University of Nairobi scraps eight colleges to cut costs

University of Nairobi officials

University of Nairobi council chair Julia Ojiambo, Vice-Chancellor Stephen Kiama (centre) and council member Marie Rarieya (right) during a press conference announcing changes in governance structure, July 9, 2021. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

The University of Nairobi (UoN) has abolished offices, merged functions and created new posts in a move to eliminate duplication and cut costs.

The varsity has scrapped eight colleges and collapsed faculty functions from 35 to 11.

Further, all positions of principals and their deputies have been terminated and roles reorganised under new positions of executive and associate deans.

“We are aligning the competencies of staff with the university’s co-functions which will result in cost-saving in the long run,” said Vice-Chancellor Stephen Kiama on Friday.

The VC said the structural and governance reforms will address bureaucracy in decision making at the institution, boosting efficiency in service delivery.

UoN Council chair Julia Ojiambo said abolishing all unnecessary layers of reporting will also boost accountability and put resources to good use.

It is not clear the impact on employees in the affected colleges and faculties, but the officials were categorical that the reforms would not result in job losses for both academic and non-teaching staff.

The university currently has a workforce of 4,000, comprising 1,500 academic and 2,500 non-teaching staff.

Like other public universities, UoN is grappling with cashflow challenges following dwindling government funding and the sharp fall in the number self-sponsored students.

This has made it difficult for the institution to honour its obligations such as payroll taxes, pension and insurance premiums for staff, according to a report submitted to Parliament by the Ministry of Education.

Unremitted statutory deductions for the universities currently stand at Sh34 billion.