State of the University address focuses on the present and the future of MUT

Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Marcus Ramogale

On 15 March 2024, Professor Marcus Ramogale, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal met with MUT staff and students to present the State of the University (SOTU) address. The address took place at Bozzoli Hall; others connected online, while others listened to the MUT Campus Radio. This year’s format focused specifically on the current state of finances, and what the University intends to do for its people, its invaluable workforce. For this reason, Professor Ramogale said, “I would like us to allow more time for presentations by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Rodney Delomoney and the Senior Director, Human Resources and Development, Baboo Brijlal. This is to allow more engagements and a deeper understanding into these critical areas”.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor told staff that “we meet at the crossroads of rising inflation and difficult economic circumstances. But take heart that we have you as our people at the centre of everything that we are doing”.

A presentation by the CFO gave hope that with better collaborations and behaviour change by its people, the University could have a better financial outlook. The CFO gave detailed explanation of the limitations that the University was grappling with. He said funding from the Department of Education has been reduced; this affected the budgets for departments and the entire University. Also, the University has to deal with the fact that so many students were owing it large sums of cash, and that the University was not getting much in the form of third-stream income. Based on these facts, the University had to make some important adjustments to ensure its survival. The presentation by the CFO showed that the University was a sustainable entity, though an attitude of prudence, and a positive attitude towards debt reduction by students were required.

A presentation by Brijlal also explained how the University was affected by the limited funding. This also necessitated some major changes in the staffing of the University. “Because the University values its people, it has made great strides to take care of its people’s wellbeing and has commissioned an external service provider to undertake a baseline audit drawn from a climate survey,” added Brijlal.