Praise for outgoing varsity head
The University of Fort Hare council has applauded outgoing vice-chancellor Derrick Swartz for his role in raising the standard of education at the institution.
Swartz, who is credited with having turned Fort Hare around, recently announced that he had requested the council not to renew his contract when it expires in December. He has been the university's vice-chancellor and rector since 1999.
Council chairman Pepi Silinga had high praise for Swartz.
"The VC has served the university with great distinction, singular commitment and vision since 1999," said Silinga.
He added that when Swartz started his tenure, the institution had been facing a crisis that nearly led to its closure. This included a R90million debt, decreasing student numbers and serious problems with governance.
"Today, the picture is dramatically different," said Silinga.
The university's strategic plan is being successfully implemented and outlines a clear vision of where the university wants to position itself by 2016.
Its balance sheet has been in the positive for several years running, said Silinga.
Student numbers had grown by more than 300percent since 1999 to 8800, and the institution had restored good governance with constitutional structures well in place.
"Under the VC's leadership, the university has secured capital investment funding of R325million to modernise and expand core infrastructure, including a recent R150million for our Buffalo City campus," said Silinga.