Universities South Africa’s Board of Directors officially welcomes three new members

Published On: 29 March 2023|

The Chairperson of Universities South Africa (USAf), Professor Sibongile Muthwa, kicked off USAf’s first meeting of the Board of Directors for 2023 on 17 March by welcoming and acknowledging three new members. They were Professor Pamela Dube (left, below), new Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Central University of Technology (CUT), in the Free State, who took up her position from 1 January 2023, Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi (middle, below), Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) from 1 March 2023, and Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy (right, below), appointed interim Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (for the next six months) until a substantive incumbent is found. On behalf of the Board, Professor Muthwa wished them well in their new positions.

Professor Muthwa also paid tribute to Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, whom the Board could not bid farewell to, in person, due to her untimely departure from the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Other changes in USAf structures

  • Research and Innovation Strategy Group

The Board appointed Professor Sibusiso Moyo (left below), Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation and Postgraduate Studies at Stellenbosch University (SU) to serve as a member of the Research and Innovation Strategy Group (RISG). Professor Moyo replaces Professor Rajesh Ramjugernath, who resigned as a member due to his new appointment as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Learning and Teaching at SU. She has since accepted the appointment which took immediate effect.

The early retirement of Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng from the UCT Vice-Chancellor position created a vacancy in the chairpersonship of USAf’s Teaching and Learning Strategy Group (TLSG). Professor Andrew Crouch (right above), Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley, in the Northern Province, was nominated to replace Professor Phakeng. The Board supported the nomination and appointed Professor Crouch as the new Chairperson of the TLSG. He accepted the appointment and took up the position with immediate effect.

  • World of Work Strategy Group

Regarding the World of Work Strategy Group (WSG), two matters were presented to the Board. The first was the need to find a replacement for Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, who vacated UJ’s vice-chancellorship to take up a United Nations position in Japan from March 2023. That created a vacancy in the WSG membership. In response to the WSG’s request to replace Professor Marwala with someone as knowledgeable in the 4th Industrial Revolution and acknowledging the strides that UJ has made in Artificial Intelligence, Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi (left), the new Vice-Chancellor, was nominated as a suitable candidate who would continue sharing important insights into 4IR. The USAf Board approved this nomination, rendering Professor Mpedi a new addition to the WSG membership.

Secondly, the WSG mentioned to the Board that a strong link is required between the WSG and the Learning in Practice Community of Practice (LiP CoP) that reports to this Group. The WSG, therefore, proposed that the LiP CoP’s Chairperson, Professor Roelien Brink, be appointed to serve as a member of the WSG. The Board acceded to this request.

  • Leadership and Management Strategy Group

In 2022, the USAf Board agreed to establish a Leadership and Management Strategy Group (LMSG) and approved its Terms of Reference at its October 2022 sitting. Essentially, the LMSG was established to advise and engage the USAf Board on the role and programmatic direction of the Higher Education and Leadership Management (HELM) Programme, including its financial sustainability. The Strategy Group will identify opportunities for HELM‘s growth and the expansion of its services in the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) sector. While providing strategic direction to HELM, the Group will also ensure that the programme is embedded and is closely aligned with institutional leadership and management priorities of higher education and contributes to facilitating institutional and sector-wide succession planning. Professor Nana Poku (right), Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), is the Chairperson of this Strategy Group.

On 17 March, the Board further approved the membership of the LMSG as follows:

  1. Professor Nana Poku, Chairperson (VC at the University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  2. Professor Pamela Dube (VC at the Central University of Technology)
  3. Professor Vivienne Lawack (DVC, Teaching and Learning, University of the Western Cape)
  4. Professor Sibusiso Moyo (DVC: Research and Innovation, SU)
  5. Dr Prince Jaca, (DVC Institutional Support, Mangosuthu University of Technology)
  6. Dr Kgomotso Kasonkola (Chairperson of USAf’s HR Directors’ Forum)
  7. Prof Thomas Mogale (Dean of Business Management, Economics and Commerce at the University of South Africa)
  8. Dr Phethiwe Matutu (USAf’s Chief Executive Officer as an ex officio member).

The Board mandated the LMSG to co-opt additional expertise as they deem necessary.

‘Mateboho Green is Universities South Africa’s Manager: Corporate Communication.