Windhoek The Council of the University of Namibia (Unam) has extended the term of office of Vice-Chancellor Professor Lazarus Hangula for a further two years after his term in office officially ended in June. Hangula’s extended term officially began on August 1, following a decision by Unam Council earlier this year to extend his term for two more years. Unam spokesperson John Haufiku confirmed the development, saying the extension was intended to consolidate the newly appointed Unam leadership and ensure continuity while preparing for a smooth succession. Hangula has been at the helm of Unam for 12 years. The council says it took the decision to avoid a leadership vacuum and to ensure a smooth transition at the country’s largest institution of higher learning. There were unofficial reports that Hangula’s term was due to come to an end last year already. However, Minister of Higher Education, Innovation and Training Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi yesterday confirmed that Hangula’s term of office only came to an end in June. The new presidential appointees on the university council - who agreed to extend Hangula’s term of office - will serve for the next three years. The newly appointed members are Regina Ndopu-Lubinda, Dr David Uirab, Dr Christina Swart-Opperman, Herodia Nehale and higher education permanent secretary Alfred Van Kent. At the time of Hangula’s initial appointment to the post, five applications were received for the position. In addition to interviews, candidates were required to make public presentations to share their vision of the future of Unam with the wider academic community and the public at large. Hangula previously worked as pro-vice chancellor for academic affairs and research at Unam, as director of Unam’s Multidisciplinary Research and Consultancy Centre (MRCC) and also as head of the Social Science Division of MRCC. A full research professor at Unam, he holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree, cum laude, in history, philosophy and ethnology from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany and a Masters degree, cum laude, in philosophy, history and African studies from the same university. Hangula has served on some notable official assignments, dating as far back as 1994. He is a member on various advisory committees of the governmentand is Namibia’s advocate at the International Court of Justice. He is also a commissioner for the delimitation of the boundaries of Namibia’s administrative regions and electoral constituencies, a technical advisor on maritime boundary delimitation, an advisory member to geodetic boundary demarcations and is a member of the national committee of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He also served as a member of the Governing Council of the Association of African Universities from 1994 to 2014. Further, he is a founding member of the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA), as well as a former member of the National Council for Higher Education in Namibia between 2008 and 2011. Regarding his accomplishments as VC of Unam, Hangula is credited for consolidating academic and administrative structures of the new national university, expanding the university’s programme offering, overseeing the introduction of postgraduate programmes and intensifying capacity building of local academics. Moreover, he introduced and encouraged research on indigenous knowledge systems, encouraged innovation by introducing socially and economically relevant programmes and projects, introduced institutional audits and quality assurance mechanisms, encouraged staff and student mobility, increased visibility and encouraged partnership with the industry for innovation and resource mobilisation. For ten consecutive years Unam has been rated among the top 30 African universities. In 2015 Unam was, amongst others, awarded the International Diamond Prize for Excellence in Quality by the European Society for Quality Research, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
New Era Reporter
2016-08-11 10:44:29 3 years ago