Worry over MUT’s va­cant ex­ec­u­tive posts

The Mercury - - NEWS - May­in­bongwe Maqhina

MANGOSUTHU Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy big­wigs have told MPs that they have been on the verge of quit­ting their posts be­cause of “grave chal­lenges” at the uni­ver­sity.

Brief­ing the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on higher ed­u­ca­tion, act­ing vice-chan­cel­lor Mar­cus Ramo­gale said the sit­u­a­tion at the uni­ver­sity was so dire last year, when they took over, that they feared the in­sti­tu­tion would col­lapse.

“As soon we moved in into act­ing po­si­tions it was frus­tra­tion upon frus­tra­tion. We did not get the kind of sup­port we ex­pected from the coun­cil, es­pe­cially the pre­vi­ous coun­cil,” Ramo­gale said.

“It went to a sit­u­a­tion where act­ing ex­ec­u­tives thought of quit­ting be­cause of the level of frus­tra­tion… (but) we had to put our frus­tra­tions aside and keep go­ing,” he said.

The uni­ver­sity is plagued by a high va­cancy rate at man­age­ment level af­ter some of the ex­ec­u­tives were placed on spe­cial leave pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Those sus­pended had since left the in­sti­tu­tion, in­clud­ing the then vice-chan­cel­lor. “All this has had an im­pact on the uni­ver­sity. One im­pact is hu­man resource ca­pac­ity,” Ramo­gale said.

“There was a low staff morale as a re­sult of what was hap­pen­ing in re­spect of gov­er­nance un­cer­tainty. The sav­ing grace has been the sta­bil­ity on the ground,” he said in ref­er­ence to en­gage­ment with unions and stu­dents that kept them go­ing.

“We are the only in­sti­tu­tion in the coun­try that was not af­fected by the #FeesMustFall cam­paign,” Ramo­gale added. “Teach­ing has been go­ing well de­spite the con­straints.

De­spite the chal­lenges, Ramo­gale said that there was a sense of op­ti­mism, es­pe­cially that the coun­cil had been re­con­sti­tuted.

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