Unam top brass vie for Nust post

08 February 2019 | Education

The Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) will today conduct interviews that will pave the way for the appointment of a successor to long-serving vice-chancellor Tjama Tjivikua.

Five candidates were shortlisted for the top job, including University of Namibia (Unam) staff members Erold Naomab and Frednard Gideon.

The five candidates will make their presentations later today to the university's council. Unlike the interviews, which were held to choose the new Unam vice-chancellor, those for the Nust vice-chancellor will be held behind closed doors.

The candidates will each be interviewed for nearly five hours, which will include a formal interview, a stakeholder presentation and a final question-and-answer session.

The Nust council will conduct the interviews with the assistance of students, staff, management and the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation.

Following the interviews, they will consult the ministry and then start negotiations with the successful candidate.

The new Nust vice-chancellor will replace Tjivikua, who has been at the helm of the institution since its formation in 1995.

Naomab is a University of Nottingham chemistry PhD holder. He is currently based at Unam's southern campus, where he serves as assistant pro-vice-chancellor.

Naomab completed a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and molecular and physiological biology at Unam. He followed this up with a Master of Science at the same university, which he passed cum laude.

He then did his Masters of Research in strategic resource management at the University of Nottingham. He completed a PhD at the same institution, according to his resume.

Naomab previously served Unam's chemistry and biochemistry department head.

He has also served on the Namibia Standards Institute's environmental management systems technical committee.

Gideon serves as pro-vice-chancellor for academic affairs at Unam's main campus. He is a Unam graduate and associate professor in the department of mathematics.

He obtained his PhD in applied mathematics (banking and finance, risk management and Basel II) from North-West University, as well as a Master's Degree in Science and Mathematics from Rhodes University. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree at Unam.

Gideon served as the dean of the faculty of science at Unam and is the first Namibian to occupy that position.

The other three candidates include Swedish national Said Irandoust, Botswana national Otlogetswe Totolo and Nigerian national Abraham Ogwu.

Irandoust was previously vice-chancellor at the University College of Borås in Sweden.

He holds a Masters in Science in Chemical Engineering as well as a PhD which he obtained from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. He is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics in Moscow.

Totolo is the current vice-chancellor of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology.

He has also previously served as deputy vice-chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Botswana. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Botswana, which he attained in 1987, and a PhD in soil science from Wye College, University off London, which was attained in 1995.

Rounding of the list is Ogwu, who previously served as professor of materials science and engineering at the University of West Scotland. Ogwu holds a Bachelor of Science from Obafemi Awolowo University in his native Nigeria. He also completed an executive management course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He attained a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Manchester.

Attempts to contact Nust council chairperson Esi Schimming-Chase proved futile.

Namibian Sun wanted her to confirm the candidate list and answer questions relating to why no females had been shortlisted.


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