Windhoek-The vice-chancellor of the University of Namibia (Unam) Professor Lazarus Hangula has announced he will step down from the top seat in July.
Hangula has served the university for 25 years in various academic roles since he joined through the National Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER) in February 1993 – four months after Unam’s official establishment.
Hangula has been the vice-chancellor of the university since 2004. He replaced Professor Peter Katjavivi, the current Speaker of the National Assembly.
He revealed his plans to resign yesterday during Unam’s 2018 academic opening where the first lady Monica Geingos was the guest speaker.
She addressed Unam students and staff about her vision to help reduce violence through her anti-violence campaign.
“Today is my last commencement address to you all, esteemed staff members and dear students. So, I deemed it, rather necessary, to spend this day with you here. As I prepare to bow out, albeit de facto that will only happen five months from now, I would like to thank all the council members under and with whom I served for a number of years, for their guidance and trust,” Hangula stated.
Hangula earned his Master of Arts and Ph.D. (both cum laude) from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany.
Before his appointment as vice-chancellor he served in various other roles at Unam, among them pro-vice-chancellor for academic affairs and research.
In preparing to retire, he requested that Unam staff uphold standards, continue working hard and building national capacity, maintain justice, keep united, build consensus, and shun gossip, xenophobia and other evils.
“Although life was not always easy at the third floor, this journey of 25 years is for me a cherished period that not only shaped my academic career but also propitiated me quality time to reflect on the needs of Namibia – from a higher education perspective, her development perspectives and from the country’s human resources needs,” Hangula noted.
Under his tenure, he said, he was happy that the institution was of help to members of industry such as Namibia Breweries where Unam assisted with the research on barley.
Equally, Hangula thanked the government for the trust and confidence they reposed in him and for the material support without which Unam would have never reached the stage of a trademark where it is today.
He also thanked his two chancellors with whom he worked closely on matters of Unam and Namibia’s development, namely the founding president Dr Sam Nujoma and former president, Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba, for their accessibility, wisdom, invaluable advice as well as inspiring skills and visionary leadership.
He was also thankful to his dependable Unam management colleagues who always stood ready to tackle any problem, any hour of the day or night.
“During my tenure as vice-chancellor I understood and took Unam to be my national concern. I started living for Unam, dreaming Unam, praying for Unam and defending Unam’s interests and rights at all cost. In such a situation of total commitment, dedication and zeal it is possible that I may have hurt someone, although that was neither intentional nor personal. For any such grievance I would like to ask for forgiveness,” he said.
Thus far, he revealed, Unam has registered about 23,000 students from other African, and American, Asiatic and European countries.
Since the registration is still continuing, he says, these figures are only preliminary. “The final figures will be provided by our very competent statistics office after the data consolidation. Looking at the queues at the registration venues, we are certain that the number of Unam students this year will be higher than that of last year,” he noted.