What you need to know:
- Dr Rugunda was on Friday issued instruments of authority to oversee Gulu University by Ms Jessica Alupo, the vice president, during the 18th graduation ceremony of the university held at the main campus at Laroo Division in Gulu City.
Former Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has been installed as the third chancellor of Gulu University.
Dr Rugunda was on Friday issued instruments of authority to oversee Gulu University by Ms Jessica Alupo, the vice president, during the 18th graduation ceremony of the university held at the main campus at Laroo Division in Gulu City.
She had represented President Museveni, who last year appointed Ruganda to the same position following a recommendation by the university council.
“I appoint you as the new chancellor of Gulu University for a period of four years effective November 1, 2022. It is now my pleasure to present to you this congregation of Gulu University as the chancellor of Gulu University with all the powers and responsibilities about this office,” Ms Alupo read the President’s message.
Ms Alupo also installed Prof George Openjuru Ladar, as the Vice Chancellor of the university for his second and final term.
She encouraged the graduands to utilise the already developed infrastructure, including roads, and electricity to tap into commercial agriculture, service provision, information communication and technology to ensure development.
Dr Rugunda applauded the university council for recommending him and pledged to work towards the transformation of the facility.
“I accept the responsibility of the chancellor of Gulu University. I do so with gratitude and commitment to the vision, firm foundation of my predecessor to contribute to the growth and impact of this institution for national development,” he said.
He called for more efforts to ensure that the university is community-centred.
“Taking Gulu University to where we want to be will require a collective effort, it will require all the stakeholders to raise the bar of our ambition and make Gulu University a centre of excellence in teaching and research,” he said.
Rugunda said he would focus on science, innovation, pharmacy and agriculture, which are consistent with Vision 2040 and the NRM manifesto and are key areas for driving socio-economic transformation.
In his speech, the outgoing vice chancellor, Prof Fredrick Kayanja, said during his tenure, infrastructural development was key and four blocks were constructed. He discouraged the university from renting, saying it is expensive and unsustainable.
Prof Kayanja said the university has in the recent times coordinated and created relationships with international universities, including University of Bristol.
Meanwhile, the university has continued to experience significant growth in student numbers fluctuating between 4,500 and 5,000 in the past five years, according to Prof Openjuru.
He said currently, a total of 4,678 students have enrolled and undertaken various courses.
Prof Openjuru said the university has introduced 20 new academic programmes ranging from certificates to Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD).
He said the facility would start examining students under the higher education access programme, which will enable students who didn’t perform well to join the university.
A total of 1,270 students graduated in various disciplines from Gulu University during its 18th graduation ceremony at Pece-Laroo division, in Gulu City.
At least 522 of the graduates are females while 748 are males. This year, there was 25 more students compared to last year.