The United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) has appointed Freida Brown as the institution’s acting Vice Chancellor. This is following the abrupt exit of Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, which was announced in April this year.

Prof. Zeleza has served as the University’s VC from January 2015 in a tenure characterised by a clash with lecturers over salary cuts and a union over plans to lay off non-teaching staff. In October last year, the Employment and Labour Relations court suspended plans by USIU-A to slash lecturers’ pay, pending the determination of petition the tutors had filed.

In a memo, The University stated that Prof. Brown will act as interim VC for nine months as the University searches for a substantive replacement. Prof. Brown had previously served as VC at the institution for 21 years before returning to the United States of America.

“It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Professor Freida Brown to the position of Interim Vice Chancellor for a period of 9 months, from August 16, 2021,” said USIU-A council chair Kris Ole-Senanu in a statement.

Also suspended by the court was a decision by the institution to stop remitting the lecturers’ contributions to the pension scheme as contained in a letter sent to them in August. In May, the university denied violating a court order stopping it from laying off non-teaching staff pending the determination of a case filed by the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions and Hospital Workers (Kudheiha).

The insiders in the University have accused Prof. Zaleza of “reckless spending to the point the university could not contribute to pension”.