President, Dilla University

Dear DU Community,

I feel honored and humbled to join Dilla University leadership.. The university presents an ideal opportunity to reflect on the achievements and challenges of our young university as well as to chart out a brighter future for DU. Since its founding in 1996, DU has registered significant growth in terms of size of student enrollment and staff size facilitating provision of instruction in ever increasing fields of study. The University’s strategic plan envisages further growth in DU’s size and stature with the ultimate goal of enhancing the University’s overall performance in education and research as well as its national and regional standing.

With 34 universities up and running in various regions of the country and 11 more on the pipeline, higher education in Ethiopia has been undergoing a massive expansion process over the past two decades. While the expansion process has significantly enhanced access to education to the country’s youthful population, Ethiopian universities have yet to effectively demonstrate their contribution to building a knowledge-based economy as well as the entrenchment of democratic values in Ethiopia. Indeed, Ethiopia’s universities, which currently owe their existence to enormous public funding, require strategic vision and commitment to excellence to justify their social relevance and continued existence into the future.

Thus, the main challenge to DU’s leadership and our community will be to ensure the relevance of DU and enhance its contributions to societal goals. To this end, the University needs to place a high premium on ensuring quality in the teaching-learning process as well as in research and community service. In the context of DU, ensuring quality requires upgrading the overall staff profile by enhancing the capacity of the University to attract, develop and retain qualified academic staff. In this connection, adequate attention will be paid to graduate expansion with a view to gradually transforming what is currently an essentially undergraduate institution into a research-oriented graduate University. Further, DU needs to continually embark on reform of curricula in order to provide relevant education as well as to foster the establishment of multidisciplinary centers of excellence in key areas central to the attainment of the mission of the University. The overall goal is to facilitate the fulfillment of DU’s ambitious vision of becoming one of the top rated universities in eastern Africa. Our commitment to excellence is crucial to realize the ambition!  

I wish you a happy New Year 2019/20!