Office of the Academic Registrar
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BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE REGISTRY DEPARTMENT
The history of the Registry Department is tied to the establishment of UMU in the year
1993. UMU was formally opened on 1 st October, 1993 and it was on this day when all the
employees of the University officially reported on duty. However, the first Registrar Mr.
Onyango Bernard had been on the Steering Committee since 1 st February, 1992.
The former Nkozi National Teachers’ College was transformed into what today is the University, its building and facilities form the Main Campus of Uganda Martyrs University at Nkozi. The Registry Department, under the leadership of Mr. Onyango, became the heart and pulse of the new University with emphasis on quality and excellence in all University operations.
THE DEVELOPMENT AND LEADERSHIP ADMINISTRATION OF THE REGISTRY DEPARTMENT
From the time UMU was established until September 1996, the Registry Department housed the Human Resource function until when the then Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Human Resources (DVC-HR) by the name of Rev. Dr. Lawrence Ssemusu was appointed on 1 st October, 1996 as the first separate and autonomous Director for Human Resources Department. The first Registry office was where the ICT workshop is housed, that is, between Computer Lab 1 and Lab 2. From there the office was shifted to the current Human Resource office and in 2007 it moved to a new permanent home, the Onyango Registry Building.
At the time of commencing, it is said that UMU had 84 staff members, out of which included the Academic Staff; Administrative and Support Staff. There was one Faculty and one Institute, namely, the Faculty of Business Administration and Management and the Institute of Ethics and Development Studies with 84 students. What a coincidence, the students' enrolment was equal to the number of staff at that time! At the start of the University, the NCHE was not yet established, and if it did, it would have recognized UMU as the most outstanding University not only in Uganda, but in Africa and beyond, with the student staff ratio of 1:1.
Mr. Onyango Bernard as the First Registrar of the University (1992 – 2001)
Mr. Onyango had served Makerere University for many years as its Registrar so much so that the period in which students sat for examinations at Makerere University was nicknamed “dancing Onyango’s music.” When the Uganda Bishops Conference resolved to start the University, they zeroed in on Mr. Onyango who had just retired from Makerere University. His sense of duty, strictness and efficiency were very instrumental in creating an
enduring legacy of quality and excellence for the institution.
Under his leadership, UMU started in earnest in processing applications, carrying out admissions, conducting examinations, ensuring that superb students' records and statistics were kept, career guidance was given and general human resource administration to the entire University was carried out. This was indeed an enormous task and thus Mr. Onyango is commended for having pioneered these efforts and ensuring that UMU was put on a high pedestal of quality and excellence in all its operations. It is thus no wonder that the current Registry Building was named after him in memory of these gigantic efforts he put in place to make UMU an academic giant in the provision of excellent educational services in Uganda, East Africa and beyond.
Mr. Bazirake Stephen as the Second Registrar of the University (2001 – 2001)
Mr. Onyango retired in 2001 and was immediately succeeded by Mr. Bazirake Stephen. The latter spent about 6 months as a Registrar for shortly after he left the University to take up the same post at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST). Thus given the short time he spent at UMU, not much can be said about him in terms of legacy and contribution to the institution.
Sr. Prof. Marie Hafflet Esther as the Third Registrar of the University (2001 – 2003)
When Mr. Bazirake left the office, the person selected by Management to lead and care take the Registry Department until a substantive Registrar was appointed was Sr. Prof. Marie Hafflet Esther. Sr. Hafflet was an active member of staff in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Her contribution to the Department was in continuing the good governance practices that Mr. Onyango had started. During her time, UMU continued to shine as a University that was known for quality and excellence in the admission of applicants and in the conduct of examinations. The numbers of students continued to rise as students and parents alike were yearning for quality. When a substantive Registrar was identified and appointed to fill the position, Sr. Hafflet went back to her Faculty to resume her earlier duties as a lecturer. Owing to her enormous contribution, a girls’ hostel “Hafflet” was named in her honour.
Mr. Byuma Innocent as the Fourth Registrar of the University (2003–2014)
Mr. Byuma succeeded Sr. Hafflet as the substantive Registrar of Uganda Martyrs University in 2003. Mr. Byuma, who had been working in Rwanda in a position equivalent to a Registrar continued the legacy of his predecessors by insisting on quality and excellence in his service. During his tenure, the University emphasized the policy of zero tolerance to copying, and a number of students caught copying were dismissed or suspended for a defined period of time. During his time, the University continued to grow and expand in student numbers until 2012 when the numbers started dropping. This could have been caused by a number of internal factors but one external factor was due to the many mushrooming Universities that came into existence around this period. However, statistics show that numbers started rising again in 2013 to date.
Rev. Dr. Christopher B. Mukidi as the Fifth Registrar of the University (2014 – to-date)
As per the University Charter and Statutes that spells out that a Registrar should serve five years but renewable once, Mr. Byuma’s contract expired in 2012 but Council allowed him to continue serving until another Registrar was appointed. On 17th March, 2013 a new Registrar in the person of Rev. Dr. Christopher B. Mukidi was appointed and started work on the 31 st March, 2014. The confirmation of Rev. Dr. Mukidi as the Registrar of UMU from the Uganda Episcopal Conference would come in June of 2014. Under the leadership of Dr. Mukidi, the University has continued to move forward guided by the legacies of quality and excellence established during the time of Mr. Onyango and consolidated during the times of Sr. Hafflet and Mr. Byuma. It should be noted that during Dr. Mukidi’s time, that is from 2014 to the time of the Silver Jubilee celebration, the Registry Department has developed many policies such as: the Credit and Transfer Policy (2014), Short Course Policy (2014), Students' Oath of Allegiance (2015), Campuses and Affiliate Institutions Policy (2015), Review of the Academic Handbook Policy (2017), Examinations Policy (2018), Registry Manual (2019), Admissions and Registration Policy (2019) and Governing Council Manual (2019). Many other policies are also in the offing to enable the Registry Department function better.
The Department has also been instrumental in having certain innovations implemented at the University level such as the paperless Campus, the Consultancy Scheme for part-time lecturers, the introduction of the Half-Tuition Bursary Scheme to priests, religious, parents and youth in every Catholic Diocese, plus their extension to Districts, Kingdoms, Catholic Schools and Schools that honour the University's Open Day invitation that take place once a year. In support of the Integrated Management System (Zeevarsity), the Department anticipates to be fully activated to access online application, admission and registration. It is hoped that due to continued excellent services delivered to the various stakeholders within and outside, the University is expected to progressively grow not only in students' numbers but also in its stature as an academic giant in the region and beyond.