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Meet the Don steering School of Business and Economics to greater heights

Working in a university is both an opportunity to open-up, link and show leadership, as well as a challenge in the pursuit of university goals and objectives. When I joined Mount Kenya University in October 2015, I wasn’t sure what lay ahead; maybe just another university, having previously worked at Kenya Methodist University and Kenyatta University. I was appointed the Dean, School of Business and Economics shortly thereafter in January 2016, taking charge of the second largest school with a student population of close to 10,000. It’s in moments such as these that the teaching of Peter Drucker, that “leaders don’t ask what do I want to do, but instead what needs to be done”, become relevant as you jump into the deep-end of the management of change.

MKU School of Business and Economics is in the process of creating a paradigm shift in the industry by offering practical market-driven courses using research-based curriculum bench-marked with international standards. The school has come up with initiatives to support entrepreneurial culture among students and alumni for sustainable socio-economic transformation in line with the university vision and mission. In the past year, the school reviewed the curriculum in response to the changing market dynamics. The review provides a framework that interface practical entrepreneurship, research, academics and policy in a mutually complementary manner. These are delivered using cutting-edge technologies with pioneering research programmes, industry linkage and consultancy that informs an all-inclusive, need-based and market-ready graduates who are well-positioned to address the societal problems and needs in a sustainable manner.

In an effort to benchmark with the international best practices, the school is a member of various international and regional professional associations, such as the African Association of Business Schools (AABS) and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). In fact, I recently represented the school in the AACSB Europe, Middle East and Africa deans’ conference in Madrid Spain in October 2016. The school has created a very strong research culture as evidenced by participation in international research conferences. For instance, in August 2016, the school sent a team of 15 lecturers to present papers at the 21st annual international management conference in Kampala, Uganda, and another team of 10 lecturers to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for the “1st roundtable on SMEs innovation and response policies 2016 conference and International Conference on Advancement of Business Management Practices in Africa (ICABUMPA)”.

The future of MKU School of Business and Economics is indeed bright. The school is in the process of a major rebranding to position herself as a leader in training and research in business and management in Africa. All these thanks to the continued support and good leadership of the university management under the able stewardship of the Vice Chancellor Prof. Stanley Waudo and the founder, chairman and visionary, Prof. Simon Gicharu.