Makerere University has in the interim declined to react to the recently released report by the Visitation Committee which sought to investigate problems that have perennially bedeviled the institution.
The report sanctioned by President Yoweri Museveni was handed over to him on December 29 last year by the Dr Abel Rwendeire (late) led committee after long months of waiting and anxiety.
Some of the recommendations contained in the report include turning Makerere University into mainly a graduate institution with focus on Science courses at undergraduate level.
The report suggests that College of Education and External Studies (CEES) be transferred to Kyambogo University and for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) to be moved to Nsamizi Training Institute of Social Development, and the College of Business and Management Sciences (COBAMS) should be transferred to Makerere University Business School (MUBS) in Nakawa.
It also highlights challenges crippling the university among them; unsustainable funding, inadequate management accountability, deteriorating standards and disgruntled students whic causes student and staff strikes.
But during a press conference on Wednesday at the university main campus, the Makerere Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe said that the university is not ready to respond to the findings of the report as yet.
Instead, the Vice Chancellor has appointed an eleven member committee that will study the 370 paged report and thereafter report to the University Council.
“The committee will study the report for two months and guide Council so it can make appropriate responses to the Ministry of Education and Sports before a White Paper is developed,” Prof Nawangwe told the press.
“We want you to understand that a lot of the issues therein are of serious policy nature which are likely to extensively affect the university and Uganda at large. So, we need to take our time so we don’t give unnecessary comments that will cause anxiety,” he said
The committee which has been given up to end of February to report its response will be headed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration, Prof William Bazeyo.
Other members are Charles Barugahare (University Secretary), Dr Eria Hisali (Principal COBAMS), Prof John David Kabasa (Principal COVAB) and Dr Florence Nakayiwa (Director Planning).
The others include Dorothy Sennoga Zake (Director Human Resource), Jackie Ayorekire (Manager Grants and Revenue) and representatives from; Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), MASA (Administrative Staff), NUIE (Support Staff) and Students Guild.
Prof Nawangwe revealed that the appointment of the committee follows a directive by President Yoweri Museveni who is the Visitor of the institution asking that the university drafts a formal response to the Visitation Committee report.
“I ask for patience as the committee does its work. The report has 370 pages and it covers all issues that touch on lifeline of Makerere university, so that requires extensive studying,” the Vice Chancellor said.
Key interest will be placed on issues to do with student and staff head counts, payroll management, procurement management, grants and expenditure management as well as incentive allowances.
However some of the key stakeholders at the university such as the Academic Staff Association have already punched holes in the Visitation Committee report saying it did not give priority to the pressing challenges Makerere is faced with.