|President||Prof. Chemeda Finensa|
|Campus||Urban (Harar campus and Chiro campus), semi urban (Main campus)|
Haramaya University is one of the oldest universities in Ethiopia. It is located 5 km from Alemaya, a town in the East Hararghe Zone, about 17 kilometers from the city of Harar and 40 kilometers from Dire Dawa.
The university was founded with the help of Oklahoma State University (OSU), accepting its first students in 1954, and the new campus was opened in January 1958 by Emperor Haile Selassie. OSU's participation set a record for American technical assistance programs, with 60 professionals supporting the project at one time, but due to the lack of qualified educators this required a commitment to his endeavor from the University for several years; this degree of commitment was due to the personal support of the former OSU president, Henry G. Bennett.
Haramaya University was promoted from a college within Addis Ababa University to an independent university on May 27, 1985. For many years the university had been limited to only an agricultural curriculum, but in 1996 the university was given permission to open other faculties and departments.
The agreement, made on May 16, 1952 between the governments of the then imperial Ethiopia and the United States of America, was believed to have given rise to the present Haramaya University. After the historic document named "Agreement between the Government of Ethiopia and the Technical Cooperation Administration of the Government of the United States of America", Oklahoma State University embarked on establishing buildings and bringing in staff from abroad to run academic, research and extension programs in the Imperial Ethiopia College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts.
With limited staff and facilities available, it was possible to handle only the junior and senior classes at Haramaya during the first year of its operation, and freshman and sophomore courses were given at Jimma Agricultural and Technical School. The four-year college program started at Haramaya campus in 1954/55 academic year. The first batch graduated with B.Sc. in Agriculture on January 16, 1958. The Emperor of Ethiopia, Hailesillasie-I was present at the graduation ceremony of the college.
The college, in addition to teaching activities, was a national coordinator of agricultural research and extension through the technical and staff support obtained from Oklahoma State University. Until 1963, the college was dependent on Oklahoma both administratively and academically; however, since 1963, after the first Ethiopian dean was appointed, the role of Americans was limited to advisory and technical supports. The college became a chartered member of Addis Ababa University following the contractual termination of Oklahoma State University in 1967. Consequently, it was named Alemaya College of Agriculture.
The college restructured itself by closing mechanical arts and agricultural education departments, and opened graduate study programs during the 1979/80 academic year. The launching of graduate studies was intended to lay down a foundation for advanced academic and research 1979/80 academic year, 29 students were enrolled to study agriculture.
After three decades of functioning as a college, the institution was upgraded to university status on May 27, 1985 following the addition of the Faculty of Forestry. It was then named Alemaya University of Agriculture and graduated agriculturists whose specializations were in animal sciences, plant sciences, agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, and agricultural extension.
In addition it ran a continuing education program in Accounting and Management, in Dire Dawa and Harar. The university went through another phase of transformation during the 1995/96 academic year by launching programs in the field of teacher education and health. The opening of the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Health Sciences further diversified the existing programs, and the institution was again renamed Haramaya University.
In September 2003, the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Business and Economics were added. One year later, in 2004, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was launched and the Faculty of Technology, which letter become the Institute of Technology was opened in the year 2005.
The university, apart from undergraduate programs, has been engaged in the expansion and diversification of graduate programs. The College of Agriculture has fourteen masters and five PhD programs. In addition, the Faculty of Education has opened two Masters of Education programs in Biology and Chemistry.
Colleges and faculties
- College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
- College of Business and Economics
- College of Computing and Informatics
- College of Continuing and Distance Education
- College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
- College of Health Sciences
- College of Law
- College of Medical Sciences
- College of Natural and Computational Sciences
- College of Social Sciences and Humanities
- College of Veterinary Medicine
- Institute of Technology
Haramaya University is located 17 km and 40 km from Harar and Diredawa, respectively. To come to the university, train air or road transportation can be used. Assuming that the journey starts from Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia, daily services of the national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, can be used. The journey ends at Diredawa and from there road transport is used. Regular Bus services and luxury buses, sky bus/Selam Bus, are available. The train service is temporarily terminated.
- Gebisa Ejeta, geneticist
Haramaya University is a pioneer of higher education and research in agriculture in Ethiopia. Its research and outreach activities focus on crops: potato, sweet potato,sorghum, millet, maize, wheat, teff, common bean, fababean, field-pea and groundnut. The university has released crop technologies to farmers.
- Frederic R. Wickert, "Universities and Africa", African Studies Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 4 (December 1960), p. 28
- Wickert, "Universities and Africa", pp. 32f