Makerere University Business School (MUBS) is a leading business school in the region and I am happy to be associated with MUBS as chairman of the Governing Council.
MUBS was established in 1997 by the Makerere University Establishment of Constituent College Order 1997. At that time its mandate was to spearhead the development of business and management education in the country.
Later MUBS was given administrative and financial autonomy through the Makerere University Establishment of Constituent College Amendment Order 2000. This law gave MUBS an independent council that enabled it to pass out certificate and diploma graduates for the award of MUBS certificates and diplomas.
The same law empowered MUBS to recruit and promote its own staff with the exception of the principal and deputy principal. For instance, MUBS through the appointments board has been able to appoint and promote some of its academic staff to senior positions including Professorship position.
The Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act, 2001 changed the status of MUBS into a public tertiary institution affiliated to Makerere University for the award of degrees and at the same time saved the organs like the MUBS council.
Before the ruling by Justice Okumu Wengi, MUBS was a typical business school. Justice Wengi on July 17, 2006 ruled that MUBS was an independent university. The ruling by Wengi accorded Prof. W. Balunywa, the then principal a rare opportunity to transform MUBS into a University.
Within one month, Prof. Balunywa and his deputy had declared themselves Vice-Chancellor and deputy Vice-Chancellor respectively, but did not change the legal status of MUBS; at that time, MUBS was a University within a University.
MUBS management went ahead and started over 10 degree programmes in disciplines outside business and recruited students. MUBS also recruited staff and put in place other necessities to fit into its new status of a university.
Later when the Government directed MUBS to revert to its status of a public tertiary institution affiliated to Makerere University for the award of degrees everything else remained other than professor Balunywa and his deputy reverting to the titles of principal and deputy principal.
In other words MUBS continued to run programmes in its extended mandate of business, management, economics, statistics, computing/ICT and social sciences to mention but a few.
Over time, MUBS has been adding on more programmes and disciplines. So it is wrong to say that MUBS is a one-discipline institution; MUBS is multi-disciplinary.
So MUBS continued to be a University within a University and today it can without a shadow of doubt be ranked as the third largest public institution of higher education in Uganda.
As a matter of fact, MUBS feels like and acts like a university. I strongly recommend to the Government of Uganda to transform MUBS into a University — Metropolitan University of Business and Science. This will accord Uganda the opportunity to provide leadership in business education in the region through MUBS.
This is an opportunity we should not afford to miss as a country.
The writer is the chairperson MUBS council
PS. Story picked from New Vision June 5, 2013