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Monday, 22 February 2010

American Council on Education fellows visit CPUT

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CPUT Dean of Students Cora Njoli Motale recently played host to visiting fellows of the American Council on Education (ACE) during a breakfast and round table discussion.

The function was hosted at Granger Bay Campus on 16 February 2010 and served as an information-sharing platform for each represented institution and an opportunity to bid farewell to the visitors.

The fellows were warmly welcomed by Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic Professor Anthony Staak, who thanked the representatives for their commitment to the programme and handed over to Motale to formally introduce her visiting ACE colleagues.

After breakfast, Director of International Affairs Merle McOmbring-Hodges showed the group an academic display of CPUT’s faculty publications, curriculum development and research programmes, and shared factual information with the fellows on the strides CPUT is making.

One of the highlights of the morning’s function was a series of presentations by the visiting fellows on the challenges faced by Higher Education from an international perspective, including that of highly acclaimed Food Science and Technology Professor Ken Lee of Ohio State University.

Dr Marcia Caton of Eastern Connecticut State University delivered a presentation that centered on the challenges of promoting education in disadvantaged communities, while Prof Joshua Powers of Indiana State University explained his four-point model on strategy implementation to successfully overcome barriers in an academic environment.

Other speakers included Dr Shelley Mishoe of the Medical College of Georgia who reinforced her passionate beliefs to uplift the lives of young people through higher education. Prof James Meernik of the University of North Texas spoke about the financial hardships faced by many students in his environment, which inhibits their commitment to complete their studies.

Also in attendance was the Central SRC President Vuyo Zita, who later thanked the ACE fellows for their visible commitment to the overall development of academic institutions.

To close the morning’s programme, George Mvalo, Manager of the Institutional Transformation and Diversity Forum, delivered a vote of thanks to the speakers and commended them on their investments to the academic world.

Since its establishment 45 years ago, the ACE Fellowship Programme offers its members an opportunity to advance their leadership and managerial skills through a forum that encourages cultural exchange and institutional policy debate.

The ACE programme provides higher education professionals with high-level leadership training as well as mentorship by a senior executive at an international University and places members within an influential network of higher education executives.

South Africa’s involvement with the Fellowship is supported by the Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) programme of Higher Education South Africa (HESA).

Motale is one of three South Africans selected to participate in the ACE Fellowship programme for 2009/2010, along with over 30 other academic professionals from across the globe.

The South African tour for the Fellows also included field trips to UWC and Stellenbosch University (SUN).

The ACE fellows were initially welcomed to the CPUT family by the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Vuyisa Mazwi-Tanga, on 13 February 2010.

With their Cape Town stay concluded, the visiting American group will travel to the Eastern Cape where they will be hosted by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, as well as the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) in Johannesburg before returning to their respective academic institutions in the United States of America.

By Thando J. Moiloa

Photograph: Prof James Meernik (University of North Texas), Dr Marcia Caton (Eastern Connecticut State University), Prof Ken Lee (Ohio State University), Prof Anthony Staak (CPUT), Cora Njoli Motale (CPUT), Manie. Regal (Director of Finance, UWC), Dr Shelley Mishoe (Medical College of Georgia) and Prof Joshua Powers (Indiana State University)

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za