PresidentWollega University (WU) began operation 10 years ago, in February 2007, by admitting 851 undergraduate students into 17 academic units with only 139 academic staff and 154 administrative support staff. It started just from nothing- no classrooms, no laboratories, no offices, no vehicles, no access roads… nothing! Today, as we step into our 10th year of foundation of the university, I feel proud and honored in leading this institution, which is always in incredible changes having more than 32,000 students. Currently the university runs 161 programmes out of which 3 are in graduates’ certificate, 98 in bachelors’ degree, 54 in Masters Degrees’  and 6 in PhD programs. At the moment there are more than 1000 academic staff and 1500 administrative support staff. The university has been a pioneer in introducing active learning approach and continuous assessments in Ethiopia. It has contributed significantly in research and community engagement endeavors, too.

Thus, at this juncture, I take pride and pleasure in writing this message for the university’s 10th anniversary. It is an occasion to reckon with and to commend ourselves for the undoubting spirit, courage of conviction, and commitment to the goals of the institution, which has always been a fountain of inspiration for all of us. Each year lays the foundation for ideas in the year to come. The coming year is defining and significant, and we are prepared to take on the challenges of the world outside. Our endeavors will be to continue to improve the quality of our institution’s system, increase our standards in all aspects, identify core strengths and prioritize goals, and work on them. Our journey has been a short one, but this incredible journey of ours is a testimony of the vision, entrepreneurship spirit and commitment of our founders, leaders, and WU community in general. The following stanza taken from the poem ‘A Psalm of Life’ dictates this:

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time

We must take this moment to pay homage to our founders and reminisce those noteworthy accomplishments that created an institution which prides on its great achievements during this short period of time. Nevertheless, we cannot be satisfied and complacent with mediocre outcomes. We need to aspire to raise the bar in every field, be it academics, research or community engagements.   On this auspicious moment of our 10th anniversary, we rededicate our commitment to strive for transformation – lifting WU from where it is today to another new chapter with visibility in the world. We are extremely fortunate that we will together witness a great moment of pride in the achievements of our institution, as WU attains a unique milestone that would be internationally visible.

I think this is the appropriate time, therefore, to think and act properly to leave our footprints for the forthcoming generations in the sands of time. We have to walk with both our eyes open on the 2033 G.C vision of being one of the top 25 universities in Africa with determination and confidence. I am optimistic about our future as everything is changing and growing faster. To this effect, we must stay prepared to proactively seize the opportunities. It is time for us to collaborate, to innovate and to leverage our strengths to be amongst the leaders in all our activities. Let us move ahead with utmost zeal and excitement and pledge our commitment to all stakeholders who would be a part of our journey in the future years.

© Wollega University