Port Elizabeth Transformation ConsultationDate Released: Fri, 19 May 2017 12:43 +0200
Two functions were held on the 12th May, a Brunch and an evening Cocktail Consultation. Dr Clayton hosted both events and noted that converstations on institutional change and transformation characterise Rhodes University life. While these conversations are transformative in and of themselves a need was identified for more structured and facilitated transformation conversations. Central to the transformation project is the issue of the name of our University. The issue of the name of our University is an important matter which should be resolved through a process which involves debate and dialogue. Port Elizabeth Alumni were dynamic with conversation flowing and experiences shared. The evening session had young and old of all races and their opinions were divergent and invigorating. The need for transformation and the name change was debated openly and various viewpoints shared.
Dr Chris Ndzengu shared his views:
'I, as a first year student arrived at Rhodes in 1987 as someone who had been negatively affected at an early age by forced removal from ancestral land and as a student from a village, with no computer skills. The University then was not ready and prepared for me and others like myself.
In addition to making it happen with studies, we assumed the responsibility of transforming the institution to be a conducive climate for all. Dr Henderson, then the VC, kept on assuring us that transformation is a gradual process. We did not accept this and embarked on accelerating it.
The momentum for change and transformation are inevitable and ought not be resisted in any institution, in particular in one for Higher learning.
During the changes, the institution will be stronger and formidable. The institution is far more bigger than its name; and the leaders involved in managing the transformation process ought to make sure that the interests of all affected (including investors) are reasonably balanced.'