Professor Tawana Kupe has been appointed vice-chancellor and principal of the University of Pretoria. The professor is currently the vice-principal of the University of the Witwatersrand.
Kupe’s appointment follows the resignation of Professor Cheryl de la Rey who will now serve as the VC of New Zealand’s University of Canterbury.
The announcement was made in a press release on Wednesday evening.
University of Pretoria council chairperson Futhi Mtobe said Prof Kupe brings years of experience to the position and is expected to be an asset in his new role.
In response to his appointment, Prof Kupe said universities have a responsibility to “to develop educated, well-informed and professionally skilled people who can address local and global challenges and contribute towards creating successful and thriving societies”.
“To be able to play these critically important roles, universities must enjoy academic freedom and institutional autonomy, allow for freedom of inquiry and be transparent, accountable and ethical in their practices in all respects,” he added.
Prof Kupe holds a BA honours degree and masters in English from the University of Zimbabwe.
He received his DPhil in media studies from Norway’s University of Oslo.
He has lectured at Rhodes University and acted as head of the university’s Journalism Department.
While at the University of Zimbabwe in the late 1980s, Kupe served as chairperson of the Department ofEnglish, Media and Communication Studies. – M&G