Former Egerton University Vice-chancellor James Tuitoek is among seven top academicians who have been shortlisted for the position of chief executive officer at Commission for University Education.
Prof Tuitoek who left the institution in 2015 after serving for 10 years will battle it out with CUE acting chief executive officer Walter Oyawa during interviews slated on July 12 and 13.
Other applicants set to be interviewed include Anne Nangulu who is Deputy CEO in charge of quality, audit and standards at the commission.
Prof Nangulu, a professor of history once served as Dean of School of Arts at Moi University in Eldoret, will be the first one to be interviewed on July 12.
Prof Nathan Ogechi, Deputy Vice-chancellor in charge of student’s affairs at Moi University, Prof Christopher Shisanya, Prof Mwendwa Ntaragwi and Kenyatta University Deputy Vice-chancellor (Administration) Prof John Okumu have also been shortlisted.
The position attracted 26 candidates among them Prof Maurice Amutavi, Prof Egara Kabaji and immediate former Deputy Chief executive Planning Dr Eusebius Mukhwana.
“Applicants are required to bring with them the originals of their testimonials and or certificates including their national identity card or passport,” said CUE chairman Chacha Nyaigotti Chacha.
Despite, the requirement being that applicant must be a holder of master’s degree from a university recognised in Kenya, its only applicants with doctorate degree that made it to the shortlist.
The new boss will replace Prof David Some who is set to exit on September 4.
Prof Chacha said the commission is seeking an individual of high integrity.
The appointment will be for a contractual period of five years, renewable for a further five years subject to satisfactory performance and mutual agreement.
The new chief executive officer will be tasked with ensuring that the Commission complies with the spirit and letter of the Constitution and will lead in the process of regulation of the University education sector.
The commission has three directorates; accreditation, quality audit and standards, planning research and development and administration and finance.
The first secretary of the commission was former University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor Prof Joseph Mungai, Justin Irina was second.
Other appointed CUE secretaries included Prof Crispus Kiamba (UoN) and Prof Everett Standa (Kenyatta University).
The new chief executive officer will also steer the institution in implementing an audit report on universities that was released early this year.
Already the government has suspended for three years the establishment of new university campuses and has warned that it will not hesitate to close down underperforming ones.
It has also promised to strengthen university governance and management as well as strengthen the university internal quality management systems.
The number of universities have doubled from 35 in 2012 to 70 last year and the number of students enrolled in universities has also increased from over 361,379 in 2012 to over 564,507 last year.