In a surprising turn of events, Margee Ensign, the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa), has resigned barely a year after assuming office.
The announcement, made by Kris Senanu, the University’s council chairman, prompted surprise through the academic community, attributing the resignation to medical challenges faced by Prof Ensign.
She embraced the VC position on September 1, 2022, entrusted with the task of steering the institution forward on its academic journey. She assumed the mantle left vacant by the departure of Tiyambe Zeleza who stepped down from the Vice-chancellorship of USIU in August 2021
Kris Senanu said in a statement, ” Prof Ensign has been faced with personal medical challenges related to the altitude in Nairobi, and her doctors have advised her that she cannot live and work here.”
Sentiments of gratitude and well-wishing were extended to prof Ensign. The Chairman conveyed “As we bid farewell to her, the entire USIU-Africa community would like to express our heartfelt gratitude and best wishes for future endeavours.”
Following Prof Ensign’s resignation, Lola Odubekun, an esteemed member of the USIU-Africa University Council, has been appointed as the interim Vice-Chancellor, effective from September 1, 2023. The strategic move ensures a seamless transition and continuation of the institution’s operation while the search for permanent successors takes place.
This recent event unveils a pattern of leadership changes that USIU-Africa has experienced over the years. Prof Ensign succeeded Prof Freida Brown, who called back from retirement in August 2021 following the exit of Prof Zeleza after a five-year term whose departure resulted from disagreements with faculty over salary cuts and a labour union’s objection to reducing non-teaching personnel.
Before stepping into the USIU-Africa role, Prof Ensign held the position of President at the American University of Nigeria since 2010, showcasing her extensive experience in the academic sphere.