CPUT in­stalls new Chan­cel­lor

Cape Times - - TERTIARY TIMES -

THE Cape Penin­sula Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy (CPUT) wel­comed its new Chan­cel­lor, Thandi Modise, in a cer­e­mony re­splen­dent with the pomp and aca­demic pageantry be­fit­ting her po­si­tion as cer­e­mo­nial head of the univer­sity.

Chair­per­son of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces, Modise suc­ceeds for­mer Fi­nance Min­is­ter Trevor Manuel as Chan­cel­lor, and in do­ing so be­comes the first woman, and only the sec­ond per­son to as­cend to this of­fice at CPUT.

Modise said she felt hon­oured to lead the largest ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tion in the Western Cape. Re­fer­ring to the dif­fi­cul­ties all ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions have been fac­ing since 2015, she says, “Although it is a chal­lenge, I have al­ways wel­comed get­ting into dif­fi­cult spa­ces, if only to prove that women are ca­pa­ble. It is also an awe­some task be­cause with the econ­omy slow­ing down some of the is­sue be­dev­illing CPUT – is­sues of high salaries and prop­erly ca­ter­ing to stu­dents are go­ing to take longer to ad­dress be­cause the fis­cus is strained.

“Even though the job of a Chan­cel­lor is very cer­e­mo­nial, I am tak­ing the chal­lenge to en­gage and try to me­di­ate be­tween the stu­dents and man­age­ment. For me this is im­por­tant be­cause the only way for­ward is if there is sta­bil­ity. The chal­lenges we are fac­ing with a univer­sity like this one, which must push in­no­va­tion, is that you must pro­duce and pro­duce fast to mit­i­gate the risks. I will be tak­ing up the chal­lenge and am very, very hon­oured.”

Act­ing Vice-Chan­cel­lor Dr Chris Nh­lapo in his wel­come ad­dress spoke of Modise’s proven track record as a com­pe­tent and ca­pa­ble leader, “I look for­ward to the ways you will as­sist us in cre­at­ing fu­tures and mak­ing this univer­sity into a world-class in­sti­tu­tion.”

Dr Blade Nz­i­mande, Min­is­ter of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, who wit­nessed Modise’s in­stal­la­tion at CPUT’s Bel­lville cam­pus, says the in­sti­tu­tion was gain­ing a highly prin­ci­pled Chan­cel­lor.

“One of the most im­por­tant things pre­cisely dur­ing th­ese chal­leng­ing times in the higher ed­u­ca­tion, sec­tor, gen­er­ally, and at CPUT, specif­i­cally, is that we need more gov­ern­ment lead­er­ship to work to­gether with stu­dent and worker lead­er­ship. It be­comes there­fore very im­por­tant that she joins the higher ed­u­ca­tion com­mu­nity at this point be­cause we need her wis­dom and ded­i­ca­tion. She’s a very prin­ci­pled per­son and we need those like her to act as ex­am­ples,” he says.

Modise’s in­stal­la­tion was the high point of a week of in­sti­tu­tion­ary cel­e­bra­tions at CPUT. It was pre­ceded by an in­au­gu­ral lec­ture de­liv­ered by Pro­fes­sor Vic­to­ria Jideani on how in­dige­nous foods and knowl­edge could be the key to en­sur­ing food se­cu­rity in Africa. The week ends to­day with the Spring Grad­u­a­tion, where the stu­dents and their achieve­ments take cen­tre stage.

Modise was first elected as an MP in 1994 and served as Speaker of the North West Pro­vin­cial Leg­is­la­ture from 2004 to 2009. A for­mer ANC deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral, she also served as Premier of the North West from 2010 to 2014, when she was elected as chair­per­son of the NCOP.

‘Even though the job of a Chan­cel­lor is very cer­e­mo­nial, I am tak­ing the chal­lenge to en­gage and try to me­di­ate be­tween the stu­dents and man­age­ment’ – Thandi Modise, CPUT Chan­cel­lor

DIG­NI­FIED: (From left) Regis­trar Nik­ile Ntsababa, No­golide No­jozi the Chair of Coun­cil, Thandi Modise newly in­stalled Chan­cel­lor with Dr Blade Nz­i­mande the Min­is­ter of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Dr Chris Nh­lapo, Act­ing Vice-Chan­cel­lor

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS: (From left) Thandi Modise, Chan­cel­lor, Dr Chris Nh­lapo, Act­ing Vice-Chan­cel­lor, Prof An­thony Staak, Deputy Vice-Chan­cel­lor and Prof Mar­shall Shel­don, Act­ing Deputy Vice-Chan­cel­lor

Chan­cel­lor Thandi Modise

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