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Thirteen shortlisted for top AAU job

Thirteen shortlisted for top AAU job

As per the preliminary assessment results, Addis Ababa University (AAU) has shortlisted 13 applicants who are competing for the presidency of the oldest university in Ethiopia.

It is to be recalled that 22 individuals from different academic backgrounds and institutions have managed to submit their applications to be considered for the presidency in the first round of the competition.

Among the applicants, a dozen of them are currently working at the AAU in different fields while the rest are employed in other institutions both within and outside of Ethiopia. The Reporter has also learnt that foreigners are among the applicants eying the top position in the biggest university of the country. However, the latest evaluation results indicate that none of the foreigners and Ethiopians teaching abroad have managed to make it through to the next stage.  

Out of the total 13 applicants who are shortlisted, five of them are professors and the rest are assistant professors. The competitors with a rank of professor include individual such as Fikre Dessalegn (Prof.), the current president of the Ethiopian Civil Service University (ECSU); Bekele Gutema (Prof.), dean of the College of Social Science of AAU; Tassew Weldehana (Prof), vice president of AAU; Masresha Fetene (Prof), Head of Ethiopian Science Academy and Emana Getu (Prof.).

Following the preliminary results, the shortlisted applicants have presented their respective strategic plans to the University’s Search and Screen Committee as of this week. The committee incorporates five members from the staff, student council and board of the University.

“We have already concluded this step,” Asemahagn Aseres, communication head of the University, told The Reporter.

The next step will be for the applicants to present their ideas to the Panel. For this, 250 people from the university community will be invited where each member in the panel will have the right to vote.

Finally, five applicants will be selected according to the aggregate points taken from the evaluation process which includes points for leadership capacity, strategic plan and vote from the panel. Then after, the board of the University chaired by Shiferaw Shigute will have the power to shortlist three candidates and present it to the Ministry of Education for the final selection of the president.

The successful individual will lead the university for the coming six years. This new way of selecting presidents became effective as of this year.

It is to be recalled that previously, presidents of public universities were directly appointed by the Ministry and the position was not open for all applicants. The Ministry of Education had the mandate to appoint presidents as per the recommendation of the board of directors or trustees of public universities who are mostly ministers and regional states’ presidents.

Since the introduction of the new way of selecting presidents, Bahir Dar University was the first to apply the new system.

Based on the evaluation results, which mostly emanate from track records, educational backgrounds and professional experiences of the applicants, the Ministry of Education will have the final power to endorse the successful nominee. 

Established 67 years ago, AAU – the first higher education institution in Ethiopia – has seen ten presidents so far.