Barya: Why Makerere VC search was a sham

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Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, Prof. Edward Kirumira and Prof. Nawangwe

In this part we continue to expose the weaknesses in the methodology used by the search committee that renders the Makerere University Vice Chancellor Search Committee Report 2017 a total sham.

In the Makerere University Vice Chancellor Search Process of 2012, there were irregularities in Senate which I personally communicated to the various organs of the University and they were ignored.

I was only told that I should seek redress in the courts of law. This time around, the public is a major stakeholder in the affairs of Makerere University and we shall expose these in the public domain; this is what happens when systems lack checks and balances and are dysfunctional.

The Search Committee in its report on page 6 states that the committee adopted the weighting criteria used in the 2014 Search Process, that is 30% for stage one (assessment of candidates’ application documents), 50% of the stage two (assessment of face-to-face interviews) and 20% for stage three (public presentation including a joint debate).

As per the final revised work plan on page 13 of the search committee report the committee met from 4th June to 7th June 2017 for face-to-face interviews.

Melbet

The interviews were held on 6th June 2017 for the all the candidates and I was the first candidate to appear before the committee at 10.00am. The scoring tool for-face-to-face interviews is on 25 of the report and is very comprehensive.

The committee once again adopted the methodology of put under lock and key and this scoring tool for-face-to-face interviews was developed a day before (5th June 2017) and put and under lock and key.

In a way I confirmed this when I appeared for interviews, as I arrived very early before time and I could see members of the committee taking breakfast, talking on phones etc. They only gathered in the room a few minutes before 10.00am to begin the interviews.

I have been a member of several search committees for Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellors and I chaired some of these. We always set the questions in the morning of the interviews and immediately we were done we would invite in the first candidate.

This was to avoid leakage of the questions and answers to any of the candidates. These days we have pens, contact lenses, and phones can record for 24 hours non-stop etc. Looking at the partner of the scoring by the assessors, some of them had a candidate in the search process. So it is highly likely that these questions that were set the previous day were leaked.

For a committee that wanted to keep everything under key and lock, even if the committee members had woken up at 5.00am to set the questions before the interviews, allowing members more than one hour on their own outside the interview room is enough to have the questions leakage.

I did arrive at 09.00am and most of these members were seen on pone and others still taking breakfast until just a few minutes before 10.00am.

For those who attended the public presentation and joint debate that had also a part of question and answer session, if you look at the performance of the candidates in that session and compare it with marks for face-to-face interviews in Table 5 on page of the Search Committee Report you will immediately identify a mismatch.

You can not fail to perform well in a public arena and then perform very well under face-to-face interviews that are not open to the public. That is why in Kenya interviews for senior public positions are held in the public to ensure transparency.

Therefore, it is very clear that the methodology used here did not ensure a fair, transparent, competitive process and best possible outcome yet this part of face-to-face interviews which carried 50 marks of the overall total.

Furthermore, if you look at Table 6 on page of the search committee report, assessor5 growly under marked one of the candidates under assessment of documents in Table 4 of the report but made him the best in Table 6 (public presentation and joint debate) to hide the after sought malice.

This assessor5 knew where the majority of marks were and that is where he denied candidate marks after all the public presentation was only carrying 20 marks of the total.

This analysis further confirms that the Makerere University Vice Chancellor Search Committee Report 2017 is a complete Sham and should be expunged from the public records.

PROF. VENANSIUS BARYAMUREEBA, PHD.•SATURDAY, JULY 1, 2017

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