Worry over MUT’s vacant executive posts
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.