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The Role of Chancellors in African Institutions

In theory the chancellor is a ceremonial position. But in practice chancellors are able – and even expected – to steer their universities in specific directions. This power is underlined in the three epochs that characterise the evolution of public universities’ chancellorship in the country. These are the political chancellor; the academic chancellor; and, more recently, the corporate chancellor. The corporate chancellor, common since 2013, is a response to mounting financial challenges facing Kenyan universities. The appointees include successful bankers, businessmen, corporate chief executives, industrialists and philanthropists. The goal is to use their management experience to guide the transition from a collegial governance model to a corporate managerial culture.