Moi University has scrapped 30 departments and moved several lecturers to different schools within the institution as it grapples with Sh2.7 billion debt.
The decision to reduce departments from 80 to 50 was approved on Tuesday at a council meeting in what the management said aims at cutting costs.
The Communication department has been merged with Publishing and Media Studies while Literature has been merged with Linguistics.
Lecturers have also been moved and aligned with their qualifications at undergraduate, Master’s and PhD level.
On Thursday, several lecturers protested the transfers saying the changes were done without consultation as some of them had been moved to departments that they have never worked in.
But, the university’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Isaac Kosgey said the changes are aimed at bringing efficiency at the institution.
“We are placing academic staff in the faculties where they are best qualified. These changes will be a game changer as it will ensure efficiency and cut costs,” said Prof Kosgey.
In March, the university relocated several students in the Education programme at its Nairobi Campus to its main campus in Eldoret.
The university also relocated its School of Agriculture and Natural resources to Kitale Campus.
The institution has been facing a cash crisis in the recent past because of dwindling enrolment numbers.
But it is not the only public university struggling.
The University of Nairobi has scrapped more than 40 courses following recommendations by the government.
The Ministry of Education is already sitting on two reports that have recommended measures to rescue the university sector in the country.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha is set to meet for the second time with vice-chancellors of public universities to brief them on a merger plan.
Prof Magoha recently asked universities to address the imbalances in the ratio of faculty/technical staff to support staff.
Currently, the ratio is as high as 30:70 in some universities.
The CS also asked universities to rationalise staff to ease the payroll burden, in the face of reducing student enrolment and low capitation grants.
“We have proposed introduction of tenure tracks while also systematically easing off many non-core staff on contracts,” added Prof Magoha.
Vice-chancellors are opposed to plan to fire staff and instead want more lecturers hired by the institutions in order to increase lecture student ratio. Universities have 27,000 staff including 9,000 lecturers.
The universities also want the government to increase funding to the institutions from the current Sh97 billion but they have not indicated how much they want.