The School of Business formally Faculty of Commerce came into existence in the academic year 1956/57 as part of the former Royal Technical College which was inaugurated in 1956. The Faculty had special academic and professional relationship with the University of London between 1961 and 1965.
During the foregoing period, Commerce subjects were taught under the Faculty of Special Professional Studies, which largely prepared students for the Intermediate Examinations of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries (UK), Association of Chartered and Corporate Accountants (UK) as well as other professional courses. Most of these courses were provided on part-time basis, particularly for students preparing for the Association of Certified and Corporate Accountants at both Intermediate and Final Levels. The conduct of these professional courses marked the beginning of the School of Business’s academic history.
In 1964 when the University of East Africa was formally constituted, the Faculty became one of the first few faculties to be established with four departments namely, Accounting, Business Administration, Law and Home Economics with a student population of 50. In 1970, however when the University of Nairobi was formally established, the Department of Law became a fully-fledged Faculty of Law and the Department of Home Economics moved into the Faculty of Science.
Up to 1972, the Faculty offered only the Bachelor of Commerce degree program with two options namely, Accounting and Business Administration. From 1972/3 academic year, the Faculty started offering the Master of Business and Administration program and subsequently the PhD studies in 1992 and 1999 respectively.
In 1998 the School pioneered Module II programmes for self-sponsored students in public universities at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In keeping with market trends, the School recently launched Master of Science in Finance in 2011, and Master of Science Entrepreneurship & Innovations Management, Human Resource Management and Marketing in 2012.
In 2006, the Faculty of Commerce was renamed School of Business of the University of Nairobi. It has now grown to the current student population of over 13,000 with two satellite campuses in Mombasa starting in 2004 and Kisumu 2008. It is the leading Business School in the Eastern African region attracting students from neighboring countries with large Alumni found at both public and private sectors of Kenya, the region and in Africa.
Since inception the School has had 10 deans as listed below;