Below are highlights of the National University of Lesotho (NUL)’s vice chancellors since the beginning of the new millennium.
In 2000 Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Maboee Moletsane was succeeded by the then Dr Tefetso Mothibe 2000 – 2005.
Mothibe, the former VC, is now Associate Professor.
During Mothibe’s tenure NUL started working on a strategic development plan.
He worked on the transformation of the university which was then well received by NUL stakeholders.
Transformation was well received as it was said to be inclusive but later could not be implemented due to alleged lack of political will and support from government.
The transformation processes collapsed as a result of lack of government support for its implementation.
Both Mothibe and Moletsane’s tenures were characterised by frequent students’ strikes over National Manpower Development Secretariat sponsorship, late stipend payments and book allowances.
2005 – 2007, Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Mafa Sejanamane became the acting VC of NUL.
Professor Sejanamane acted as the university’s Vice Chancellor for 18 months.
During his tenure at NUL a lot of infrastructure improvements took place.
The Health Sciences building was built while the Thomas Mofolo library was expanded.
The Queen ‘Masenate residence was constructed during his time as the acting Vice chancellor together with a project of fencing the university’s main campus.
Sejanamane implemented a restriction on the academic and non-academic staff salaries.
When the restructured salaries were introduced there we protests against the restructured salaries as some employees claimed they were prejudiced against.
The restructured salaries received a lot of protests from some lecturers.
2007 – 2009 VC Professor Adelani Ogunrinade.
The Nigerian professor sought and secured funding on behalf of the university.
He was later accused of misusing funds from donors and he was widely criticised for it by the Lesotho University Teachers and Researchers Union (LUTARU).
During his tenure of office as the NUL Vice Chancellor he secured the university the WK Kellogg Foundation funding for research and other academic projects but later allegedly misused the same funds for his own personal gain.
He later became infamous for a statement in which he repeatedly said: “The dogs can bark but the chariot moves on.”
The statement depicted him as impervious to criticism.
Just like others before him his tenure in office saw a fair share of students strikes over NMDS unpaid stipends.
Ogunrinade died at the age of 56 at Medi-clinic in Bloemfontein South Africa.
He passed away on April 3 at a time when he was challenging his dismissal from the university for alleged misappropriation of funds, inflating per diem claims and taking leave without authorisation in February 2010.
He was suspended in August 2009 to allow for investigations to take place for allegedly embezzling the United States based organisation, WK Kellogg Foundation aid.
At the time Kellogg foundation had given NUL an US$800 000 grant (over M7 million).
2009 – 2010 PVC Professor Molapi Sebatane Acting VC PVC.
Sebatane has been described as a moderate individual who took office after Ogurinade’s death.
Sebatane’s tenure was rather quiet but saw the university bursar robbed twice.
When the bursar Matsobane Putsoa reported the matter to Sebatane who was then acting Vice Chancellor, Sebatane’s response was the matter was noted and no formal internal action was taken over the matter. The police were informed of the matter.
2011 – 2013 VC Professor Sharon Siverts
At the beginning of her tenure lecturers and staff were exited by restructuring but she ended up angering the same university community when the restructuring process allegedly became exclusive and not as inclusive as the lecturers had hoped.
Her tenure ended up being characterised by a “cat and mouse” chase between the university’s administration and LUTARU and the Non Academic Staff Union.
The Siverts-LUTARU war spilled into parliament with the ruling party (LCD then) supporting a move to grant the Vice Chancellor powers to fire employees at the university in a move meant to exorcise the university’s “rogue elements” that acted against the NUL restructuring process.
During the run-up to the May 26, 2012 poll, the then opposition parties rallied support from the electorate by announcing they would fire Professor Siverts upon ascending to power as government.
The university under Siverts was threatened by a long running three-month academic staff strike which later disturbed the university’s academic year and the 2012/2013 academic year was abridged to normalise the university calendar.
The normalisation of the university calendar ended in the university experiencing its worst-ever students failure rate across the faculties.
During her tenure the university experienced an exodus of academic staff which LUTARU blamed on the restructuring process that was allegedly not inclusive and that the Vice Chancellor used to violate university statutes and orders.
2013 Pro VC Professor Sejanamane is now the acting VC.