By Steven Enatu
Soroti University has sworn in 19 members into the university council for the next four years. This is in accordance with Section 38 of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001as amended provides for membership as follows:
The swearing in took place yesterday 14th September 2021 at the University premises in Soroti City.
A University Council comprises of; The Chairperson of the University Council, The vice-Chairperson of the University Council, The Vice-Chancellor of the Public University, The Deputy Vice Chancellor, A representative of a sector relevant to the University depending on its objectives and mission, appointed by the relevant body in that sector.
Others are; one member of the District Council elected by the District Council in whose jurisdiction the Public University is situated, A member of the Convocation elected by the Convocation, Two members of the University Senate elected by Senate, Two members of the Academic staff elected by the Academic Staff Association of the Public University, and A Senior member of the Administrative Staff elected by Senior Administrative Staff.
The others are; A member of the National Union of Education Institutions; Support Staff elected by the branch in that University, Two students of the University, one of whom shall be a woman appointed by the Students Union, Two representatives of persons with disabilities, one elected by members of staff who are persons with disabilities and another by National Organizations of persons with disabilities among others.
Soroti University’s first council was inaugurated on 28th July 2017 under the chairmanship of Mr F.X Lubanga whose term ended in July this year.
According to Juma Hassan Nyene, the Public Relations officer Soroti University, the chairperson of the council was not elected because amidst all the people who were constituting the council in the meeting, none had the qualifications.
It was only the former vice chairperson in the previous council, Dr. Catherine Omaswa who was retained as the vice chairperson.
Nyene said that the chairperson of the council is not supposed to be a person employed and earning government salary.
“Most of these members from the university council today are people who are still employed with the government but have been recommended to come and help manage the process of developing and growing the university. So why we were unable to elect the chairperson of the council is that those members who are eligible got caught up and couldn’t make it here at the right time of the election. The council has elected the vice chairperson of the council,” he said.
He said the absent members will convene later and elect the chairperson of the University council. Nyene added that whereas the chairperson is still not there, the vice chairperson will be acting and conducting business on the chairperson’s behalf.
The council is supposed to have about 30 members if fully constituted however so far representatives of the Alumni, City, two representatives of the students, two members of the constituent colleges and representative of persons with disability elected by the staff at the University have not yet been elected.
Those who were elected include retired Engineer Dr. Vincent Kasangati, Prof Jaspher Ogwal, Vice chancellor of Lira University representing the Public universities in the council.
The university which was officially founded in 2015 now offers three accredited academic programs; Bachelors of Human medicine, Bachelors of Nursing and Bachelors of Electronic engineering according to a report from the previous council leaders read by the University Vice Chancellor, Professor Robert Ikoja-Odongo.