Maverick Citizen


UWC council ‘U-turns’ on critical decision to cancel and restart VC appointment process

UWC council ‘U-turns’ on critical decision to cancel and restart VC appointment process
The University of Western Cape. (Photo: Gallo Images / ER Lombard)

The University of Western Cape council has decided to rescind the decision to cancel and recommence the VC appointment process but is sourcing legal advice on the matter.

The council for the University of Western Cape (UWC) has rescinded its decision to cancel and restart the appointment process of the vice-chancellor.

The decision was taken at a council meeting on Thursday, 23 November 2023.

The shortlisted candidates for the post are professors Vivienne Lawack, Jose Frantz and Robert Balfour. The senate had recommended Lawack for the post before the council took a decision to cancel and restart the process on 26 October 2023.

The move had caused an outcry, with the senate and academics writing to the council to raise their concerns following the decision. The senate then voted and resolved that the council should rescind its decision.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Drama over University of the Western Cape decision to terminate vice-chancellor recruitment process

An internal notice by registrar Dr Nita Lawton-Misra reads: “Council, at its meeting on 23 November 2023, reviewed and rescinded its 26 October 2023 decision regarding the vice-chancellor recruitment process. However, as Council received new information relative to the process, Council has tasked the Director [of] Legal Services to provide Council with urgent external legal advice on the appropriate way forward in order that Council may take an informed decision.”

She said the council would reconvene and consider the advice in due course.

The part about seeking advice has caused concern among insiders with some saying Lawton-Misra’s correspondence was unclear because it did not spell out what the new information received entailed and that there were no timelines relating to the legal advice.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Degrees of disorder — top varsities UCT and UWC in turmoil over vice-chancellors

But, insiders said the decision to rescind the decision to cancel the appointment means that now it can be restarted and finalised. DM


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