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Egerton University appoints Prof. Isaac Ongubo Kibwage as Vice-Chancellor

By Winfrey Owino | October 6th 2021
Prof Isaac Kibwage was appointed new Vice-chancellor of Egerton University. [File, Standard]

Egerton University Council has appointed Prof. Isaac Ongubo Kibwage as the new Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the institution.

Prof. Kibwage had been holding the VC seat in an acting capacity since November 2020, when the then-holder Prof. Rose Mwonya proceeded on terminal leave ahead of her exit in January 2021.

Prof. Mwonya was the first female to occupy the Vice-Chancellor seat at Egerton University.

Kibwage faced off against six other candidates to substantively succeed Mwonya.

Initially, 12 candidates had expressed interest in the position, but only seven were shortlisted.

Some of the candidates, who showed interest in the seat, are former Egerton University Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs Dr. Alexander Kigunzu, who took a second stab at the position after an unsuccessful attempt in 2015, and Prof. Peninah Aloo Obuodho, the current Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic, Research and Students Affairs at Karatina University in Nyeri County.

Others are Prof. Priscah Tuitoek, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Student Affairs at Murang’a University of Technology, Prof. Bockline Bebe (one of the most-cited authors in Africa), Prof. Benedict Mwavu, who teaches water and environmental engineering at Kibabii University, and Prof. Douglas Shitanda, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration, Finance and Planning at Machakos University.

Prof. Kibwage takes over the mantle at Egerton University following the retirement of Prof. Rose Mwonya who attained the mandatory retirement age of 70 in January 2021.

The new VC’s appointment has been ratified by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Education Prof. George Magoha.

“We would like to congratulate Prof. Isaac Ongubo Kibwage for his new appointment,” Wilson Kipruto Ronno, the acting chairperson of the Egerton University Council, told the institution’s staff members and students in a memo dated Tuesday, October 5.

Interviews for the Egerton VC post were held on August 24, 2021.

Prof. Kibwage, 67, holds an undergraduate, Master’s and PhD degrees in Pharmacy.

He was born and raised in South Mugirango, Kisii County. He attended Tinderet Primary School, Nduru Boys’ High School and later the Kisii High School before joining the University of Nairobi to pursue an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy in 1979.

In 1980, he was honoured as a graduate student at the University of Nairobi, and immediately awarded a full scholarship by the Kingdom of Belgium to pursue postgraduate studies in Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where he obtained his Master’s degree in 1982 and Doctorate degree in 1985.

He returned to Kenya a year later, and joined the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Nairobi as a lecturer, and rose to the position of Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 2000.

He, thereafter, joined Egerton University in Njoro, Nakuru County.

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