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Sol Plaatje University

Sol Plaatje UniversityC


Sol Plaatje University: The first fully constituted Council of the Sol Plaatje University was inaugurated on 19 August 2014. This was both an important milestone and a proud moment in this early stage of the development of the University. For the first year of the life of the University, the governance function was in the hands of a five-person Interim Council which was very ably chaired by Ms Jenny Glennie. The other members were Dr Yvonne Muthien, Mr Abel Madonsela, Mr Maruping Lekwene and Prof Vishnu Padayachee. The installation of the full Council signals the University entering the next phase of increasing maturity of its internal academic management and governance structures.

The new Council is composed of ten external members, appointed by the Interim Council after a public nomination process, five external members appointed by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, eight academic and support staff members of the University and two student representatives. A brief profile of each of the Council members can be found under the ‘Council Members’ section of the website.

The inauguration of the full Council was attended by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Bonginkosi Nzimande, who thanked the Interim Council for their sterling work and addressed the members of Council on the critical nature of the governance function that University Councils serve. The Minister emphasised the need for Council to develop a keen and critical understanding of institutional autonomy, academic freedom and accountability and to stand firmly in defence of the principle of diversity of debate and to support a liberal approach to scholarship. The Minister also commented positively on the individual strength and diversity of skills across the members of the new Council. In noting that Sol Plaatje University aimed to enrol 7000 students by 2025, the Minister assured Council that “… we will walk with you.”

The first formal meeting of the new Council was held after the Minister’s address. At this meeting, Judge Yvonne Mokgoro and Ms Jenny Glennie were unanimously elected as Chair and Deputy Chair of Council respectively. A small working group was also established to determine the membership of a range of sub-committees of Council to assist in attending to Council’s governance responsibilities.

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