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Prof Frederick Fourie to step down: Statement by the Acting Rector, Prof Teuns Verschoor
2008-09-08

Following the announcement by Prof Frederick Fourie that he is stepping down as vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), one cannot help but reflect on the momentous contribution he has made to the development of the UFS.

At the time of his appointment as vice-rector in 1999, the UFS was in a financial crisis. There had been three rounds of staff reductions, there were no funds for equipment or the maintenance of buildings and there was a general mood of despair amongst staff.

With his unique style and talents, and against all odds, as acting rector and as rector from 2003, Prof Fourie succeeded in bringing about a financial turnaround that once again brought hope to the staff of the UFS.

Research improved dramatically, inter alia due to the refurbishment of laboratories and the acquisition of world-class research equipment. General campus infrastructure was significantly upgraded and aesthetically improved, making the physical appearance and quality of the campus and example to other universities.

The university structure was critically analysed in all its dimensions and quality assurance projects were launched to improve the overall package of higher education offerings at the UFS.

Another initiative led to the compilation of a transformation plan that was adopted by the management and the UFS Council and that lays the basis for the years ahead.

Through these and countless other initiatives, Prof Fourie has contributed significantly to the establishment of the UFS as a nationally and internationally recognised higher education institution.

Prof Fourie has laid the foundations for the next period of academic growth and development, the value of which will only be appreciated in its full significance in historical perspective.

The UFS is saddened that the high intensity of change management processes has taken its toll on the rector, but is deeply thankful for the legacy that he leaves.

We wish Prof Fourie many productive years ahead and have faith that his remarkable intellect and capabilities will enable him to make many more contributions to the betterment of South African society.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
8 September 2008
 

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