New UFH Management & Commerce Dean, Prof Richard Shambare to prioritize service orientation

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UFH’s newly appointed Dean for Management and Commerce, Prof Richard Shambare has made it clear that being service-oriented would be key in executing his new role, successfully.

Prof Shambare joined the University on the 1st of January 2023 and during his first 30 days in office, he has met with staff, chaired his first Faculty Board meeting and is currently in the process of preparing for the 2023 academic year as well as refining the Faculty’s operating plan.

UFHNews asked Prof Shambare a few formal and less formal questions to get to know a little bit more about him.

Q: Please share a bit about your professional background, personal life, and interests?

A: I am a professor of entrepreneurship and marketing. Prior to joining UFH, I was a professor at the University of the Western Cape, where I also served as the Deputy Dean: Teaching & Learning in the Faculty of Economic & Management Sciences. My prior engagements before that where at the University of Venda and Tshwane University of Technology. I am very simple person with simple personal interests, mostly reading and movies. I love Star Wars and Star Trek.

Q: What motivated you to join the University of Fort Hare?

A: Fort Hare is a university with a very rich history. It is an institution of leaders and great thinkers. For me, it really is an honour to be associated with such a university that produced some of the giants of our time, in the likes of Mugabe, Madiba, Khama, just to name a few. This is a university whose soul exudes greatness. So, when I was offered the opportunity to join Fort Hare, I searched for reasons why I should not join UFH and I could not find one. So, to answer to the question, the pursuit of life and to try and make an impact to society were my greatest motivators.  

Q: How has the transition been from the University of Western Cape to UFH – an institution that prides itself as a Great rural African University?

A: The transition has been great. The people at UFH are lovely. Everyone greets everyone. There is an ubuntu vibe going on around you and everywhere. This is awesome.

Q: What have you identified as key focus areas in your new your portfolio?

A: My key focus is very simple – service. Service to students and service to the Faculty of Management & Commerce, the university and the community. This service comes in different shapes and form. A few examples include ensuring that staff welfare in the faculty is prioritized, teaching and learning continues smoothly, and to ensure that administrative functions proceed seamlessly for students.   

Q: What is your approach to executing these key areas?

A: Prioritizing people is the approach. Working with people, one person at a time and one conversation at a time. There is no other way of running a faculty (or any organization for that matter) that does not involve building trust and the confidence of people.   

Q: In your first month in office which areas have you identified as pockets of excellence at UFH?

A: Undoubtedly, the greatest asset are people; both students and staff. Students are willing to learn and apply themselves and the Staff is willing to serve.

Q: Lastly, what are your aspirations for UFH as it sets off on its journey of a Decade of Renewal and what is your advice on how to reach the envisaged destination?

A: Renewal is a journey; it cannot have a definitive end point. Constant and consistent improvement are necessary. I aspire to see the Faculty of Management & Commerce become a beacon for renewal in the University. This we aspire to develop new and relevant programmes that seek to prepare students for the future. Togetherness and cooperation are instrumental in achieving renewal.   

Once more, welcome to the UFH Prof Shambare.