Outgoing Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Prof Olive Mugenda (right) with Botswana High Commissioner to Kenya John Moreti during the opening of the Centre for International Programmes and Collaboration, at the institute, on March 8, 2016. Prof Mugenda is set to retire. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Prof Olive Mugenda on Friday bowed out as Kenyatta University’s vice-chancellor after serving the institution for 10 years.
The university’s council is now expected to announce her successor in an acting capacity as it awaits a court decision on recruitment of the new vice-chancellor after the Employment and Labour Relations Court halted the process.
This court’s move followed a petition by civil society activist, Mr Okiya Omtatah, early this year.
On Thursday, Prof Mugenda said she was leaving the institution after serving for a decade.
She spoke at the opening of the Education Building, an event that was presided over by the Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairperson Margaret Kobia.
Prof Mugenda has had an illustrious career at the institution, where she spearheaded a massive expansion of facilities and raised student enrolment to the current 70,000 – the highest in the country to date.
The premier institution of higher learning has some 3,500 staff members.
She is credited with turning the university from a centre for education training to a multi-disciplinary institution.
Currently, the university offers courses in medicine, law and architecture, which were not in its domain.
Some of the deputy vice-chancellors at the institution likely to seek to succeed Prof Mugenda include Prof John Okumu (academic), Prof Godfrey Msee (finance and development), Prof PK Wainaina (administration) and Prof Fredrick Gravenir (research).
Prof Mugenda was first appointed VC in April 2006 and was reappointed in March 2011.
However, the reappointment was challenged in court in 2012 by Dr Wilfrida Itolongo, Dr Muma Solomon, Dr Elena Korir, Ms Martha Mlyandazi and Mr Fred Obare, who claimed it was unmerited.
But the case was dismissed by Justice George Odunga, who ruled that her re-appointment was legal.
Before ascending to the position, she was a deputy vice-chancellor and had held various other leadership positions at the university.
She has earned several awards for her leadership. In 2013, she won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Eastern African Chapter of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur.
She was also feted for her contribution to the growth of the education sector.