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Prof Crouch installed as new Vice-Chancellor of SPU

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Prof Crouch installed as new Vice-Chancellor of SPU | News Article

The Installation of Professor Andrew M. Crouch as the second Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Sol Plaatje University took place on Friday, 26 November 2021, at the Sol Plaatje University Community Hall on South Campus in Kimberley.

Attendance was by invitation only. However, the public can watch the ceremony on Sol Plaatje University’s YouTube Channel below. 

Professor Crouch joined Sol Plaatje University in April 2020, and has acquitted himself well by launching several inaugural initiatives related to his five-point focus plan on taking forward the Sol Plaatje University project.

He steered the University successfully as it moved to online learning during the national lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. His vast administrative leadership experience meant that he could ensure that Sol Plaatje University was only one of a handful of universities that completed the 2020 academic year on time, while keeping the University fully operational.

Under his leadership the University was chosen to host a DSI and NRF funded Risk and Vulnerability Science Centre; and it launched the Talent Pipeline Programme, funded by the Anglo-American Foundation, which is an initiative aimed at producing more university ready learners from rural and peri-urban schools in the Northern Cape Province.

Professor Crouch has placed great emphasis on the importance of engagement, partnerships and in fostering sound relationships with all university stakeholders and surrounding communities. To this end he spearheaded the signing of a Town and Gown Agreement between the University and the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality for the future collaboration and engagement between the city and the university.

Since April 2020, the University has also increased its landholding through the purchase of the Tafel Lager Stadium in Kimberley and the acquisition of the Oppenheimer Memorial Gardens.

Sol Plaatje University is proud to have this son of Kimberley at its helm.

Prior to joining Sol Plaatje University, Professor Crouch served as the Vice-Principal, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science during his 11 years at WITS University. Before his tenure at Wits University, he was at Stellenbosch University, where he had served as the Associate Dean of Natural Sciences. A full professor of chemistry for the past 27 years, Professor Crouch worked at the University of the Western Cape for seven years, four of which was as the Head of Department of Chemistry.

Professor Crouch holds a BSc (Chemistry and Biochemistry) and a BSc Honours in Chemistry from the University of the Western Cape and a PhD in Chemistry from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

An active member in the African higher education sector, Professor Crouch has extensive experience in teaching, research and postgraduate training, having developed courses and taught at all tertiary levels. He is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching, research and administration. The most notable of these are the prestigious Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Fellowship and Gold Medal from the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund as well as the Excellence in Teaching and Research Award from the International Society of Electrochemistry for his contribution to the field of Electrochemistry in South Africa.

Professor Crouch has over 30-years research experience in environmental electrochemistry and its applications, being the author/co-author of more than 140 research papers and conference proceedings and one patent in the area of electrochemistry.

OFM Business Hour’s Olebogeng Motse spoke to Professor Crouch about this momentous occasion. 

Listen to the interview here:

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