Professor Puleng LenkaBula appointed as UNISA Vice Chancellor

Professor Puleng LenkaBula is the first woman to be appointed as Principal and Vice Chancellor of UNISA. Image: University of Witwatersrand.
Professor Puleng LenkaBula is the first woman to be appointed as Principal and Vice Chancellor of UNISA. Image: University of Witwatersrand.

The University of South Africa (UNISA) recently announced that Professor Puleng LenkaBula has been appointed as the institution's new Principal and Vice Chancellor. She is the first woman to hold this position in the institution's 148 year history. 

“In Professor LenkaBula, we have appointed the right caliber of leader; [she] is student-centred and shares our institutional vision on decoloniality and transformation, knowledge-production, innovation and advancing the socio-economic development of South Africa, Africa and the world, in particular for the benefit of Africa,” Sakhi Simelane, Chairperson of the Unisa Council, said in a statement. 

Her appointment was a result of a unanimous decision by the UNISA Council after a rigorous selection process. 

“As Council, we commit ourselves to providing her with the necessary support to ensure that she succeeds in taking our vision of transformation and excellent service delivery to the next level."

Here’s a quick look at Prof. LenkaBula ’s academic career: 

  • Professor LenkaBula is currently the Vice Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs and Community Engagement at the University of the Free State (UFS).
  • She has extensive managerial experience in higher education.
  • Prior to occupying the Vice Rector position at the UFS, she was the Dean of Students at WITS University, where she was a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Office (VCO) and the Senior Executive Team.
  • She also previously held management positions at different institutions, including at UNISA where she had a successful stint as Dean of Students.
  • Professor LenkaBula is also an internationally revered scholar who has published widely; and serves as a board member on local ecumenical and academic formations, including the Council for the Development of Social Sciences Research in Africa (CODESRIA).

She is an academic powerhouse and we’re excited about her appointment and to see her invaluable contribution to UNISA when she takes up her post in the new year - halala! 

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