WINDHOEK – Higher education minister Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi says it is a top priority of the new council members of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) to appoint a substantive vice-chancellor.
The recruitment process has been inundated by controversy since the departure of long-serving vice-chancellor Dr Tjama Tjivikua, who resigned in April this year. Deputy vice-chancellor of administration and finance Morné du Toit was appointed as acting vice-chancellor but he recently indicated he would step down as acting chief administrator of the university as soon as the new council was appointed.
Higher education executive director Alfred van Kent yesterday confirmed that the appointment of the vice-chancellor was high on the agenda when the minister appointed the new council.
The recruitment of a new vice-chancellor started on 21 September 2018 when an advertisement was placed in local newspapers. Five candidates were shortlisted for the position. They are University of Namibia academics Frednand Gideon and Erold Naomab (the only Namibians), Nigerian national Abraham Ogwu, Otlogetswe Totolo from Botswana and Said Irandoust of Turkey. The position was re-advertised in March this year. “The council was outgoing and we felt since they started the recruitment process, it doesn’t make sense that they finish the process, since their term of office had expired. We were already in the process of replacing them, and we instructed them not to go halfway with interviews. We felt let the new council take the appointment of the VC further,” Van Kent stated.
According to him, the ministry would like to have a new vice-chancellor appointed latest by February next year. “We had a meeting with the new council members yesterday [Tuesday]. The appointment was one of the issues we raised with them. We told them to start looking at the candidates who applied and set up the panel. They have to start right away with that. That’s one of their first assignments they need to take charge of,” he noted.
The new council is chaired by Bank of Namibia executive Florette Nakusera, while Michael Humavindu was retained and will continue in a new role as vice-chairperson. The other council members are Conrad Lutombi, Elisabeth Ujarura Kamutuezu, Emma Kantema-Gaomab, Kadiva Hamutumwa, Tomas Indjii, Katrina Thomas and City of Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua. The new council is appointed for a three-year term.
2019-11-07 07:12:14 | 2 months ago