The University of the Free State (UFS) vice Chancellor and Rector Jonathan Jansen will step down from his position in August this year.
According to the University, Jansen will take up an invitation as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in the USA in September 2016.
UFS VC Jonathan Jansen was appointed to the position in 2009 and his term of office was extended for another five years by the Council on 1 July 2014. He was a capable, energetic and dedicated leader.
Meanwhile, the university’s council has welcomed his decision and described his departure as a great loss. It noted that Jansen played a significant role in improving the institution’s academic performance and transformation.
UFS Eulogizes Jonathan Jansen
Confirming the development in a statement, UFS council chairman Judge Ian van der Merwe says, “the Council is grateful for the vision and the inspirational leadership that Prof Jansen provided during his tenure at the UFS. He has led the university through difficult and complex times – from after the Reitz incident up until the recent student protest actions. He brought stability and respect for the university – nationally as well as internationally.
The council commended him for his drive to further the academic performance and transformation at the university. To this end he was instrumental in the improvement of student success and graduation rates‚ the increase in the percentage of academic staff with doctoral qualifications‚ the increase in research outputs‚ the growth in staff diversity‚ and the growth in third-stream income.
“Furthermore‚ Prof Jansen played a significant part in developing the UFS as a place where the embrace of diversity and the integration of the university provide a backdrop for academic excellence.
Under his leadership‚ the UFS made great strides in fulfilling its social responsibility to serve the community. He was the right leader at the right time for the university.
On behalf of the Council and the entire university community‚ I thank him for his contributions as a capable‚ energetic and dedicated leader and wish him the best for his future.
On an important note, current Vice-Rector Professor Nicky Morgan will serve as an interim vice chancellor and rector if Jansen’s position is not filled by the end of August 2016.