Soroti University has its origins in early 1950s when elders from Teso sub region in eastern Uganda nursed a dream that one day, they will have an institution of higher learning in their area. This they demonstrated by securing land in Arapai area near Soroti Town, since 1914. Most notable of the elders was Mzee Enock Epaku who donated land 1000 acres for the construction of a Technical school which later was upgraded to Teso College Aloet this land was later curved for the university and other educational institutions.
Higher education efforts kicked off in 1990s with support from Mr. Cuthbert Joseph Obwangor, Bishop Ilukor, Prof Francis Omaswa and person from diaspora among others. These efforts also did not go far due to lack of infrastructure and funds to kick start the University. But the idea did not die. The 11th December 2011 became the historic date when the long wait received Government of Uganda approval of a public university. His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda at State House and before a delegation of politicians, academicians and cultural leaders announced the government position to establish a public university in Teso sub region.
In June 2012 the Minister of Education and Sports appointed the following members of the Taskforce to spearhead the establishment of the University:
- Professor Ikoja Odongo John Robert (Vice Chancellor)
- Mr. Too-Okema Lawrence (Deputy Vice Chancellor)
- Ms. Achimo Ruth Etibot (University Secretary)
- Mr. Okello James Gregory ( Academic Registrar)
- Mr. Ilemukorit Stephen (Administrative Assistant)
The Taskforce set up key features of the university which include acquisition of land; planning and developing the first infrastructures; coordinating the development of Academic Programmes; working out organisation structure and submitting the University for Approval of National Council for Higher Education and Parliament of Uganda. On 28th July 2017 the First Soroti University Council was inaugurated under the chairmanship of Mr F.X Lubanga