Elegwa Mukulu, a professor of business and entrepreneurship, has officially retired after 30 years of illustrious service to JKUAT. The don held various positions in the university over the years; his final posting being the Principal of the College of Human Resource Development (COHRED), where he served for the last 9 years.
Prof. Mukulu recalled his academic and leadership journey beginning in 1991, when he joined JKUAT as a budding and passionate communication lecturer after serving 13 years at the Kenya Technical Training College (KTTC). He considers the move to have been an important step in his career progression because it occurred at a time when the institution, a college, was beginning to expand in terms of offering new programs.
Between 1992 and 1995, Prof. Mukulu was able to establish himself as an important scholar in the University’s communication and human resource management department through sheer hard work and determination.
By 1996, he had been identified by the university administration as a critical staffer with the necessary expertise, resulting in his appointment to spearhead the Institute of Human Resource Development (IHRD), for a two-year term.
At the end of his tenure, he developed a strong interest in entrepreneurship, which led to his enrollment at the University of Illinois, where he earned his PhD in entrepreneurship in 2004.
“After receiving my PhD in Entrepreneurship from the University of Illinois, I was appointed director of the Institute of Information Technology Center between 2005 and 2009, where I used my skills to make it one of the most profitable income-generating units for the university,” Prof. Mukulu said.
Prof. Mukulu, an astute scholar, has shaped the entrepreneurship sector, particularly in terms of income and employment opportunities in relation to learning institutions. He has over 70 publications in subjects ranging from entrepreneurship to human resource management.
He also participated in the review of the Africa Biotech Foundation International program, which is used by Pan-African networks of public and private partners to implement a portfolio of projects that have impacted the poor through sustainable livelihoods.
Between 2010 and 2014, the don was instrumental in transforming the college from a school (the School of Human Resource Development), into COHRED which became one of the university’s largest and most prosperous colleges.
During his tenure, the COHRED’s student population grew from 2,000 to around 10,000, and new programs, such as the popular Bachelor’s degree in procurement and logistics management, were introduced. Prof. Mukulu also oversaw the college’s relocation to its own complex – providing adequate teaching and learning space hence boosting enrolment.
While congratulating Prof. Mukulu, Vice Chancellor Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi thanked him for his services to the university, particularly as principal of COHRED since 2018.
“The position of principal of a college is a large docket, and I want to commend you for handling the functions ably as you rose through the ranks,” Prof. Ngumi said.
While presenting Prof. Mukulu’s biography at the farewell ceremony held on Friday, March 24, 2023 at Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre (SAJOREC), Karen campus principal, Prof. Hellen Mberia, who was also Mukulu’s first PhD student to supervise, praised the don for inspiring and mentoring his students.
“Prof. Mukulu has mentored over 60 PhD students, many of whom have gone on to become principals, deans, or influential members of society. I am proud to stand here today as one of his students who has benefited from his mentoring, “Prof. Mberia observed.
On his retirement, Prof. Mukulu said he believed it was time to step down and give a chance to a new set of hands to steer the college. He said that his retirement would give him the opportunity to write novels.
As he settles into his retirement life, Prof. Mukulu also intends to leverage his entrepreneurship skills to venture into the hospitality industry. He reckons that it won’t be easy, but he’s equally optimistic that his experience and knowledge would be valuable in his new enterprises.
Prof. Mukulu also has a bachelor’s degree in education, literature, and history from the University of Nairobi, as well as a master’s degree in communication from Michigan State University.