Returning to full-time duties as VC

05 October 2022 | Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Dear colleagues and students

As announced by the Chair of Council on Tuesday, 4 October 2022, I am now back in office after I requested to cut short my study and research leave. Given the recent developments, it was necessary and important for me to return to resume my full responsibilities as Vice-Chancellor sooner than planned and I have done so with effect from today, Wednesday, 5 October.

I have had an update on how the most recent Senate meeting of 30 September proceeded. I have noted with concern reports from relevant colleagues on developments at this meeting.

Senate plays an important role in the functioning of any university, and the University of Cape Town’s Senate has a central place in our governance structure. Consequently, it is essential that both the university’s Council and its Extended Executive team address what happened at last Friday’s Senate meeting thoroughly and with urgency.

The Chair of Council has already convened a Special Council Meeting for tomorrow, Thursday, 6 October. She will report back to the university community on the outcomes from this meeting.

In parallel, I will be working with the Extended Executive – which includes our deans – to take the actions required to restore the stability of Senate as we stay focused on the continuity of our essential core functions of teaching, learning and research.

It is vital that the work of the university continues as smoothly as possible. The university has – and will – remain on stable ground, and this is testimony to the many who continue to give their best even in challenging times.

It is also important that, at moments like these, all of us rise above any disagreements and put the interests of the university at the forefront, addressing differences in a cordial and united manner.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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