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Unisa bids farewell to Prof Ndlovu as he charts new course as VUT Vice-Chancellor

On 30 January 2024, Unisa hosted a farewell function for Professor Khehla Ndlovu, Unisa's Vice-Principal of Strategy, Risk and Advisory Services. Ndlovu will be leaving Unisa to serve as the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) on 1 February 2024. 


From left to right: Prof Khehla Ndlovu and his wife, Dr Vuyi Ndlovu, Prof Puleng LenkaBula and Dr Dan Mosia

Leaving an indelible mark

Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Puleng LenkaBula said: "I am very proud that Ndlovu leaves an indelible mark, not only at this institution but in other higher education sectors. I am sure Unisa provided you with the best inputs, insights, contradictions, complexities, and ideas."


Prof Puleng LenkaBula

LenkaBula stressed that Ndlovu helped Unisa imagine, co-construct and build a university attentive to the sector and its intersection with technology and other fields. She added that when she joined Unisa, she told him they would work very hard to ensure that the university improves its work, guided by analytics and that the university's decision systems are strengthened by research-led analysis.

"Notwithstanding the sector's challenges, I am pleased that we steered the university alongside colleagues from different portfolios," remarked the VC. She added that Ndlovu's work is known across the university. Even in the most challenging times, Ndlovu would smile and work with colleagues to overcome the odds and imagine applicable solutions.

Closing her well-wishes, the VC said she hopes Ndlovu, as the new VC of the VUT, will partner with universities such as Unisa and TVET colleges to ensure that our leadership strengthens not just university sectors but a South Africa whose technological systems are not constantly threatened, but have human resources and capital.


Prof Luvuyo Lalendle

A solution-driven leader

Professor Luvuyo Lalendle, Executive Director:Quality Assurance and Enhancement, said while he is happy about Ndlovu's achievements, it is sad that he will be leaving Unisa. He added: "Over the six years Ndlovu has been at Unisa, we have built a comradeship." He said that Ndlovu leaves the university better. "Ndlovu pushed the frontiers of academic excellence, and it is by no mistake that we have risen in the national and international rankings. He is a solution-driven leader who turns obstacles into practical solutions," said Lalendle. "I wish you good health, great wisdom, patience and resilience," he said.

Professor Motsa-Madikane, Vice-Principal:Teaching, Learning, Community Engagement and Student Support, said Ndlovu has taught her many things without showing off his expertise. She said: "On behalf of management, I thank you for showing us strategies, teaching us how it is done, and leading from behind and in the front while being forever approachable and ready to support us."


Prof Zodwa Motsa-Modikane

"Moments like these are a harsh reality, that we meet to part, even though we part to meet," said Dr Dan Mosia, Deputy Chairperson of Council. Mosia congratulated Ndlovu on his new appointment: " As a university that prides itself on producing leaders across various sectors,  we were excited to learn of your appointment as VC of VUT. We celebrate you," he said. "It is worth noting that over the past ten years, Unisa has produced three VCs, namely, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, former VC of the University of Cape Town, Professor Rushiela Songca of Walter Sisulu University, and our current VC, Professor Puleng LenkaBula," explained Mosia. He lauded Unisa's forward-thinking approach to nurturing future leaders in the higher education sector. 

Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones

In his farewell message, Ndlovu said he is filled with sadness as he bids farewell to a place that has been his home while excited for the journey ahead. He said: " I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you. Serving this distinguished institution alongside dedicated colleagues, passionate educators, and brilliant students has been an honour and a privilege. Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones and overcame countless challenges.

Ndlovu encouraged all Unisans to continue supporting the university's vision and mission in its pursuit of academic excellence, changing lives and shaping futures in the service of humanity.

"To colleagues, thank you for your support and friendship; to students, you are the heart and soul of the university, future leaders and change-makers. I thank you and wish you success in your endeavours," he concluded.


*By Godfrey Madibane, Acting Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

**Photography by Shooheima Champion, Multimedia Centre

Publish date: 2024/01/31

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