Moi University was established in 1984 by an Act of Parliament (Moi University Act, 1984) as the second public university in Kenya. This was on the recommendation of a Presidential Working Party, chaired by Prof. Collins B. Mackay, which had collected views from Kenyans about the desirability of the same. Courtesy of his deep and altruistic concern for and interest in the advancement of education at all levels in Kenya, not only as a professional teacher but as Kenya’s Head of State, President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi pioneered the idea of a university in a rural setting.
With the new Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the repealing of the University Act of 1984, the Chancellorship of the universities changed, for the first time, from the Head of State to citizens that had distinguished themselves in their professional careers and contribution to national development. The University Act of 2012 gave the mandate and powers to the Commission for University Education (CUE) over the governance of public and private universities on matters of general policy on higher education. Since its inception, Moi University has undergone a number of transformations regarding its governance and operations since the first Moi University Act (No. 10) of 1984. Among the provisions of the Act, the Chancellorship of the university was vested in the Head of State. The Chancellor, under the Act, was given the authority to appoint the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and College Principals.