The Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Prof. Joseph Mathu Ndung’u, has pledged to work with the institution’s stakeholders in order to take the university forward to even higher training, research and innovation pedestal.
Prof. Ndung’u, who currently serves as the Head of the Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Geneva-based Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Switzerland, paid tribute to the former and current leadership, noting they had “collectively steered JKUAT so well, leading to the achievement of the present standards.”
The Chancellor was speaking during his inaugural address to the JKUAT University Council, Management, staff and students at Juja Main Campus, Wednesday, May 8, 2019.
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His visit follows his appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta in January this year.
The elated scholar said: “My inaugural visit has given me an opportunity to appreciate the efforts of each one of you, which I must say, is commendable,” and further added it had also given him “an opportunity to learn more from the people who have “contributed immensely in making the University so admirable.”
He hailed the university’s leadership for steering the institution to greater levels of achievement to become “an institution whose name and efforts are recognised and appreciated regionally and globally.
“The frequency of encouraging media reports on research, innovations and discoveries by staff and students touching on a broad range of fields, have made JKUAT a brand that stands out from the other universities in Kenya,” Prof. Ndung’u said.
The Chancellor congratulated the institution for emerging the most preferred university in the country for the second year running.
“I am pleased to note that JKUAT topped in the number of students admitted this year, with 5,901, a number that is even higher than last year when 4,886 students were admitted.”
While commending the leadership for the good work, the chancellor appealed to the university community to stay true to the institution’s core values.
“You are bound to make incredible things happen if you keep up the spirit of togetherness in all your activities for the good of our beloved country – Kenya.”
The don who holds a PhD. in the Immunopathology of Human African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) from the University of Glasgow’s Veterinary School, Scotland, said the Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre (SAJOREC), an international collaborative centre with the People’s Republic of China that focuses on the conservation of biodiversity and research, has enhanced JKUAT’s profile in the region.
He thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointing him to serve as the sixth Chancellor of JKUAT, terming JKUAT as the best place to be. He, however, cautioned that as he becomes part of JKUAT family, he was under no illusion of the challenges that face any institution.
“No home and no family is perfect and I don’t expect that I will be joining a home that is perfect. I am also not perfect, and I hope this family will accommodate me and my opinions, and give me an opportunity to work closely with the various organs of this great university to realise the dreams its founders had for the institution and for the country.”
Chairman of Council, Prof. John Kanyari Njuki welcomed the new chancellor, whom he described as “a scholar with a distinguished career in the world of academia.”
He appreciated the great support the university stakeholders have accorded the council, saying it had enabled the organ to proactively carry out its mandate. He wished the chancellor success in his new role and asked the Council to support him.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, was confident that the new Chancellor would leverage his “vast international experience in the academia and research, and act as a fulcrum towards building new relationships with leading organizations and industrial partners both locally and abroad.”
During the itinerary, and in the company of top JKUAT management organs, the chancellor visited different sections at the university to sample the research and innovation strides undertaken so far in the Institute of Biotechnology Research, Engineering Workshops, JKUAT Noodles Factory, Sino Africa Joint Research Centre, University’s commercial arm – JKUATES, Karen and Nairobi CBD campuses.