The United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) Council has announced the appointment of former Vice Chancellor Professor Freida Brown to serve as the Interim Vice Chancellor effective August 16, 2021.
Speaking when he confirmed the appointment, the University Council Chairman Mr Kris Ole Senanu said her appointment is expected to run for a period of nine months to facilitate the recruitment of a new Vice Chancellor to replace Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, and ensure institutional leadership and stability within this period.
“The global search for a new Vice Chancellor is expected to be an extremely intense process and is anticipated to last approximately six to nine months. We will do our best to have new leadership on board as early as possible in 2022,” Mr Senanu said.
While paying a glowing tribute to the outgoing Vice Chancellor for what he described as dedicated and dynamic service to USIU-Africa, Mr Senanu, in a communique to the University community noted that Professor Zeleza’s dynamic leadership had resulted in the institution’s advancement, notably in the university’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan framework.
“This progress includes the expansion of our academic programmes, increased research activities and output by faculty and students, and the introduction of several prestigious programmes such as the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme, the Innovation and Incubation Center, and USIU-Africa Online. Perhaps even more importantly, following the Covid-19 global pandemic, he and his leadership team of the Management Board, together with various Faculty and Staff, successfully ensured that the university transitioned to online teaching and learning,” he said.
A seasoned academician, Professor Brown previously served as the USIU-Africa Vice Chancellor for more than two decades before retiring in 2016. During her 21 years of service at USIU-Africa, Professor Brown oversaw the student population growth from 1,100 students to more than 4,700 and increased the number of faculty and academic programmes.
“Professor Brown served admirably as our previous Vice Chancellor and has very graciously accepted this interim appointment, and we look forward to her arrival. Having served USIU-Africa for 21 years, her familiarity with and passion for USIU-Africa is well known. She is excited to return to the university and Kenya to see first-hand the enhancements made but, crucially, to provide a steady hand of support and expertise as we undertake this important transition in leadership,” he added.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a