Students and staff at the University of Pretoria learned of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s resignation from his position in a campus wide email sent out on 13 June. The Chair of the UP Council, Kuseni Dlamini, indicated that Prof Kupe would step down at the end of July. Prof Kupe’s term was set to conclude in 2024.

In a email to staff and students, Prof Kupe listed reasons for his early departure.

The full email can be read below:

Dear UP Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you in good health and spirits.

I wanted to take this opportunity to personally inform you of a decision I have made regarding my role as the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria. After much reflection and consideration, I have decided to resign from this position.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for your unwavering support throughout my tenure as the VC. Together, we have accomplished remarkable milestones, overcome challenges, and achieved a level of success that we can all be proud of.

This decision to step down was not an easy one for me. After careful introspection, I have come to realise that it is time for me to embark on a new chapter in my academic journey. It has been quite some time since I last took a sabbatical, in fact, since my PhD studies in the 1990s. Throughout my career in academic management, starting in the early 2000s, I have continuously transitioned into new positions without a break. Moreover, I have two major book publications due in 2024, along with editing another special issue of a journal with two early career colleagues. Additionally, I would like to utilise the next few months to transition into a more academic role and contribute further to the work within university networks.

Change brings opportunities for growth and innovation, and I am confident that this institution will continue to flourish under new leadership. As I reflect on my time here, I am filled with immense pride for what we have accomplished together. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks once again for your support throughout my tenure. I do not doubt that our paths will cross again in the future, and I eagerly anticipate witnessing your future achievements. 

Thank you once again for everything.  I wish every one of you continued success and fulfilment in all your endeavours.

Warm wishes

Prof Tawana Kupe

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

“While the process to find his successor will begin immediately, appropriate interim arrangements that will help facilitate the smooth functioning of the institution will be put in place. I am confident that these interim arrangements, coupled with the expertise and dedication of the UP staff, will enable us to continue operating at the highest level” stated Dlamini.

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