The mandate of the Directorate of Linkages and Outreach formerly known as International Relations and Interlink focuses mainly on establishment, coordination and management of national and international linkages, as well as exchange projects and programs, joint ventures emanating from these links. The other major mandate is to disseminate University academic programs, technologies and innovations through Shows and Exhibitions.
From the above brief outline of mandate, it is clear that the Directorate serves as an important ingredient to university mission within the context of a rapidly evolving institution responding to the challenges of globalization and liberalization of University education and in a nation in pursuit of rapid socio-economic development.
Policy Guidelines on Linkages and Partnerships Negotiations
The Directorate is in the process of developing the above- named policy since of the millennium development goals, encourages national governments and institutions to pursue partnerships and linkages to effectively implement the various millennium development goals for attaining acceptable global human development. Maseno University takes advantage of the opportunities presented through strategic partnerships, linkages and networks for effective mission delivery in teaching, research and outreach.
The international community in her enduring quest for an equitable and sustainable human development promotes effective North – South collaborations that are in principle conceived to evolve a responsive world socio-economic order. This is an attribute that should always be applied to all negotiations so that as a minimum there ought to be some positive net flow of resources north- southwards in the programs and projects that emerge from these negations.
Linkages and Partnerships Database
The Directorate maintains an inventory database which includes an evaluation of present status and a review out put of all linkages and partnerships that the University has negotiated and executed since 2003. The database is currently undergoing review in departments, faculties and schools so as to take stock and perform a needs assessment for various programs and projects. The Directorate requisitions in the first annual quarter information for ‘present status output’ from departments so as to up-date the database.
IRI has produced policy guidelines on Staff exchange that provides for a fair and transparent nomination process in Departments within faculties and schools.
Entities should therefore operate nomination boards with respect to picking individuals for academic mobility exchange such as visiting lecturers or research fellows, and for senior faculty external examination or sabbatical tenure and as visiting professor positions.
It is desirable that host entities, whether Faculty, school, department or institute use opportunities for staff exchange to advance the overall development of the entity rather than pursue individual interests, and hence the need to encourage teams and multi-disciplinary research proposals, etc for engaging these exchanges.
IRI has produced guidelines on Student exchange that apart from enabling exchange students to take some courses jointly with our own students provides for civic engagements, excursions and community service.
Collaborative research partnerships
In the medium to long term the goal is for each faculty / school to host at least one collaborative research and/or development activity. This requires considerable strengthening of intellectual property management regime of the university so as encourage commercialisation of research outputs. The directorate has in this respect drafted the University intellectual property policy which will be implemented by the newly established Directorate of Research, Publications and Consultancies
Shows and Exhibitions
The Directorate has as one of its functions the duty to organize shows and exhibitions which are routine annual program dissemination activities in the calendar of the University. The profile of both the academic program and research technology output exhibits of the university have been considerably enhanced by going digital. A cultural change of viewing dissemination as a core function in faculties schools and in departments is now well established and will assume more importance as we continue to operate in a liberalized and global education environment. The University is also engaging the adjoining communities in technology dissemination in public heath, enhancing farm productivity and sustainable environment management. These programs will be up scaled in the medium to long term.
Professor Thomas Odhiambo Memorial Lecture Series
The University periodically runs this high profile series of public lectures in recognition and in memory of the outstanding scientific contributions of the late Professor Thomas R Odhiambo, founder Director- General of ICIPE. Maseno University provided the leadership in the decision to rename the ICIPE Mbita station the Professor Thomas Risley Odhiambo Research Centre