Following the resignation of Professor Cheryl de la Rey, the University of Pretoria (UP) has appointed Zimbabwean Professor Tawana Kupe as the institution’s new vice-chancellor and principal.
“The University of Pretoria is pleased to announce that, at its meeting held on 21 November 2018, the University Council appointed Professor Tawana Kupe as the new vice-chancellor and principal of the University,” said a statement issued by UP spokesperson Rikus Delport.
The statement said Kupe’s appointment was made in terms of the procedure set out in the university’s regulation and procedure for the appointment of the vice-chancellor and principal
“The process included, among other steps, presentations by the shortlisted candidates to a joint meeting of the Council, Senate and Institutional Forum, voting by the Senate and Institutional Forum on the suitability for appointment of the shortlisted candidates, and interviews with the six shortlisted candidates by the Joint Committee of Council,” said Delport.
Kupe is the vice-principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, responsible for the daily running of the university and the coordination of operations across all executive portfolios.
Prior to this appointment, he held the rotating vice-principal post for one year and also served as the deputy vice-chancellor for advancement, human resources and transformation from January 2013.
Kupe served as the executive dean of the Wits Faculty of Humanities for six years, between January 2007 and December 2012, after serving as the Head of the then Wits School of Literature and Language Studies, and the founding Head of the Media Studies Department.
Prior to joining Wits, he lectured at Rhodes University between 1999 and 2001, and briefly acted as the head of the department of journalism and media studies.
Kupe joined Rhodes from the University of Zimbabwe, where he worked in various academic capacities from 1988, including as chairperson of the Department of English, Media and Communication Studies.
He holds a BA Honours degree and Masters in English from the University of Zimbabwe, as well as a DPhil in Media Studies from the University of Oslo in Norway.
Congratulating Kupe on his appointment, chairperson of the UP Council, Futhi Mtoba, said the incoming vice-chancellor and principal was aptly experienced for the top post.
“We believe that Professor Kupe comes to the position with considerable experience at the executive level and is the best candidate to lead the university into the future.”