Rev. Dr. Pius Rutechura is the new Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA). Dr Rutechura becomes the sixth VC of CUEA succeeding Rev. Prof. John Maviri – who served the University as a VC for nine years.
CUEA Chancellor Rev. Prof. Tarcisio Ziyaye described the outgoing VC as “a very humble person focused on the common good of every person.”
Rev. Prof Ziyaye said that during his tenure he registered tremendous growth in the university ensuring that “the University must remain a tool for social transformation and not sharing abstract ideas that have no impact on the lives of people.”
The chancellor said they are aiming to benchmark, re-engineer and rebrand CUEA to meet the needs of the current times based on values and the teaching of the church.
“A major function of a university is to advance knowledge through research and scholarship,” he said during the convocation of the new VC, adding that “the quality of staff is the one single most important element that can make the University succeed or fail.” He urged the faculty to continue to develop and deliver quality research, teaching and community service.
He further stated that “our university should not be seen to compete with others but should distinguish itself based on the quality of the service rendered and the good learning atmosphere indicative of the Catholic identity.”
The incoming VC Dr Rutechura said the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA) intends to develop a ten year plan of shaping the destiny of the people in the region. “This plan has to be backed up by a theological framework of effectively and relevantly responding to the challenging issues of our times.”
He paid tribute to his predecessor Rev. Prof. Maviri saying he will build on the foundation that has been laid down. “It is continuity that ensures leadership in generating and disseminating knowledge and enhancement of research,” said the new VC, who was unanimously elected by AMECEA.
He promised “to reiterate that docility makes scholars and discernment makes leaders;” as he congratulated the university for qualifying for the International Standard Quality Certification.
However, he challenged the CUEA Community to adhere to the fact that beyond managing systems and procedures, “let us all strive to lead in managing the quality of our lives.”
He counseled that “most of our failures stem and are nurtured and aggravated by focusing on the failures.” Thus, he said “I come with a mindset of leading a winning team, a team that is convinced that whenever we turn towards Jesus Christ; the rising sun of success, new hope and meaning will always emerge.”
On his part he said that he will take time to listen and dialogue, to encourage and to challenge, to discuss and make consultations. “Let us strive to seize the opportunities as they come. The way forward may not be so obvious, and may not be plotted in details, but I believe that with clear vision, commitment and good will, God will show the way.”
“It is my unswerving commitment as much as anything else to keep people going, particularly through the darker times when some may question whether the vision can ever be achieved,” he said of his leadership style as he added that “if we do not believe that we can succeed, then our efforts will flag. In this university let us all strive towards seeking to infect and re-infect each other with high level of commitment to the vision. In an institution like ours, success at various levels will come through deeds and sustained commitment.”
Additionally, he called everyone at CUEA to “let us focus on bringing credibility and substance to our various professions and positions of importance in terms of teaching, academic leadership and community service,” concluding that “we must all work towards horizontal transfer of values and knowledge.”