Africa University appoints four new deans
April 15, 2005
By Andra Stevens*
Zimbabwe (UMNS)—The board of directors of United Methodist-related
Africa University has made school history by appointing women as two of
its four new academic deans.
four appointees came from within the university, and naming female
deans is a first for the 13-year-old institution. The directors, meeting
April 5-7, appointed deans for the faculties of agriculture and natural
resources; humanities and social sciences; management and
administration; and theology.
appointments have come at an important juncture in the life of this
institution," said Rukudzo Murapa, the university’s vice chancellor.
"Africa University is an acknowledged leader in higher education on the
continent. We want to stay in the forefront with relevant programs and a
cutting-edge approach to service delivery.
board has expressed its confidence in these individuals as key actors
in ensuring the success of strategic new initiatives to enhance Africa
University’s effectiveness and the sustainability of its operations."
Chitepo and the Rev. Beauty Maenzanise have been appointed deans of the
faculty of humanities and social sciences and the faculty of theology,
respectively. Both women are Zimbabweans. Also named as deans were
Fanuel Tagwira, agriculture and natural resources, and Jean-Gilbert
Ilunga, management and administration.
|A UMNS photo courtesy of Africa University
University leaders pose with four new deans. From left are Jean-Gilbert
Ilunga, Thokozile Chitepo, Vice Chancellor Rukudzo Murapa, the Rev.
Beauty Maenzanise, Fanuel Tagwira and Deputy Vice Chancellor Athanasius
Chitepo is interested
in using research to drive solutions and knowledge of social issues in
Africa. She joined the staff in 2004 as acting dean of the faculty of
humanities and social sciences and was confirmed by the board of
directors, effective April 7. She has more than 15 years of experience
in the development sector, working with local, regional and
international organizations. Before joining the university, she was
program director responsible for the W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s southern
Africa Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education (science)
from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, and earned both her master’s
degree and a doctorate in educational psychology from McGill University
Murapa (third from left), vice chancellor of Africa University,
Athanasius Mphuru, deputy vice chancellor (far right), share a moment
with four new deans. Pictured (from left) are Jean-Gilbert Ilunga,
Thokozile Chitepo, Murapa, the Rev. Beauty Maenzanise, Fanuel Tagwira
and Mphuru. A UMNS photo courtesy of Africa University. Photo #05-302.
Accompanies UMNS story #227, 4/15/05|
returned to Zimbabwe last July to join the faculty of theology at
Africa University. She is the first African woman to hold a doctorate in
liturgical studies, earned at the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies
at United Methodist-related Drew University in Madison, N.J. In 1998,
she was identified as a promising scholar/leader and supported by the
United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry with a United
Methodist Women of Color Scholarship. She holds advanced degrees from
as a businesswoman and as an African, I think this is absolutely
great," said Grace Muradzikwa, chief executive officer of Nicoz Diamond
Insurance Zimbabwe and member of the university’s board of directors.
we are seeing African women challenging for positions of leadership and
performing extremely well in these positions. The appointment of two
female deans puts Africa University in the vanguard of institutions of
higher learning and confirms it as a very progressive institution."
had served as acting dean of the faculty of agriculture and natural
resources since 2004. A soil scientist, he joined Africa University as a
senior lecturer in 1992. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and
biology from the National University of Lesotho, a master’s degree in
soil chemistry from the University of Reading in England, and a
doctorate in soil chemistry and fertility from the University of
Zimbabwe, in collaboration with Michigan State University.
addition to his academic responsibilities, Tagwira has served Africa
University in numerous capacities, including leading financial aid and
computer services committees. His work on new crops, aimed at improving
the incomes and nutrition of smallholder farmers, is groundbreaking. The
university named him "Researcher of the Year" in 2002. He is widely
published and sought after internationally as a speaker and facilitator.
He succeeds founding dean Athanasius Mphuru, promoted to deputy vice
a Congolese-American, served as acting dean of faculty of management
and administration for eight months before being named to his post. An
economist, he took over leadership of the business faculty in July. He
joined the university’s faculty in 1996 and has been a contributor to
program and outreach activities. He aims to position the business school
better to help African nations struggling with issues of privatization,
productivity and efficiency.
faculty is set for very big things," Ilunga said. "The priorities
outlined in its strategic plan include more action research and the
creation of an African center for productivity and efficiency
who holds both a master’s of arts degree and a doctorate degree in
economics from Southern Illinois University, hopes to focus faculty
research on the economic performance of African parastatals – state
Methodist-related Africa University is in Mutare, Zimbabwe. The
university opened in March 1992 and offers undergraduate and
postgraduate degrees and diplomas in a range of disciplines, including
agriculture and natural resources, education, health sciences,
humanities and social sciences, management and administration, peace,
leadership and governance and theology. It has more than 1,200 students
from 20 African countries.
*Stevens is director of information and public affairs at Africa University.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.