New CEO for Nairobi-based Tangaza University to Prioritize Transitioning to a Full-fledged University: Interview
CANAA || By Sister Michelle Njeri, FSIC and Father Don Bosco Onyalla, Kenya || 29 June 2017
The new Vice-Chancellor designate of the Nairobi-based Tangaza University College (TUC), Rev. Prof. Stephen Mbugua Ngari, is promising to prioritize the transitioning of the institution from a College affiliated to the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) to a full-fledged university.
“The first responsibility is to transition the university college into a full-fledge university by the granting of a charter,” Father Ngari has said in an interview with CANAA and described the transition as “the biggest milestones to achieve.”
He has explained, “We have to meet the requirements of the Commission for the University Education (in Kenya) and also the legal requirement of the Kenya Universities Act (2012).”
Father Ngari was appointed by the Board of Trustees of TUC during their May 31st meeting. He is expected to assume office on July 1, taking over from Father Steven Payne, OCD.
“To the staff and students’ fraternity, we are going to maintain the momentum that has been sustained by Father Steven Payne,” Father Ngari has said in the interview and added, “We will work as a team with all the institutes and schools; we will look for the best practices and way forward to make Tangaza an exemplary in Africa and the world.”
Below is the full text of the interview
CANAA: How did you receive the news of your appointment as the new CEO of Tangaza University College?
Father Ngari: I received the news on the 31st of May. I was driving (from Nairobi) from the second interview (with Board of Trustees of TUC) when I reached near Delamere (near Naivasha town, some 90km from Nairobi) the Chair of the Board of Trustees called me and broke the news.
I was surprised and excited because it showed the trust that the panel gave me. It was an expression of trust and I was humbled that they (members of Tangaza Board of Trustees) recognized me as a person who would help in the transition from a university college to a full-fledged University with a charter.
CANAA: Did you expect the appointment?
Father Ngari: I didn’t. Those who were short-listed were equally qualified. It was an interview of equals. I knew one of us would be (appointed). I did my best and trusted in God.
CANAA: What do you look forward to in this new responsibility?
Father Ngari: The first responsibility is to transition the university college into a full-fledge university by the granting of a charter. That is the biggest milestones to achieve. We have to meet the requirements of the Commission for the University Education (in Kenya) and also the legal requirement of the Kenya Universities Act (2012).
I also look forward to dealing with the current trends in education and to mount market-driven programmes for the university.
My other goal is to ensure quality and compliance so that the graduates coming out of Tangaza are going to be impeccable and seriously competitive with a serious edge on the academic, moral and religious grounding that will make them more likeable in the job market in Kenya and beyond.
CANAA: What message do you have for Tangaza family as you plan to take office on July 1?
Father Ngari: Tangaza University College was started by 22 congregations, not a diocese. I would like to tell them (the Tangaza family through the Board of Trustees) that I’m humbled by their trust in appointing me. I’m not going to disappoint them. I will do all what it takes to ensure that the trust they gave me is upheld, and because they are 22 founders, I want to work so hard so that I may be the 23 founder of Tangaza.
To the staff and students’ fraternity, we are going to maintain the momentum that has been sustained by Father Steven Payne. We will work as a team with all the institutes and schools; we will look for the best practices and way forward to make Tangaza an exemplary in Africa and the world.
CANAA: Any other relevant message at this time?
Father Ngari: I want to thank my Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba. He has been extremely supportive. He allowed me to apply for the position and when I told him of my appointment he told me “Father, I am very proud that you got the position, go and do us proud; represent the Diocese and the church well as you work among the religious”.
I’m very grateful to My Lord Bishop, Professor Rose A. Mwonya –Vice Chancellor Egerton University – who was very supportive, though she did not want me to leave. She told me to go and work for the church and also to the Tangaza family.
I look forward to the partnership and collaboration with every stakeholder and to make everyone benefit from Tangaza. It will be a reciprocal benefit to all of us who come to Tangaza.
Sister Michelle Njeri, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, is the Communications Coordinator of the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru in Kenya. Father Don Bosco is the Coordinator of the Catholic News Agency for Africa (CANAA).