SPU VC finally installed following #Covid19 delay

───   OLEBOGENG MOTSE 13:00 Fri, 26 Nov 2021

SPU VC finally installed following #Covid19 delay | News Article

The incumbent Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Sol Plaatje University in the Northern Cape, Andrew Crouch, has been installed officially as the head of the school on Friday at the institution’s Kimberley campus.

Crouch began his tenure as VC in April 2020, but the ceremony couldn’t take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic and strict lockdown regulations at the time. The ceremony, which began at 10:00 up until 12:00, could be viewed virtually on SPU’s YouTube channel and social media platforms. When OFM News first spoke to Crouch in January 2020 - months ahead of the beginning of his tenure as VC in his native Kimberley - he mentioned that engaging with rural communities forms a part of his strategy to ensure student success, which is amongst five of the goals he has set himself over the next five years.  

Crouch says he is glad the ceremony is over, so that he can focus on the matter at hand – being remembered as the VC that made SPU a 21st century innovative tertiary institution.

Crouch will be on the OFM Business Hour at 18:00 on Friday elaborating on more of his plans for SPU.

During his 2020 interview with the news team Crouch said the Northern Cape-based institution needs to focus on the scholarship of teaching and learning - in part by establishing niche base programmes and building the reputation of said programmes. Having been Dean of the Science Faculty and Vice-Chancellor responsible for academics at the University of the Witwatersrand, Crouch is well acquainted with “establishing teaching and learning, and entrenching it”.

Ultimately the aim is that Sol Plaatje will become a research intensive institution, and so one of his five goals is establishing structures for research in particular, desert studies. “Kimberley is in semi-desert area, a water stressed environment, a very arid environment, I think desert studies is a niche area for this country. We know so little about our deserts, but half of the country is in a semi-desert area” said Crouch.

Crouch shared three things people don’t know about him:

1. He was an avid cyclist as young man and hopes to pick it up again when he starts living in Kimberley.
2. He is a Kimberley native and in fact still has family living in the Northern Cape capital.
3. The current location of Sol Plaatje’s Kimberley main campus used to be the grounds of the Williams Pescod Secondary School, which Crouch attended before going off to university.
4. He and Chancellor Judge Steven Arnold Majiedt both attended this school.

Yunus Ballim was Crouch’s predecessor and the institution’s first VC.

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