KU seeks applications for vice-chancellor to replace Olive Mugenda

Prof Olive Mugenda: She was appointed KU vice-chancellor in 2006. PHOTO | FILE
Prof Olive Mugenda: She was appointed KU vice-chancellor in 2006. PHOTO | FILE 

Kenyatta University is seeking a new vice-chancellor to replace Olive Mugenda who is set to retire early next year after serving for 10 years.

An advertisement published on Wednesday invited applications, ending speculation that Prof Mugenda’s term could be extended.

A few weeks ago, staff members expressed concern that Prof Mugenda wanted to extend her term.

A group of students also called for extension of her term to enable her complete the many projects she had started at the university.

Prof Mugenda has had an illustrious career at the university where she spearheaded a massive expansion of facilities and raised student enrolment to the current 70,000 — one of the highest in the country to date.


KU 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 never its domain.

“The candidate should have a thorough knowledge of administering university education in Kenya and should have served as at least chairman of academic department, dean, director, principal of a college or deputy vice-chancellor,” states the advert.

The successful candidate will hold the position for a duration of five years with the possibility of one term renewal for a further five years, subject to a positive appraisal by the university council.

Some of the deputy vice-chancellors at the institution who are likely to seek to succeed Prof Mugenda are Prof John Okumu (academic affairs), Prof Godfrey Mse (finance and development), Prof P.K Wainaina (administration) and Prof Fredrick Gravenir (research, innovation and outreach).

Prof Mugenda was appointed vice-chancellor in April 2006 and was reappointed in March 2011.

However, her re-appointment was challenged in court in 2012 by Dr Wilfrida Itolongo, Dr Muma Solomon, Dr Elena Korir, Ms Martha MIayandazi 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 top position, Prof Mugenda was a deputy vice-chancellor and previously held various leadership positions at the university.

She has earned several awards for her leadership. In 2013, she won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Eastern Africa chapter of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur.