UCT VC Max Price defends deputy vice chancellor selection process

The Eusebius McKaiser Show has received calls this week from members of the UCT Black Academic Caucus (BAC) raising concerns over the appointment of a deputy vice-chancellor.

On Thursday, a group of academics held a picket outside the UCT administration building in protest.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town Dr Max Price talks to Eusebius about the appointment process and insists the track record of the institution has been one that is serious about transforming senior leadership.

He says he is concerned about calls that suggest a white person should never be appointed as vice chancellor.

The BAC is seeking legal advice over the appointment of Lis Lange as deputy vice-chancellor for teaching and learning.

We need the facts, and the facts are that there are currently three deputy vice chancellors; the last two appointments of deputy vice-chancellors, besides the one we are now talking about, are black women.

Dr Max Price, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town

There is an unfortunate language that I think we must also change which is that a person is considered unappointable. What that means is that they haven't met the threshold.

Dr Max Price, Vice Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape

Yaliwe Clarke of the BAC says a more suitably qualified black candidate was overlooked in a procedurally flawed process.

The UCT management is still not convincing in explaining why Professor Ramugundo does not meet the threshold.

Yaliwe Clarke, BAC

The Senate rejected the decision of the selection committee that chose Lis Lange as their preferred candidate. The Senate rejected it because it is senate rule that a two-thirds majority is required a vote in favour of any candidate put to them.

Yaliwe Clarke, BAC

She elaborates that the procedure is such that the selection committee puts forward their preferred candidate to the Senate and needs approval from the Senate before it goes to Council, which then makes the final decision.

Senate did not give a two-thirds majority in favour of Lis Lange. The Council then went against the Senate.

Yaliwe Clarke, BAC

Price responded and said this is incorrect and in fact, the Senate vote is not binding. The Council weighs up the Senate outcome and then considers the appointment. He explained that the selection committee, a 28-person committee, predominantly black and chaired by Sipho Pityana, had gone through a rigorous process in making the appointment.

Listen to the debate below:


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