By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
Victoria University has on Monday unveiled its new Chancellor Prof. John Opuda-Asibo.
At the function which took place at Victoria University auditorium in Kampala, and presided over by the Chairman Council, Dr. David Byatike Matovu, was attended by the university’s board of trustees, the Ag. Vice chancellor, Mr. Bill Nkeeto, council members, and few selected guests as management was mindful of standard operating procedures amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“I thank the Board of Directors for appointing Professor John Opuda-Asibo as Chancellor and look forward to working with him to raise Victoria even higher,” said Victoria University Council Chairman, Dr. David Matovu.
The Chancellor is the titular head of the University. He presides at all ceremonial assemblies of the University and in this name, confers degrees and other academic titles and distinctions.
Prof. Opuda-Asibo joins the university at a critical moment and brings to bear his expertise, wide reach experience and knowledge that will ensure Victoria University remains the top private institution in Uganda.
Speaking on behalf of the University Board of Directors, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia thanked Dr. Martin Jerome Okello Aliker for his service above self, and also welcomed the new chancellor.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly appreciate the wonderful services of Dr. Martin Aliker who is a legend in his own right for the commitment, guidance wisdom and wonderful leadership you have accorded Victoria University. We feel so indebted that we have nothing physically to pay,” said Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia.
“We wish to acknowledge your seven years of service within in which you have presided over four graduation ceremonies and above all carrying the image of Victoria University as an institution,” he added.
Dr. Ruparelia said that after the honorable services of the outgoing Chancellor, the Board of Director’s had another task of identifying an equally good chancellor.
“Our task was fruitful when a gentleman of impeccable integrity, global experience, honesty, competence in academics and research was identified. This is an amazing and great citizen of Uganda,” he said.
He also revealed that as part of the universities growth plan, 15 acres of prime land had been secured in Najjera, one of the outskirts of Kampala where a new campus with a capacity of ten thousand students is going to be built.
In his inaugural speech, Prof. Opuda-Asibo said that he was excited about joining an “institution of great repute” and promised to dedicate himself to building on the legacy of the previous chancellor.
“Today is a very exciting day for me personally, it is not every time one gets the opportunity to be part of those building an everlasting legacy in the education sector,” Prof Opuda-Asibo said.
He noted that Victoria University promises to become the leading university as it is already 22nd century complaint.
“I have followed their progress over the years and I must say that I admire their tenacity and their commitment to quality. I look forward to working with this great institution and together, we will take Victoria University to the next level,” he added.
He hailed his predecessor, Dr. Martin Aliker as a much respected son of Uganda and highly revered in academic and business circles in Uganda and East Africa.
“I must admit that Iam filling very big shoes. Notwithstanding, I can only promise that I will build on the legacy of Dr. Aliker and work hand in hand with the management of Victoria university and the board of directors to ensure that a lasting legacy is built during my time here at Victoria university,” he said.
He called on Victoria university students to be critical thinkers as they were at one of the best universities.
“Do not just pass through Victoria university, learn from the university,” he said, adding that, “as a university, you must continuously show cause why you are among the best.”
Outgoing Chancellor Dr. Martin Aliker assured the incoming chancellor that Victoria University was an institution with a great future.
“I vividly recall when I was asked to serve as Chancellor, I accepted on one condition that the university would not engage in activities that compromise academic excellence. The Directors assured me that they would do everything possible to ensure that the university works at all times to attain academic excellence. Iam very happy to note that the university has kept its promise,” Dr. Aliker said.
He promised to provide all necessary support to the new chancellor whenever called upon.
Who is Prof. Opuda?
Prof.Opuda is a graduate with a veterinary Medical Degree from Makerere University, he also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health and a PhD in Microbiology, Epidemiology and Public Health, both from the University of Minnesota, USA.
His Public Health training has provided him with multi-sectoral knowledge application in Epidemiology (observational and analytical), Administration, Economics, Education and Governance.
Professor John Opuda-Asibo, has experience in Education, Science, Cooperation, institutional Collaboration and Coordination, Negotiation, Dialogue, Cultural Interaction, Publishing, Grants awarding, Scientific Research, Organising and Charing meetings, Harmonization of Curricula and Educational Systems the latter as a member of the Top Management Committee of the Ministry of Education, Government of Uganda.
About Victoria University
Victoria University Uganda, also known as Victoria University Kampala, is a university in Uganda, accredited by the Uganda National Council for Higher Education. It offers short, professional, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate courses