Wed | Dec 7, 2022

Find fit and proper leader for UTech

Published:Tuesday | June 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Having followed the events at the University of Technology (UTech), from the 'uprising' of the unions to the 'honourable' removal of Professor Errol Morrison, I wonder what the outcome would have been had they occurred in the United Kingdom or the United States of America? What would have been Professor Morrison's fate?

The salient issues brought to the fore are: institutional leadership, governance and management, accountability, transparency, among others.

It is often assumed that a successful academician will automatically be a capable institutional leader as well; and, if one promotes oneself sufficiently and becomes well known, leadership is a corollary. This is obviously not necessarily so.


Leaders who silence their critics and encircle themselves with malleable or outright yes-persons, who do not listen to reason, who do not plan but act on a whim, are doomed to fail. The 'what' may be noble, but the 'how' patently ignoble.

As the university searches for new leadership, I encourage it do so giving the utmost consideration to the institution itself and not to any individual with a personal agenda and an overriding interest in the promotion of his or her own self-interest.

UTech is now charged with the task of rebuilding its shaken foundation. To so do, it needs a stabilising, ethical, moral, strategic and conscientious leader. It needs transformation and reformation without chaos.

The search should be conducted by following a carefully developed position description and profile with full awareness that even this can be tweaked to fit a specific individual.


Rather than be faced with the disruptive and disgusting process of cleaning the Augean stables, we are obligated to ensure that a fit and proper candidate is selected in the first place! The appointed leader should then be taken through an orientation process drawn up by the council, following which a proposal for the development of the university must be presented to, and critiqued by, stakeholders.

The solid foundation laid down by Dr Alfred Sangster and Dr Rae Davis has been shaken. Foundation work needs to be done and an organisational structure recast.

The future has to be built TOGETHER - not by any one individual! We cannot allow history to repeat itself.

Choose carefully and wisely, UTech - much is at stake.


Kingston 17