JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
Wendy Luhabe, one of South Africa’s most prominent businesswomen and a self-described “social entrepreneurs,” has accepted a four-year term as the first chancellor of the University of Johannesburg. She will take office on September 1.
Luhabe is the founder of Bridging the Gap, a consulting firm which trains young South Africans to enter the world of business. In 1994, she helped establish Women Investment Portfolio Holdings, a holding company that revolutionized the participation of women in the economic landscape of South Africa. She is also the author of Defining Moments, a book that reflects on the experiences of Black professionals.
“In Ms. Luhabe, we have found someone with exceptional leadership qualities and a demonstrated commitment to values such as equity, diversity and economic development that are so important to us. We see her as a leader who will assist this university in moving forward to the next plateau of excellence in teaching, research, community outreach and innovation,” says Dr. Roy Marcus, chair of the university council.
The University of Johannesburg was born on January 1, 2005 with the merger of Rand Afrikaans University and the Technikon Witwatersrand. Technikon offered mostly vocational programs, while RAU’s primary focus was on academic courses. The new university was an attempt to remedy the unequal educational opportunities of apartheid, says Dr. Ihron Rensburg, UJ’s first vice chancellor and principal.
“Higher education institutions, individually and collectively, must address our apartheid past, help us build a common and shared future and respond effectively to the imperatives of the domestic, African and global knowledge society,” he says.
— Diverse staff reports
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