University Leadership during Times of Significant Transformation: A Case of Kyambogo University in Uganda

TitleUniversity Leadership during Times of Significant Transformation: A Case of Kyambogo University in Uganda
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsGertrude, N, Onen, D, Oonyu, J
JournalJournal of Education and Practice

This study investigated how leadership was exercised at Kyambogo University [KyU] (in Uganda) during its formation that involved the merger of three tertiary institutions and the period immediately thereafter. This was regarded as a period of significant transformation at the institution. The study was prompted by the rampant strikes and protests that the students and staff staged against the University's leaders during that time. The researchers used the descriptive cross-sectional sample survey design to collect both qualitative and quantitative data through the use of surveys and interview methods from 44 administrators, 201 academic staff, 345 students, and 230 support staff. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis techniques. The study findings indicated that, at that time, KyU leadership lacked a shared vision and common strategies for managing transformation besides being non-collegial and heavily bureaucratic in nature. Secondly, the University was bedeviled with a myriad of leadership challenges related to, amongst others, personality clashes amongst leaders; the problem of red-tape in decision making; the shortage of funds and other resources; and the interference by external agents in the affairs of the University. However, several efforts were also made to avert the crises that the institution experienced at that time. It was thus concluded that the kind of leadership exercised during that time of transformation was partly responsible for the challenges experienced then and probably today. The researchers therefore recommended that the University managers should often develop a shared vision, employ a collegial kind of leadership, and be supportive to different units as well as individuals in the institution.