Universities play an important role in developing professionals in several industries in the South African economy. It is therefore critical that they are managed in the correct way so they can fulfill their purpose.
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande appointed an Independent Assessor to investigate the state of affairs at a Bloemfontein university while a Durban university was given a new administrator.
The Central University of Technology (CUT) will be investigated by an Independent Assessor to review circumstances leading to the suspension of CUT’s former Vice-Chancellor. The independent assessor will look to determine if the university’s council breached any of its fiduciary duties.
The scope of the investment at CUT will also include probing the financial management systems and practices used by the university and whether these policies were applied. The procurement and tender processes practised by the university will also be evaluated.
CUT’s human resources policies, the current state of governance including governance and executive management structures and operations of the office of the registrar in relation to the management of academic affairs
Minister Nzimande appointed Lourens van Staden as Mangosuthu University of Technology new administrator in September. This comes after the minister dissolved the university’s council.
Van Staden will occupy the position of administrator for a period of 24 months, during which he will take over the duties of the council. He will also have to oversee the filling of senior-level posts within 12 to 18 months of his term in office.
The administrator will also review the senior appointments made in 2022 to ensure that the institutional statute and all applicable policies were strictly adhered to. He will also work to ensure that necessary employment probity assessments are available for new management recruits.