Deputy President William Ruto today missed to graduate with a doctorate degree from UoN after he failed to meet some ‘standards’ in his academic performance. Ruto, who has been pursuing a PhD at the University of Nairobi, said the reason he was unsuccessful in his studies this year is because he has not met some ‘standards’ and ‘requirements’.
His thesis focused on the impact of human activities on riparian reserves at Saiwa Swamp, in Trans Nzoia County. But he said he is expected to graduate in December next year. Although Ruto revealed this on Thursday evening, he must have received the saddening news early last month when the PhD thesis defences took place. He has been working on his PhD since 2012 before he became the deputy president.
“I urge all colleges to observe set standard and award certificates to students purely on merit,” he said yesterday in two Tweets. “As a PhD student, I have subjected myself to that standard. I was due to graduate tomorrow but I can’t because of requirement.”
Ruto watched as President Uhuru Kenyatta is awarded a doctorate degree, the difference being that the President’s is an honorary one that does not reflect any academic excellence. The university did not say why Ruto could not graduate but Kenyans offered a plethora of reasons on social media, nearly all which could not be verified.
The university’s board of post graduate studies says candidates for PhD must submit a research proposal showing that they are capable of carrying out original research themselves, a condition Ruto is likely to have met.
In June this year, the deputy President presented his PhD progress report to the director of School of Biological Sciences Prof Paul Ndegwa, accompanied by his supervisor Prof Jenesio Kinyamario, on the impact of human activities on riparian reserves at Saiwa Swamp, Trans Nzoia County.
Ruto’s handlers on Wednesday posted a series of photos of the PhD candidate in Saiwa swamp in gumboots collecting water samples. They also posted 2012 photos showing Ruto leaving class together with other students, and another from the same year where he is making a power-point presentation titled “Water Sampling”.
He is using an old, black HP laptop. He is also seen in the recent photo in a checked suit giving a progress report to his supervisor and Dr Ndegwa. Ruto enrolled for an Msc degree in 1991 but deferred his research until 2008 when he graduated with a Masters of Science Degree in Plant Ecology.
In August 2014, while laying the foundation stone of the 22-storey University of Nairobi Towers, the President urged Ruto to complete his studies.
“It gives me great joy to be here once again! I am happy to join you at this ceremony, at an institution which many proudly know as their esteemed alma mater! They include my Deputy who I hear is back here to complete his PhD! As president, I have done my part, always encouraging him to work hard and please his processors and supervisors in order to do well and not to embarrass us,” Uhuru said in his off the cuff address amidst laughter from the gathering.