In 2011, the University Council, Management and Labour requested intervention from the Minster of Higher Education and Training to assist in propelling WSU towards a better resourced and more efficient organisation to serve the Eastern Cape.
On 31 October 2011, Minister BE Nzimande MP announced the appointment of an Administrator for WSU, Professor LR van Staden, who has been appointed for an initial period of two years, with a possible extension of a further six months.
An Administrator takes over the functions of both Council and the Vice-Chancellor and reports directly to the Minister.
This intervention marked a significant turning point in the development of Walter Sisulu University since the complex merger in 2005 which formed our university.
WSU is unique in many respects, particularly as a new type of university called a “comprehensive university” which offers both traditional university academic degrees as well as technologically focused career qualifications.
WSU has a most compelling vision and mission and is well positioned to become a major resource for this under-developed part of the Eastern Cape.
The vast geographic spread of WSU has the advantage of offering higher education which is “closer to home” for many of our students. But this same geographic spread and institutional legacy presents challenges in the effective management and financing of such a diverse and widespread university.
Progress made by the turnaround strategy
Professor Van Staden was appointed to lead the turnaround of WSU, together with the WSU staff, students and her communities.
Much work has already been done through the turnaround strategy to strengthen WSU further and boldly build this great brand that proudly bears the name of Walter Sisulu.
Within the first year, major changes took place: the council was dissolved, executive management was dissolved and a team of technical experts brought in to work with WSU staff in forging a Turnaround Framework.
A new Interim Management Committee was established in September 2011, a combination of members of the Administrator’s team and WSU senior staff.
The Administration period came to a close on 30 April 2014.
For the latest developments, go to the WSU presentation made to the Minister of Higher Education and Training in April 2014.
More turnaround strategy information:
- Establishment of the Turnaround Forum 18 September 2013
- Walter Sisulu University Turnaround Framework 1 September 2012
- HEQC IA Quality Improvement Action Plans 24 August 2012
- Administrator’s Appointment, Government Gazette 31 October 2011
- Prof Lourens van Staden’s curriculum vitae, Walter Sisulu University Administrator
- Turnaround bulletins