Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Friday dissolved the University of Nairobi Council.
Prof Magoha also revoked the appointment of Prof Stephen Gitahi Kiama as the Vice-Chancellor of the institution until the ongoing consultative process of appointing a substantive VC is completed.
In a statement, the CS said Prof Kiama will continue dispensing his duties as Deputy VC, Human Resource and Administration at the university.
He appointed Deputy VC (Finance, Planning and Development) Prof Isaac Meroka Mbeche as acting vice-chancellor.
Prof Kiama was to be inaugurated on Tuesday as the vice-chancellor to replace Prof Peter Mbithi whose term ended on January 6.
While announcing the appointment of Prof Kiama, UoN Council Chair Julia Ojiambo thanked the Public Service Commission, Council colleagues, the Ministry of Education, the entire university fraternity and chancellor for according the recruitment process and respective facilitative instruments and agencies a chance.
PSC submitted the names of Prof Kiama, Prof Madara Ogot and Prof Patricia G. Kameri Mbote for consideration. PSC had shortlisted eight candidates for the interview among them Prof Mbeche.
A total of 14 applicants applied for the job.
Others who were shortlisted were Prof Kareithi Ruth Wanjiru Nduati, Prof Elijah I. Omwenga, Prof Bernard Njoroge and Prof Solomon Igosangwa Shibairo.
Prof Mbithi did not submit his application for the job. On Saturday, the disbanded council was said to be a crisis meeting.
The disbandment of the council is linked to fight between the Ministry of Education and the university council after it emerged that the Ministry had a preferred candidate.
Those who did not make the interview cut included Prof Duke Omondi Otara, Prof Maurice Amutabi, Prof Isaiah Omolo Ndiege, Prof Julius Onyango Ochuodho, Prof Collins Ogutu Miruka and Prof Shitanda Douglas.
Prof Kiama has been the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Human Resource and Administration at the university since February 2019. He has 15 years’ administrative experience at senior level in the basic and higher education management.
Prof Kiama has also been a member of the University of Nairobi Senate and University Executive Board between 2003 and 2016.
According to the PSC advert, candidates for the VC position were required to be full professors and holders of an earned doctorate degree or equivalent qualification from a recognised university.
The candidates were also required to have at least 15 years of academic research and managerial experience at a senior level in a university or equivalent institution.
They were required to prove scholarly records demonstrated by publications in internationally peer reviewed journals, monographs, books and book chapters in their areas of specialisation, and supervision and mentorship of masters and doctoral students,” read the advertisement by PSC.