2015 End of Year Message
Once more we have reached the end of yet another year, a unique year in the history of higher education, and also in the history of the University of Fort Hare. This is the last year in the first century of the University. The new academic year in 2016 will be the first for the second hundred years of this historic Institution. We shall start the academic year celebrating the Centenary on the 8th of February 2016. The year 2015 had its ups and downs in various ways.
As I said in one of my communications during the year, we have to behave like eagles when faced with storms. The eagle faces the storms with courage and determination. It soars even higher when it hits heavy winds. We may not all have fearlessly faced the storms this year but we survived them.
We faced quite a lot of negative media exposure during the course of the year, some of it our own making. The financial issues loomed prominently in the press. On behalf of Council and the University’s Executive management, I wish to reassure you that whilst there are a number of acknowledged financial challenges, principally on account of the prevailing tight cash flow conditions, in turn, resulting from large amounts of historic and current year’s unpaid student fee debt, including amounts due from Government-linked funding agents, the University’s finances are being carefully monitored and responsibly managed. A series of measures that will have both immediate and longer-term benefits are in the process of being implemented as part of a turnaround strategy to ensure the ongoing financial viability and future sustainability of the University into its Centenary year and well beyond, as it prepares for its second Century. Please be assured that, with your anticipated support, ongoing commitment and the requisite fiscal discipline, the University will emerge the better and financially stronger in 2016.
I am confident that the University’s academic project will still perform excellently this year. You have always made Fort Hare proud in that regard. We shall safeguard the academic integrity and performance of the University at all times.
May you all have a great, safe and restful festive season, a blessed Xmas and a very happy new year in 2016.
Mvuyo Tom (Dr)
University of Fort Hare