Professor Adam Habib officially took over as the new Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Wits on Saturday, 1 June 2013. He takes over from Professor Loyiso Nongxa, who has served in this capacity for ten years.
“Wits has incredible energy and depth, and promises to be world-class. It is probably the most diverse University on the African continent in terms of its demography, programmes and ideas,” says Habib. “It is definitely a microcosm of South Africa and a dichotomy of note, which makes it a very exciting and challenging place to lead.”
Habib supports the Vision 2022 strategy and is confident that Wits can achieve the objectives set out therein. “Vision 2022 speaks to becoming more of a postgraduate, research-driven institution. This means that we will require the best talent – academic and support staff and quality students to make this happen. It also means that we have to balance access with success, without becoming elitist.”
Habib has welcomed the multi-billion rand infrastructure programme that Wits has just completed. He has outlined six priority projects in the short-term which includes forming a shared social compact and investing heavily in people; increasing the University’s research output; preparing students so that they pass better; giving access to talented students from disadvantaged communities; securing resources to fund priority areas and acquiring the best academic talent.
“I am ready to engage robustly in the global war for the very best academic talent,” says Habib. “If we are going to be the best, then we have to secure the best scholars and scientists on the planet. This also means that we need to look after those who are already on board and who are productive and leading the way in their respective areas.”
“I am looking forward to working with the Wits community to make our University one of the best in the country and the world.”
Story: Shirona Patel, Wits news, 02 June 2013