The Threat to Leadership in South African Universities

In recent times university staff have been assaulted and killed on and around campuses across the country. The attempted assassination this month of the Vice-Chancellor of Fort Hare University and the tragic murder of his bodyguard has generated intense public reaction against the perceived lack of response from government, whether it be in bringing the criminals to justice or providing adequate support to university leadership when their very lives are at stake.

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) is hosting the 10th ASSAf Presidential Roundtable Discussion and the first in 2023, titled “The threat to leadership in South African universities”. The purpose of this roundtable is to ask deep questions about the threat to leadership in higher education. Why is this happening? Is government doing enough to support university staff? And what does these attacks mean for the future of South African universities in general and university leadership in particular?

Please find attached an invitation to the event and an edited extract from Corrupted: a study of chronic dysfunction in South African universities