National Assembly Speaker Professor Peter Katjavivi has been appointed as the chancellor of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).
The newly appointed NUST council, as part of its priorities, appointed the chancellor for the new university, that on Friday for first time conferred degrees on about 900 graduates in various fields of study.
Katjavivi was the founding vice-chancellor of the University of Namibia (Unam), where he served for 11 years. It is, therefore, not entirely surprising that Katjivivi says he is familiar with the challenges of transforming the higher education system and is appreciative of the central role universities play in linking theory and practice and promoting applied research and innovation.
The first-ever council of the newly established university was inaugurated in August. The new university had been operating without a chancellor since its transformation from the Polytechnic of Namibia late last year.
President Hage Geingob, who could not attend the NUST 2016 spring graduation ceremony on Friday, congratulated Katjavivi on his new appointment – in line with the NUST Act.
Geingob said Katjavivi brings to NUST the much-needed prestige the university deserves, having been an academic and scholar, as well as vice-chancellor for many years.
The president also congratulated the newly appointed council members and chairperson Advocate Esi Schimming-Chase and deputy chair Goms Menette, on their appointment as officebearers.
“To you, Advocate Schimming-Chase and the council, given that good corporate governance is a prerequisite for effectiveness in conformance and performance functions within organisations, it behoves me to state that I have confidence that you will tackle the big task ahead of you to ensure that NUST becomes a beacon of good corporate governance,” he said.
Geingob encouraged the council to create an environment that promotes and enhances good management practices to help the university maintain its record of excellence and enhance its reputation.
Katjavivi said it is an honour to serve as the founding chancellor of NUST and noted that in the short period of its existence the university has made a good name for itself and has become a developmental force of note in Namibia.
“I am deeply honoured by your collective decision to appoint me to this prestigious post. In my life I have been a member of the academic community in various countries in Europe, the United States of America and Africa. My new assignment is an elevation to chancellor, the highest position in the university structure and hierarchy,” Katjavivi noted.
The new university came into being in November last year and one of the primary tasks of the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation was to set up its governing structure. The new council of NUST was then fully constituted about four months ago.
Katjiavivi said he has no doubt the university is in attentive and meticulous hands, saying this was adequately demonstrated by the council’s professional interactions during consultations. Council members will serve for a three-year period, as prescribed by the University of Science and Technology Act.