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Durban University of Technology (DUT) officially launched the ENVISION2030 Living Values Framework, comprising five core values: transparency, honesty, integrity, respect and accountability. These values are underpinned by the principles of fairness, professionalism, commitment, compassion and excellence. DUT Media Officer, Simangele Zuma, recently engaged in a conversation with Mthokozisi Luthuli, a lecturer in the Department of Entrepreneurial Studies and Management, to delve deeper into the Living Values Framework and ENVISION2030.

Q: Kindly tell me about your role at DUT?
A: “I am a full-time lecturer in the Department of Entrepreneurial Studies and Management. My role is to teach, publish and be part of community engagement initiatives.”

Q: How long have you been a member of the DUT family?
A: “I joined DUT in January 2016, making the year 2024 to be my 9th year of service.”

Q: Amongst the mentioned ENVISION2030 Living Values and Principles, which one do you mostly associate with and why?
A: “I am proud to say all of them. I value transparency in all my teachings, especially with students and external stakeholders as I believe this drives the strategy of the university and I ought to contribute towards its practices. The honesty value is visible in some of the most successful project based learning initiatives I have undertaken as part of fulfilling this set university mandate. The honesty can be accounted for in all my actions projected towards high quality learning and teaching as envisaged by the university. Again, I embrace integrity in many levels such as to set high quality assessments that does not compromise the standards of the university, through upholding all the devised ethical practices as set by the university as shown through my work as well as through my interactions with the industry in its entirety. I have also adopted self-respect, affording the same to the students that I teach and I deem being reasonable towards other colleagues as part of fulfilling this important university mandate (respect). Lastly, my accountability is evident in the work that I am responsible for which is shared with all necessary structures at DUT and that is submitted in respect of rightful deadlines.”

Q: What are your views on the new DUT tagline: Creative. Distinctive. Impactful.
A: “The tagline remains as a constant reminder to us, all staff members as to why we are here every day, it has to do with serving the university society in its entirety optimally and without compromising quality of life of both staff and students.”

Q: How are you planning to keep abreast with the ENVISION2030 Living Values Framework?
A: “I use varying strategically aligned projects to fulfil considerable parts of the ENVISION2030 mandate as a way towards pulling my weight in contributing meaningfully and purposefully to the goals that the university is set to achieve.”

Q: What is the one thing that most people do not know about you?
A: “The passion I have for international mobility lecturing programmes as I believe that equipping yourself with such advanced knowledge keeps you on purr with international styles of teaching, including to enhance your knowledge levels thereby enabling you to race forward with times, which is another way to contribute towards ENVISION2030.”

Q: In your opinion, how will the ENVISION2030 Living Values Framework benefit DUT?
A: “It will help the university to align with obtaining international standards that are important for the continuity of excellent services as recognised globally as well as set the tone for other African universities to emulate from us in the SADAC regions. I believe it is through initiatives such as ENVISION2030 that we are able to change this narrative which place Africa as a hub of inefficiency and mediocrity.”

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: “I am a globetrotter, traveling is my ultimate passion as I believe it broadens one’s level of thinking and scope of knowledge. You also remains abreast of important issues which not only makes you a relevant academic but also a dynamic thinker of all great things to come to our university.”

Q: How do you plan to make a positive impact at DUT?
A: “I plan to foster dynamic initiatives that will make us look at the academic space as much more than just knowledge production space but also a safe space for taking care of each other’s outcries as colleagues including our students in need which should also be a vital part of ENVISION2030.”

Q: What is your daily motivation?
A: “To live a legacy which proves beyond reasonable doubt that poverty and challenges are not entirely harmful if you look at them as ingredients towards making you a stronger and a much wiser person than you were yesterday.”

Q: What are your future goals at DUT?
A: “To build credibility through my research scholarship to a degree that my work will be globally recognised for the impact it had in the general academic society, more particular towards the emerging scholars who are evidently vulnerable to acquiring sufficient research knowledge at the current stage.”

Q: If you were granted one wish, what would it be?
A: “To dine with the DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu to discuss matters and challenges that pertains to what we are experiencing at our level and how it is that such remains a major hinderance to our day-to-day progress as lecturers.”

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