UKZN prepares to unveil new boss

2014-08-13 16:48

The University of KwaZulu Natal will tomorrow appoint a new vice chancellor to replace Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.

University spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka refused to reveal who would be taking over from Makgoba, only saying that the incumbent will remain in his position until the end of January 2015.

A source with close knowledge of the process said three candidates had been interviewed for the position: Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, chief executive of the National Research Foundation, Professor Renuka Vithal, who is currently the deputy vice-chancellor for teaching and learning at UKZN and Professor John Mubangizi, deputy vice chancellor at UKZN’s school of Law and Management Sciences.

Seshoka said Makgoba had achieved “too much” at the university.

“Remember, he was responsible for merging the University of Durban Westville and the University of Natal. He brought them together into one formidable institution. UKZN is the university with the biggest number of black professors in merged institutions. We are also the most transformed institution in all universities which merged. We also rank among the top universities in South Africa. It is under his leadership that all these happened.”

UKZN isn’t the only institution that’s been on the hunt for a new boss. Rhodes University in Grahamstown is looking to replace Dr Saleem Badat, who resigned unexpectedly in March. Badat, Rhodes’ first black vice chancellor, is now heading the International Higher Education and Strategic Projects at the US-based Andrew W Mellon Foundation.

Stellenbosch University is in the process of trying to replace Professor Russell Botman, who died last month.

And in March, the University of the Western Cape appointed Professor Tyrone Pretorius to take over from Professor Brian O’Connell.

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