Professor Kiama,having gone through the significant and functional symbolic rite of passage, handed over the instruments of authority, signed the oath of office was officially installed as the 8th VC of the University of Nairobi, held on the 5th Friday June 2020 at Taifa Hall. A few distinguished guests at the venue, majority online and others viewing the televised live broadcast following keenly, witnessed this auspicious occasion that was emceed by our very own Prof.Julius Ogeng'o and Ann Gichuhi.
Prof.Julia Ojiambo, UoN Council Chair in her remarks, on behalf of the Council congratulated Prof.Kiama on his achievement, wished him well as he began his tour of duty assuring him of their full support. In her remarks, Prof.Julia said that success is a collective enterprise. It should be viewed that in the Vice Chancellor’s success, we all succeed and, in his failure, we all fail. She therefore invited the Deputy Vice Chancellors and the management team to work together and support the VC in delivery of key reforms. She encouraged them not to fall short of the world's best expectations of us as they are now watching. Prof.Julia commented on the daunting task ahead of Prof.Kiama in "champion re-engineering of our systems and processes and institute meaningful reforms in critical areas of organizational structure, governance mechanisms, fiscal and resource management, curricula."
UoN Chancellor Dr.Vijoo Rattansi echoed her congratulatory message to Prof.Kiama as the 8th VC, fondly referring to him as a son, feeling confident that through the recruitment process, they have a VC that best fits the current needs of the university. She offered him these words of wisdom "....as you serve your term, remember every so often to step back and recalibrate. I charge you to never forget that you carry with you the great sunshine of hope for many. Though darkness may sometimes cloud your skies, may you inspire your team to do the impossible and help them carry on during difficult times."
Prof. Kiama to partook in the rites of installation as 8th Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi where he was robed in VC regalia, and was handed over the below 8 instruments, each with a significance:
- The Constitution of Kenya
- The Universities Act. No. 42 of 2012 (2015, 2016, 2018)
- The University of Nairobi Charter 2013
- The University of Nairobi Statutes
- The University of Nairobi Seal
- The University of Nairobi Logo
- The Replica of the Fountain of Knowledge
- The University of Nairobi Mace
Professor Kiama in his inaugural address paid special tribute to his lovely wife for prayers, making their home a refuge,a towering pillar of strength also suitable companion, his two children on their belief in him, in addition to his parents for their sacrifices and siblings for their unfailing support.
He shared three proposed interventions that could go in tandem with financial reforms that will increase the universities value proposition to all our stakeholders. The three paths to change the Universities trajectory to excellence:
1. Setting up a comprehensive and integrated data management system.
2. refresh our management, administrative, oversight and governance structures.
3. Fit-for-purpose training
In his speech, Prof.Kiama said: "Of necessity, we must regain this foothold in our universities and create an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity, one that nurtures the ability to question and test received wisdom in search for truth and one that accommodates divergent views. Together we can create a world that does not condemn independent and free thinkers to the very bottom of the food chain just because they hold views contrary to ours or contrary to how “things are done here”; together we can create a university that accommodates outliers. This would be the right environment for creating and fostering new knowledge and with it, solutions to human affliction."
He takes over from his predecessor Prof.Mbithi.