Tuks appoints professor Tawana Kupe as vice-chancellor

The University of Pretoria announced yesterday that professor Tawana Kupe has been appointed as VC.

Professor Tawana Kupe will be taking over from Professor Cheryl de la Rey, who will be moving on to become the vice-chancellor of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Futhi Mobta, Chairperson of the University of Pretoria Council, congratulated Professor Kupe on his appointment and wished him well in his new position. “We believe that Professor Kupe comes to the position with considerable experience at executive level and is the best candidate to lead the University into the future.” 

Professor Kupe says: 

“Universities have a responsibility to develop educated, well-informed and professionally skilled people who can address local and global challenges and contribute towards creating successful and thriving societies. To be able to play these critically important roles, universities must enjoy academic freedom and institutional autonomy, allow for freedom of inquiry and be transparent, accountable and ethical in their practices in all respects.”

He is currently the vice-principal of Wits University, where he is responsible for the daily running of the University and the coordination of operations across all executive portfolios. 

Before his role as vice-principal, Professor Kupe served as the rotating vice-principal and the deputy vice-chancellor for Advancement, Human Resources and Transformation. Before this he served as the executive dean of the Wits Faculty of Humanities for six years after serving as the head of what was then known as the Wits School of Literature and Language Studies, and the founding head of the Media Studies Department. 

Professor Kupe has also lectured at Rhodes University after serving in various academic capacities at the University of Zimbabwe, and briefly acted as the Head of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies. 

He holds a BA Honours degree and Masters in English from the University of Zimbabwe and a DPhil in Media Studies from the University of Oslo in Norway.