Makerere University has directed all its communication officers and web administrators to submit performance reports for the last two years before the end of today.
According to a notice from the acting director of human resource, Mr Ssanyu Lawrence, the University Central Management, during their meeting on October 13, considered the performance gaps in the office of communications, branding, public relations and web administration.
Mr Ssanyu said management noted that the university employs several officers in communication, web administration and branding, but there is underperformance in the offices. He said the university public relations unit underperformed significantly and the websites are rarely updated.
“Considering the identified gaps, all staff in communication, branding, public relations and web administration need to provide reports on their work, including their respective outputs, in line with their job descriptions. The performance of individual staff would be referred to the appointment board for further management in accordance with the board mandate,” Mr Ssanyu said.
The university public relations office was previously headed by Mr Mohammad Kiggundu, the former Makerere University Academic Staff chairperson, who resigned after serving for only one year. Currently, the university does not have a communications manager.
This means that the officers supposed to hand in their performance reports from the public relations office include the principal spokesperson, the web manager, the branding and marketing officer and the web administrator.
Others include communication officers from the colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences, Engineering, Design Art and Technology, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Education and External Studies, Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-security, and the School of Law.
The affected officers are 15, including one principal communication officer, seven communication officers from colleges, one brand and marketing officer and six web administrators.
The colleges of Computing and Information Sciences, Health Sciences, and Business and Management Sciences do not have communication officers. They resigned some time back.
Some of the affected communication officers from various colleges, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being penalised, wondered why the management was accusing them of underperformance yet they had been appraised by their immediate supervisors and none was questioned about performance.
“None of us has also been served with warning letters on underperformance as enshrined in our human resource manual,” one of the affected officers said.
A source at the university yesterday alleged that management plans to terminate employment contracts of all communications officers.
But the university secretary, Mr Yusuf Kiranda, yesterday told Daily Monitor that Makerere wants to find out the challenges the communications officers are facing and come up with solutions.