Open letter to the New President of University of Hargeisa
Being graduates from University of Hargeisa over the period of its existence, we get happy at any good news from our university, and on the other hand, any bad news from it breaks our hearts. Now we are hopeful that the sound administration and the credibility of the university would be restored, by the new administration, and shun tracing the footsteps of the preceding administrations.
It is a long time since the university has been undergoing disheartening administration-related crisis, which at times reached its peak. Whenever a solution for the crisis is tried, no solutions seemed to have been inspiring and motivating. This was because any committee set up to iron the problems out did not attempt to find out where the shoe pinches. Apparently, the result of such an action ends up in failure.
After having witnessed many crises which the university had undergone, we have discussed in length what is wrong with our university. We attended many meetings where the issue of the university had been under heated and lengthy discussion and debate. From such meetings and a following one which we have come together soon after your nomination, Mr President, we came up with some recommendations that we considered to be vital for the improvement and betterment of the university.
Here are the recommendations:
- 1. Financial Management System:
The University should set up a complete and effective financial management system, and there should be an effective internal control. There should also be an independent audit unit with full mandate to audit physical and financial systems. More importantly, external audit firm should be hired periodically so that the financial system of the university be verified, and that every single penny be known its source as well as where it is spent.
- 2. Human Resource Department: HRD should be founded which will fully execute all HR functions. The following units are to be put into operation:
(a) Employment/recruitment unit: As known, the primary function of this unit would be to attract highly qualified candidates to meet the UoH’s staffing needs while providing an equal opportunity for all.
(b) Performance appraisal unit: This unit is to evaluate the performance of every single staff on campus ranging from cleaners to deans. This unit will also be tasked to reward the staff.
(c) Training and Development Unit: Which is to train and develop the staff.
(d) Health and Safety Unit: Which is to make certain the health and the safety of the diverse staff on campus.
(e) Staff data control Unit: Which controls and updates all the data of the staff on campus.
- 3. Academy Aspect:
(a) All faculty deans should be evaluated, and illegible deans should be replaced with appropriate ones.
(b) The university should set up a clear policy towards university lectures.
(c) The curriculum of the university should be reviewed periodically, and often made up to date.
(d) The university must have clear policy relating to scholarships, and the priority should be to the graduates, honour students and the like.
(e) The examination board and the registrar of the university should be transparent and accountable, and also equipped with truth worthy staff.
- 4. Student affairs:
(a) Student union be re-established through transparent elections. This union will represent the voice students of the student. It should not be regarded as threat.
(b) Student Senate Council should be set up. This council will have consultancy role as well as will represent the students and the university on certain concerns.
(c) The alumni of the university graduates should be restored, and act as a communication means for current and previous students.
(d) The graduates of the university should be empowered to become lecturers at the university or assume position in the University for Motivation Purposes.
- 5. Administration:
There seems an overlapping authorities in the university which may have partially the cause of the sustained conflict within the university, so
(a) President of the University: He should have clear mandate and power.
(b) Deans and other department heads: They should have their own job descriptions and should be accountable for their obligations.
(c) Other staff on campus should have their own job descriptions
(d) Any vacant position at the university should be advertised and the right person be hired.
(e) The staff should be audited and all unnecessary and over staff be got rid of.
(f) The staff should be developed and trained, with the intention of gaining better performance.
- 6. Public relations: Public relation staff is to be empowered as well as be mandated to strengthen university external relationship. They should search for scholarships, trainings, internships, fundraising and so on and so forth. Public relations should try to start higher projects, such as Master and PhD.
- Rules, policies and procedures are the only means of resolving any conflict. If these are available make sure that they are clear and well-defined.
- Mr President, you may encounter unforeseen difficulties and uncertainties. Among them is tribalism which we consider to be the root cause of the problems of the university. For uncertainty of unforeseen difficulties, be patient and often consult with the sincere and straightforward people.
- Mr President, there may be destructive groups within the institution which pursue their personal interests and resist everything which may have impact on their interest. Be conscious of those.
- Avoid favourism, nebotism as well as every evil act which may taint your repute as well as integrity.
- Mr President, in the course of your remedial and corrective operations, be vigilant and mindful, because situations may not be as they appear.
- 1. Yousuf Hassan
- 2. Mawlid Adan
- 3. Mohamoud Abdullahi
- 4. Hussein Hasan
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