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Badat to head to New York after giving up Rhodes UniversityDate Released: Wed, 5 March 2014 11:00 +0200
RHODES University’s first black vice-chancellor, Saleem Badat, who announced his resignation from the institution on Monday, will take on a new role later this year as the first programme director of international higher education and strategic projects at the US-based Andrew W Mellon Foundation.
Dr Badat, who will be based at the foundation’s headquarters in New York, will oversee and direct its international grant-making, as well as programmes in South Africa.
Former University of Cape Town vice-chancellor Stuart Saunders holds the position of senior adviser for the Mellon South Africa programme.
In a statement, Dr Badat ascribed his decision to leave Rhodes to a desire to spend time with his family and an opportunity to write an account of his time at the university.
"The 80-hours-plus per week that I have worked these past eight years have taken a toll on my family and I wish to devote more time to my partner and sons," he said in statement. "I also look forward to time to write a personal yet hopefully dispassionate and critical account of my eight years at Rhodes, including the travails of being the first black vice-chancellor in 102 years."
Dr Badat was inaugurated as vice-chancellor and principal of Rhodes University in 2006. This was after he was appointed the first CEO of the Council on Higher Education, which advises the minister of higher education and training on policy issues.
During his time as principal at Rhodes, he advised the university against taking part in global university rankings.
According to the Mellon foundation, it has disbursed more than $118m to support South African universities and cultural institutions. Its main goal is to develop capacity in higher education by providing opportunities for the previously disadvantaged and individuals who have shown a commitment to this goal. The foundation supports grantees in the UK, Canada, France, China and other parts of the world.
Foundation president Earl Lewis said he was "extremely pleased to have an intellectual, university leader and scholar of Dr Badat’s calibre join the Mellon foundation".
By Andiswa Maqutu
Source: Business Day