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UNISA appoints first female vice chancellor in 148 years


6 November 2020

Staff Reporter/PretoriaLIVE

PRETORIA – Professor Puleng LenkaBula was appointed first female vice chancellor of UNISA, since the inception of the institution 148 years ago. The appointment will be effective from the first of January 2021.

Mr Sakhi Simelane, Chairperson of the UNISA Council said, “Council is of the firm belief that this appointment bodes well for the future of our university, as we intensify our endeavour to move towards a fully-fledged Open Distance and eLearning dispensation and to solidify our stature as a truly African university in the service of humanity. In Professor LenkaBula, we have appointed the right caliber of leader; who is student-centred and shares our institutional vision on decoloniality and transformation, knowledge-production, innovation and advancing the socio-economic development of South Africa, Africa and the world, in particular for the benefit of Africa.”

UNISA main campus. Photo: EduConnect

Professor LenkaBula, is currently the Vice Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs and Community Engagement at the University of the Free State (UFS.

LenkaBula has extensive managerial experience in higher education. Prior to occupying the Vice Rector position at the UFS, she was the Dean of Students at WITS University, where she was a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Office (VCO) and the Senior Executive Team. She also previously held management positions at different institutions, including at UNISA where she had a successful stint as Dean of Students.

Professor LenkaBula is also an internationally revered scholar who has published widely; and serves as a board member on local ecumenical and academic formations, including the Council for the Development of Social Sciences Research in Africa (CODESRIA).

“As Council, we commit ourselves to providing her with the necessary support to ensure that she succeeds in taking our vision of transformation and excellent service delivery to the next level,” said Mr Sakhi Simelane.