On Wednesday, 05 May 2021, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) honoured Deans and Directors for their efforts of making sure that UNIVEN is where it is today and for managing to survive previous years, especially a difficult academic year 2020. A Thank You Dinner was held on Wednesday evening at the Ranch Hotel to honour Deans and Directors. 

In his message of Appreciation, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni acknowledged the hard work of Deans and Directors who made sure that the University achieves what it was intended to achieve in the past years. “We want to thank you for all your efforts and for assuring that this transition brings positive results.” Dr Nthambeleni highlighted that, in 2019, all University stakeholders were engaged in making sure that they understand the new direction that the University is about to take. 

“We need to make sure that all University stakeholders understand this transition. Throughout this transition, we must be able to embed good governance in our minds.” He emphasised that, when you have a good plan, make sure that the plan is embedded in people because failure to do so, might lead to nonachievement. Dr Nthambeleni encouraged staff members to value their own and each other’s work. 

He indicated that when he assumed office in 2019, the University was in a sound base and he acknowledged the work that has been done in the past years, hence UNIVEN is now a better place that one would wish to be part of. “We are hopeful that we will get to where we want to go as a University, and we know that determination and teamwork will get us there.” Dr Nthambeleni encouraged staff members to allow transition to take place. “Be able to change and move towards the direction that the University is taking.” 

He concluded his talk by mentioning that the new team of Executive Deans will depend on the support of all staff members in order to achieve what they want to achieve. “Support these colleagues in making sure that we achieve our goals. 

In his opening and welcome address, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Service, Dr Robert Martin said that he is happy that this is the culmination of everyone’s effort. He thanked all Directors and Deans for their sterling work because this success was not going to be possible in their absence. He welcomed the new Executive Dean of Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, Prof Bongani Douglas Bantwini, who assumed duty at the beginning of May 2021. He also recognised Prof Mokgalaka who will be joining the University in June as the Executive Dean of Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture. 

When rendering the purpose of the gathering, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Prof Jan Crafford said the reason for the gathering was to honour Senior Management of the University for ensuring success in previous years, especially a difficult academic year 2020. He said the gathering was about celebrating the University’s successful academic year 2020. “For the past 15 years, we saw tremendous changes at UNIVEN and this was a positive change. This new strategy (2021-2025) is about building a new success and a new chapter of the University. We are taking a leave of the old and welcoming a new redefined UNIVEN chapter.” 

Dean of the School of Human and Social Sciences, Prof Mokgale Makgopa

Dean of the School of Human and Social Sciences, Prof Mokgale Makgopa, on behalf of Deans shared a bit of his experience based on his 24 years that he served the University. He said, when UNIVEN appointed him as a Lecturer, to him was an achievement that made him to boast since he was avoiding management positions in the Department of Education. “Little did I know that I would end up serving as the academic line manager for the School of Human and Social Sciences. Today, I feel very proud to have successfully served my two terms as Dean of the School of Human and Social Sciences.” 

Prof Makgopa highlighted that, serving the University as a Dean is a challenging responsibility that needs one to be always vigilant and more focussed. He said one of the exploratory learning methods is learning by trials and errors. “It is through learning by trial and error that makes one to end up overcoming these challenges. Furthermore, it is through intrinsic and extrinsic motivation that one ends up accomplishing the envisaged goal as well as sustainment of one’s position.” He thanked the University of Venda for providing them with the space to demonstrate their leadership skills. “We feel very proud of our legacy which shall always be kept in the records of the University.” 

He concluded his response by acknowledging the support that they received from their Executive Line Manger, Professor Jan Crafford who has been all out to give support in making sure that all schools work towards achieving their goals. 

In his vote of thanks message, University Registrar, Advocate Edward Lambani said that it is always a pleasant thing that we are remembered and acknowledged for services that we have offered and are still offering the University. 

A group photo of UNIVEN Senior Management

Issued by: 

Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication 

University of Venda 
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710 
Date: 10 May 2021