By Ortega Ian
Imagine I have a company. One of the senior employees comes and alerts me that the CEO I appointed is evicting her from her office. And not only that, the CEO has given one of the premises of the company to his wife. Not only that, this senior employee makes it clear to me that other people are suffering and that this man should go after his 5 year tenure.
As the owner of the company, with my board, we sit down and discover the following. That company revenues have increased by 435%. Not only that, we are selling a product that’s highly demanded in the region and that our assets have more grown exponentially.
So here’s the case at MISR in summary:
1. Dr. Stella Nyanzi claims she’s being wrongfully evicted. She also claims, the wife of Prof. Mamdani has three offices at MISR. She says she’s a researcher not a teacher. (Strong points)
2. Mamdani claims the only reason he took up the job of MD was to build the interdisciplinary phd Programme. He claims that Stella Nyanzi refused to lecture even after she’d committed herself numerous times in the past. He also claims the only reason he confirmed her as permanent staff and even recommended her to Cape Town for a fellowship was because she had agreed to lecture. Like others, Nyanzi is only required to lecture for only 3 hours a week. She says not only has Stella Nyanzi refused to lecture, she doesn’t participate in institutional research. All she does is her private research using a public office and earning a salary. He says he wrote to the VC numerous times in the past, he’s received no reply until some people told her, “that’s the VC’s niece, nothing will happen.”
So we seek out the facts from when Prof. Mamdani assumed office in February 2010:
1. External funding in 2010 stood at $1.65 million. It is now $7.2 million. That is an increment of 435%.
2. The library in 2010 has 368 books. It now has 4595 books. Another exponential increment.
3. MISR now runs the most demanded, most rigorous interdisciplinary PhD Programme in the region which implies that more researchers are being produced. Currently 47 students are enrolled.
4. We also find out that Mamdani’s wife is not using the office for free. Her company rents it at $900 per month which is income for MISR. As part of the agreement, Maisha Films is also required to constantly renovate the building. Secondly, students are given full access to all the video archives and documentaries to help in their research work. Remember, Mira Nair is a woman who even turned down the opportunity to direct Harry Porter and the order of the Phoenix. She’s an acclaimed film maker, something in line with the humanities at MISR.
5. We also find out that Mamdani’s fascination with quality has been his achilles’ heels. It is much easier to pass through the eye of the needle than for mediocrity to thrive here, something some students dread.
That my friend, is the situation at MISR. Going by the results, away from the hurly-burlys of seductive sensationalism, Mamdani seems to be doing something right but the mobs who are always spoon-fed on rhetoric think otherwise.
Shall reason and excellence win at MISR or the mobs and sensationalism will?