing speeches, media engagements, supporting exhibitions, participation in profiling research and research uptake activities among other activities, they need the support of other members of staff in the college to provide information and developments in their respective fields, information on publications and breakthroughs in research and innovations."
In the same spirit, whereas Professor X may be a respected researcher, he or she needs the College Communication Office to support research uptake activities including development of messages for specific audiences, participate in research dissemination programmes such as exhibitions, media interactions among others.
Quoting the Vision for communication- To provide pro-active approach to information management and dissemination, strengthen the University's image and build good will among stakeholders, Ms Namisango emphasized that each and everyone has a role to play in the realization of the vision for communication.
She however advised the participants to acquaint themselves with the Makerere University Communication Policy so as to execute the communication function within the limits stipulated by the policy.
Mr. Frank Kitumba, Director-Directorate of ICT Support Services (DICTS) together with Mr. Samuel P. Mugabi, End User Manager, DICTS discussed the role of DICTS and the integration of ICT in the academic, administrative and support services of the University. They appealed to the participants to encourage their staff to participate in the sensitization workshops organized by DICTS at the respective units.
Legal Aspects: Dr. Damalie Naggita Musoke invited Mr. Goddy M. Muhumuza, Senior Legal Officer to make a presentation focusing on the role of the Legal Office, staff tribunal and the guiding instrument-college statute.
During his presentation, Mr. Muhumuza urged participants to always respect the advice from the legal office to avoid losing court cases. He also pointed out the need for the College Leadership to respect the law when making decisions, to always consult the legal office on relevant matters, and to always remember that staff, students and other stakeholders incase of any disagreement, there is a right to be heard.
Presenting on Administrative Law, Mr. Peter Wandera, Deputy Dean, School of Law advised the college leadership to follow the right procedures and legislation when making decisions. It is important to cross check whether you are making the right decisions and the consequences of not making the right decisions.
Audit function: Mr. Charles Baruhagare-Director, Internal Audit advised the participants to change their mindset on the audit function of the University. "Auditing is not a punitive process hence the need for the college leadership to work with the Auditors to ensure value for money and other resources, "he said..
Academic issues: The Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Prof. Joseph Y.T. Mugisha explained the role of Principals, Deputy Principals, Deans and Heads as Academic administrators. He received applause from the audience when he pointed out that Heads of Departments are the chief operations officers at the college levels.
"Without Heads of Departments, we cannot talk about a college. Without them, the Principals, Deputy Principals and Deans may not function. I am glad that the Heads of Departments are here. Thank you for the great work."
Professor Mugisha appealed to the college leadership to manage the assessment, monitoring and evaluation of students' performance.
The Academic Registrar of Makerere University, Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah pointed out that College Registrars are official representatives of the Academic Registrar at the Colleges, and as such, they report to the Academic Registrar through the College Principals. Quoting the College Statute, he added that Section 26 (a) stipulates that the functions of the College Registrar shall be the Secretary to the boards of a school, department, institute, centre and to the College Academic Board and committees.
After lunch, the participants were treated to a captivating presentation on human resource management. Dr. Julius Kikooma emphasized that today's human resource is changing face.
"Instead of a Head of Unit waiting for Human Resource Specialist/staff, the Human Resources staff should work together with Heads who have supervisory roles to manage the human resource function," he said.
Dr. Kikooma added that human resource staff should change their mindset and plan for the human resource as a business. "HR must understand the business of their organization. HR staff should understand the business of Makerere University, its vision and strategic direction."
This was followed by a presentation from the Director of Human Resources, Mrs. Mary K. Tizikara who educated participants on the role of human resources at the college level.
"HR should be a shared responsibility. Both HR specialists and line managers should work together in the execution of the HR function. In addition, particular emphasis should be placed on maximizing employee communication through out the colleges," she advised.
The aforementioned presentation led to an interactive session during which the audience asked several questions. Mrs. Tizikara together with the Heads of Sections in the Directorate of Human Resources namely Mr. Godfrey Bazanye Nkangi, Mrs. Dorah Zaake, Mr. Deus Mujuni and Mr. Sanyu Lawrence who competently responded to questions in their areas of operation.
At the end of this interactive session, one would appreciate the fact that the Directorate of Human Resources is passionate about staff welfare, motivation and career advancement, but faces challenges in the implementation due to limited funding.
The Director Human Resources requested the participants with questions specific to the Human Resource function to send them to the Staff Training and Development Division on e-mail address: training[@]hrd.mak.ac.ug
The two-day induction workshop was held in the Conference Hall- Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, Makerere University.
Story by: Ritah Namisango, Public Relations Office
Photos by: Public Relations Office