Dr Simon appointed Research and Community Service Vice President

Dr Simon Shibru, the director of Research Directorate has been elevated to the position of Vice President for Research and Community Service; he assumed office on 11th December, 2017. In his 13-year-long association with Arba Minch University, he wielded various positions.

A doctorate from Antwerp University, Belgium, hailed from Ocholo Lantie village, had first degree in Biology in 1992 and Master in Botany in 1999 from Addis Ababa University. He began as a teacher in Konso Secondary School and instructor in Arba Minch Teachers Training College where he was Head of Department and Dean of students for two years each.

In 2000, he joined Institute of Biodiversity, Conservation and Research, Addis Ababa and served as a Botanist in Forest Genetic Resource Conservation Project for five years. He joined AMU as a lecturer in Biology department in 2004, during his tenure he shepherded projects like World Bank Funded capacity building project and Resource Oriented Sanitation Concepts for Peri-Urban areas of Africa (ROSA).

After two-year (2007-9) stint as Research and Publication Officer, he was made Assistant Professor in 2008 and was Vice President for Administration and Development from August 2009 to February 2012, before leaving for doctoral study to Belgium.

On impending responsibilities, the incumbent Dr Simon said, ‘‘It will be team spirit and collective ideas that will help us to capitalize on opportunities; and being democratic; dialogues and consensus will make things progressively innovative and path-breaking. He assures to be a catalyst in creating enabling environment to achieve top his priorities.

On dilatory appointments, he opined that the position which fell vacant after his elevation, soon a competent individual will be appointed as Research Directorate Director whom he will be working closely and official process for the same has already started, he informed.

Reacting to possible mismatch between rising expectations and modicum budget, he hoped the budget to rise by 5% and said annual allocation of ETB 18 million is not inadequate. Most importantly, how and what is being done as a tertiary institute instead of how much money is in the kitty makes sense. And linking university’s goal with country objective, encouraging youth for progressive ideas, transferring developed technologies to community will be of consequence.

Assuring adding value to his office, he said, ‘‘Innovation is the one word that will sum up; my strategic thinking will see to it that opportunities benefit community. Moreover, I will love to have pushy and go-getters on the board to get our agenda implemented in a set timeframe.’’

Driving point home, further he emphatically averred that there is an urgent need to bring fragmented research under the umbrella of one organized body and the issue will be dwelt upon for water sector, biodiversity, health, entrepreneurship are equally important for university.

Exuding confidence, he said, challenges of any kind won’t over-power us, rather we will exploit them. National and global collaborations are key to success and we will relentlessly work towards globalization, he assured.

He proposed to float a new idea for creating a separate budgetary provision for university top officials’ mobility across world to forge ties with institutions of international repute. Being overwhelmed, he expressed gratitude towards entire community for reposing faith in him for this strategically top assignment.


(Corporate Communication Directorate)