The Interim Chairperson of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) Council, Leake Hangala has called upon the board and management to make informed decisions without wasting time.
The interim Nust Council was appointed by the Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation(MHETI), Itah Kandjii-Murangi on 13 Juy 2023 and will serve until a substantive board is inaugurated.
The previous Nust Council’s term ended a month ago.
TheCouncil has been embroiled in governance issues with the management of the university as well as the Higher Education Minister Kandjii-Murangi.
Hangala, an astute businessman with experience in governance is deputised by Norah Ndopu, an experienced professional in communications and corporate governance.
During the induction workshop to acquaint the new Council with Nust’s institutional statutes and rules, the interim Chairperson emphasised his expectations on higher education governance, key among them being a united front and and timely decision making.
Hangala said Council can succeed depending on the relationship and interaction with Nust management, in line with the respective functions and responsibilities of each, which fortunately in the case of NUST are clearly defined.
He said the relationship should be professional, transparent and mutually rewarding.
“We want Management that is competent and efficient and should expect that preparation of its meetings is properly done, with the required documents and presentations being timely and precise, thus leading to informed decision-making without wasting time. At the same time, Management wants a Council that applies its mind when taking decisions and takes those decisions with deliberate speed,” Hangala said.
He stressed the depth of his commitment to Nust, as well as that of the competent and diverse Council, towards ensuring the success of Nust.
“So, I know I speak for all of us when I say I accepted the appointment to the Council with a sense of responsibility far exceeding that of any normal appointment,” stated Hangala.
As key aspects of his tenure, Hangala pointed out unity, inspirational leadership, high standards and adequate resources, and above all, a commitment to ensure that Nust remains a highly reputable academic institution that places a high premium on freedom of academic inquiry.
During the workshop the first order of business was for the Counicil to familiarise themselves with the governance instruments of the university. They also received briefs on the institution’s various business units.
There were also presentations from the Vice-Chancellor Erold Naomab and members of the Nust executive team. The Office of the Registrar focused on laying out the legal instruments that govern the institution.
The interactions were focused on strategic trends in higher education, the funding needs of the university, and analysed broadly the vision and mission of the university.
The new Nust Council consists of internal and external members from various backgrounds.
The internal members are Vice-ChancellorErold Naomab, Miriam Dikuua, Andrew Niikondo, Colin Stanley, Sifiso Nyathi, Pilisano Masake,Matchwell Lizazi, Joshua Mario; Shoki Kandjim and Martha Ambambi.
The external members of the board includes Uazuva Kaumbi, Emilia Ngikembua, Shafishuna Nujoma, Stanley Shanapinda, Detlof Oertzen, Rachel Kalipi, Kadiva Hamutumwa, Flora Gaes and Alfred van Kent.
The appointment of the MHET’sExecutive Director Alfred van Kent onto the Nust interim Council has been met with a backlash.
Several voices have raised concern over Van Kent’s suitability to help steer the university in the interim, given his proximity to Higher Education Minister.
Van Kent has also been criticised for having done little to deal with controversies and divisions within the previous Council.
The same council has been accused of having failed to institute an investigation into administrative corruption allegations at the institution.