Flying the Durban University of Technology (DUT) flag high is Professor Fulufhelo (Fulu) Netswera; Executive Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences. He has recently been appointed as a Visiting Professor at Lincoln International Business School, in the United Kingdom.
In an appointment letter addressed to Professor Fulu; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of University of Lincoln (Prof Andrew Hunter) informed him of the recommendation of the Lincoln International Business School and that the Professorial Committee of the University has agreed to confer on him the title of Visiting Professor of Governance from January 2022 to January 2025.
Prof Hunter further relayed that a visiting professorship is one which is awarded to a distinguished individual of recognised academic and/or professional standing, whose association with a department of the University will support its academic endeavour and provide the highest possible source of advice and wise counsel in that discipline.
“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our academic community and thank you for your willingness to be associated with the University of Lincoln,” said Prof Hunter.
Prof Fulu shared his excitement upon receiving this appointment and says that a visiting professorship is a prestigious honour reserved for scholars who are deemed to make significant contribution. “I am therefore elated that through this appointment I am able to provide council and other strategic inputs to the Lincoln Business School agenda,” he said jubilantly.
Explaining more on this appointment, Prof Fulu indicated that this means that he is among a few who are able to provide strategic advice to the Lincoln Business School, to deliver an annual public lecturers and engage in research partnerships (collaborative research and graduate student supervision), among others.
“Although the role requires constant travel between South Africa and the United Kingdom, due to COVID-19 however, some of these travels will be halted in favour of online meetings, workshops and lecturers,” he said.
Prof Fulu further relayed that the Lincoln Business School has been in existence for a very long time and the newly established DUT Business School can thrive best through this collaboration.
“I see an opportunity here for, joint module offerings, student and staff exchanges, joint research projects and MBA study tour arrangements,” Prof Fulu.
Prof Fulu is also no stranger to leading business schools having led two other business schools before at North-West University (NWU) and at the University of Limpopo. He is also an executive of the South African Business Schools Association.
“Working with business school students and specifically MBA students opens a different academic door; one that integrates theory with shop floor practices. I am fascinated with how MBA students deal with problems in their firms, how the MBA programme contributes to giving students a better leadership perspective and ease their stress,” he said.
Prof Fulu added that for DUT to thrive as a local university with global repute, it should become an attraction point to outstanding scholarship across the world-both students and staff. He explained that this fellowship helps DUT move closer to that ideal.
“Academic obscurity and isolation is a norm among academics of the Global South. Instead of accepting the status quo, we should optimize benefits from collaborations of this nature. At the end our graduates and academics should stand tall and say that they are truly global scholars with confidence to deliver lecturers and collaborate anywhere in the world without feeling intimidated,” he said.
Besides this exciting, new appointment, Prof Fulu has many other accolades that he has achieved in his academic career.
“The Erasmus visiting research fellow in Groningen (2015) was another important academic accolade. Being nominated by the Minister of Higher Education to adjudicate the Women in Science Awards between 2012 and 2020 was equally fulfilling. But even before then, I had been adjudicating the NSTF Awards (2005-2007) which was an honour. Leading the South African BRICS Think Tank gave me an ‘ambassadorial’ feeling as I had to interact with governments and officials in other BRICS nations. And nominated to serve on the Human Sciences Research Council’s Board was a sweet moment considering that the HSRC is where I started my research career,” he said.
Going forward, Prof Fulu said he will be happier when the Faculty of Management Sciences (FMS) postgraduate students account for the majority of African countries. Only then can we count ourselves a truly African institution.
“We can only rejoice when the number of business start-up we account for contributes billions of rands into the economy and assist eradicate unemployment especially among our youth. I believe that 2022 will be a year wherein numerous book publication projects should yield tangible outcomes for the Faculty of Management Sciences. Our plans and targets at FMS are outstanding but we have to work very hard to realise these than just engage in day dreams,” he said.
Prof Fulufhelo Netswera holds a DPhil in Development Sociology from Stellenbosch. He is a 2004 Emerging Philanthropy Fellow at City University of New York (CUNY), a former Associate Professor at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU). He is a 2015 Erasmus Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Groningen. Prof Fulu has held a variety of leadership positions in the South African higher education sector including but not limited to Directing the South African BRICS Think Tank, Vice Chairperson of the South African Business Schools Association (SABSA). He has published extensively in higher education management, governance, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
Pictured: Professor Fulufhelo Netswera