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Media Statement
01 June 2020
For Immediate Release

The University community warmly welcomes the new Vice Chancellor Prof Mbati as he assumes his role today, 1st June 2020. Prof Mbati joins the University at a critical time when the University is in the process of reimagining its academic project, as an institution focused on health sciences and science and technology fields. In addition, he joins when the University will soon be embarking on the roll-out of a massive infrastructure renewal programme, with a view to improving student life and experience and also creating a conducive working environment for staff.

As he assumes duties, Prof Mbati has made clear his intentions to make a significant contribution towards making SMU even more sustainable and stable. “I am indeed excited to be joining SMU as Vice-Chancellor today on a five-year term. I would like to thank the Council of the University for having bestowed its trust in me, and will do my very best to lead the institution guided by the values of diligence, commitment, humility, respect, integrity, relevance and transformative leadership. I find people here to be very warm and welcoming and will be interacting with most of you and the University structures and alumni in the coming weeks and months. Together with all of you, I intend to build on the good work and foundation laid by my predecessors, including Prof O Ayo-Yusuf, while seeking to improve the operating model of the University to be financially sustainable; and changing the institutional culture to be more inclusive for both staff, students and alumni. In respect of the academic project of the University, and seeing that we are to a large extent a teaching institution, we shall work together to improve our performance in both online and contact teaching in order to improve our student success rate, whilst also improving the University’s excellence in research and social responsiveness.”

Prof Mbati is no stranger to challenges; given the current external Higher Education and Covid-19 environments, he will be straight in the deep end of life at SMU. “In spite of the challenges, either perceived or real, we will work together in the current environment to rebuild a humanizing, caring and compassionate spirit at SMU, whilst also protecting and promoting the SMU brand. We shall together sharpen our response to COVID-19. I am really glad to be part of the SMU community at this critical phase of its development and growth and look forward to working with all of you”, Prof Mbati concluded.

Enquiries:    Dr Eric Pule, Director: Marketing and Communication
Cell:              082 3035850 or 063 5035587
Issued by:   Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU)