Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has extended the contract of Moi University acting Vice-Chancellor Laban Ayiro for another six months.
This is the third time that Dr Matiang’i is extending Prof Ayiro's contract, a move that is expected to give the university council more time to embark on recruitment of a substantive vice-chancellor.
“Further to my letter dated 9th December, 2016, I write to extend your appointment as the acting Vice-Chancellor, Moi University for a period of six months. This appointment automatically terminates on the appointment of the substantive Vice-Chancellor should that happen inside the period of the six (6) months,” reads the letter signed by CS Matiang’i dated 12th September.
The letter was copied to Prof Collette Suda, Principal Secretary State Department for University Education and Dr Jeremiah Ntoloi Koshal and the chairperson of the university council.
A source at the institution on Wednesday told the Business Daily that the position will be advertised soon.
“The varsity council presented an advert at the Ministry of Education and is subject to approval. The position will be advertised soon upon the approval that is why his contract which ends this month had to be extended,” added the source.
On December 9, Prof Ayiro’s contract was first pushed for three months and subsequently added another six months on March this year.
Prof Ayiro, a one-time director of quality assurance at the institution, was appointed to the position last September following the expiry of Prof Richard Mibey’s term for three months.
His appointment to the position sparked uproar, with some leaders from the region storming the university in protest.
According to the politicians, the Education ministry had overlooked three finalists for the job to pick the soft-spoken Prof Ayiro who did not apply for the post.
Since taking the reins of the institution of higher learning, Prof Ayiro has been praised by many for turning around the fortunes of the ailing but once vibrant university.
Last month, the institution announced plans to shut down some of the campuses based in Eldoret Town including Kips and Kiptagich Plaza in a move aimed at cutting down on costs.
Last year, the institution closed Kericho and Nakuru campuses to comply with a government directive.
Prof Ayiro has been keen to consolidate university resources and boost quality of education at the institution.
“We must make tough decisions on how big the university should be. If we decide to concentrate on just four or five campus - Annex, Main Campus, Nairobi campus, Kitale — what you see in Kenyatta or other universities will be achieved not in 10 years but next three years,” said Prof Ayiro during his first address to the university.
Last year, the public university was rocked by claims of poor management by the previous administration, which saw three top managers suspended over financial mismanagement.