Education Expert Volmink to the Rescue of Beleaguered Cape University

Prins Nevhutalu

A Cape Town-born scientist and education expert has been parachuted in as acting vice-chancellor of Cape Peninsula University of Technology. John Volmink will start work on Monday after vice-chancellor Prins Nevhutalu was placed on indefinite special leave.

“We wish Dr Volmink all the wisdom and pledge our support to him‚” the CPUT council said in a statement on Thursday.

“Working together as a university community we are sure to reach a conclusion to the current crisis. A sacrifice of Dr Volmink’s nature will never be forgotten and we should consider how we can also make our own contribution during this period.”

Nevhutalu’s special leave was backdated to Friday October 21‚ the day 12 CPUT students appeared in court for public violence and contravening a high court order.

Council chairman Mbulelo Bikwani has not commented on whether the special leave is linked to campus unrest. Face-to-face classes have been suspended for the year‚ with administrative operations‚ tutorials and lectures moved to Wingfield Military Base.

Dr. John Volmink

Volmink‚ who was born in Athlone‚ was most recently interim vice-chancellor at Durban University of Technology. He began his academic career at the University of Western Cape‚ where he completed a BSc degree in mathematics‚ applied mathematics and physics. After studying in the US‚ he became head of mathematics at CPUT’s predecessor‚ the then Peninsula Technikon. He held teaching positions at the University of the Western Cape‚ University of Cape Town and Cornell University‚ and returned to Southern Africa in 1990 after almost a decade in the US.

He was the principal and CEO of Cornerstone Christian College for five years‚ and CPUT said he had been asked by four ministers of education to play a leading role in the transformation of education.

He is chairman of Umalusi‚ the statutory body that monitors and improves the quality of general and further education and training.

Dave Chambers

This article appeared on on 27 October, 2016

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