Durban University of Technology (DUT) is without a leader again following the resignation of vice-chancellor and principal Roy du Pré earlier this month.
Du Pré, an experienced university administrator, is leaving at a time when the university is starting to recover from a tumultuous merger in 2001 between ML Sultan Technikon and Technikon Natal.
The process catapulted the institution into upheaval and a weak council failed to take charge. The university was under administration from ministerial appointee Jonathan Jansen between August 2006 and July 2007 and relative calm has returned only recently.
Confirming the resignation, Dr Jairam Reddy, chairperson of the DUT council, said the institution had made good progress in the past two-and-a-half years: ‘The university is stable. We are sorry Professor Du Pré is leaving,” Reddy said.
According to him, Du Pré indicated that after 30 years in higher education he wanted to step back and do other things. He said Du Pré had a ‘gruelling job”.
Du Pré joined DUT in August 2007 on a five-year contract. He was previously with the Vaal University of Technology, where he served as deputy vice-chancellor: academic for seven years.
Upon assuming responsibility at DUT, he promised that DUT would do research that would help improve the lives of South Africans.