The Addis Abeba Univerity, Ethiopia's oldest institution of higher learning, has got a new president today, after a fiercely contested bid to the top office by no less than 13 candidates. Tassew Woldehana (PhD), a professor of economics, has been appointed as the University's 11th President, the Ministry of Education announced yesterday, February 12, 2018.
The Minister picked Tassew from the two other finalists, Bekele Gutema (Prof.) and Jeilu Oumer (PhD) selected by a committee formed after the University's Senate sent the finalists to the Ministry for final selection a month ago. Fikre Dessalge (Prof.), a brother of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalge, was one of the top five nominees.
The committee undertook a four-phase screening process, including presentations, interviews and panels. Hiring a president to the University through a competitive process is a significant departure from the practice of direct appointment. The previous three presidents, including Admassu Tsegaye (Prof.), and Andreas Eshete (PhD), had served the University for six years and nine years, respectively.
The newly hired President, Tassew, studied agricultural and environmental economics and policy in his post-graduate years and fulfilled his doctorate in economics from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, where he has lectured as a visiting professor. He had taught at the Haromaya University before joining the Addis Abeba Universty. He also chairs the Board of Directors of the Lion International Bank.