MUT Administrator deepens conversations with wide-ranging stakeholder groupings

Professor Lourens Van Staden

Professor Lourens Van Staden, MUT Administrator, has remained true to his first MUT pre-assessment assurances he made where he committed that he would engage key University stakeholders to canvass their views and perspectives on the conditions at the University that led to the appointment of multiple assessors and administrators by the Ministers of Higher Education, Science and Technology.

From 11-12 September, Professor Van Staden, together with his technical team will host a summit as part of implementing two items in the Terms of Reference (ToRs) for his appointment as detailed on the Government Gazette dated, 10 October 2022. Professor Van Staden stated in the invitation, “The purpose of this summit will therefore be:

  1. To solicit stakeholders’ recommendations on restoring proper governance and management (Administrator’s ToR [b]), and
  2. To inform the development and implementation of a 5-year development plan to address the problems and challenges identified in the Assessors’ and CHE reports (Administrator’s ToR [d])”.

In his invitation to all levels of management, the Institutional Forum, ConvExco, and organized labour, Professor Van Staden also reminded the invitees that, “The Council on Higher Education’s (CHE) Institutional Audit Report on Mangosuthu University of Technology is still outstanding. Once the final report is released by the CHE, I will reconvene the summit to factor in the findings and recommendations into the FIVE-YEAR development plan.”

Professor Van Staden added that the summit would be a safe space that would enable “freedom of expression and encourage robust engagement with the hard truths facing the University without the fear of recrimination or victimisation”. Professor van Staden  strongly encouraged all invitees to familiarise themselves with the Pityana/Favish and Staak Assessors’ Reports, the Administrator’s Terms of Reference and the MUT Strategic Plan and Student Enrolment and Efficiency Plan.

The Administrators’ Technical Team comprises of seasoned professionals who have many years experience between them in the fields of human resource management, financial management, audit and risk management. They are Dr Daya Naidoo, Moretlo Mokuele and Paul Slack.