A warm welcome to the newly appointed Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at DUT, Prof Gugu Mchunu who officially joined the DUT family and resumed her duties last week Tuesday, 1 June 2021.
Giving a brief background on herself, Prof Mchunu revealed that she was born at eMthandeni, KwaMaphumulo outside KwaDukuza. She is married and a mother of three, two daughters and a son. She also has two sisters. When not at work, she enjoys cooking, baking and travelling.
Prof Mchunu completed her primary education eMthandeni and matriculated at Montebello High School (now called Our Lady of the Rosary). She obtained her Bachelor of Social Science (Nursing) degree and ultimately PhD at the then University of Natal (now University of KwaZulu-Natal).
She has vast experience in the health sector and has worked at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital, PPC Lime in Kimberley (Occupational Health Nurse), Durban Chamber of Commerce Foundation (Executive Director), Human Sciences Research Council (Senior Research Specialist) and University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Nursing and Public Health (Head of Nursing Department). Prior to joining DUT, Prof Mchunu was working at the University of KwaZulu-Natal as the Coordinator of Post Graduate Programme and Deputy Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre.
Speaking about how she found out about this position, Prof Mchunu said she saw an advert in the DUT careers section, took interest in it and applied.
“When I received the news that I have been appointed as the new Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at DUT, I was sitting with a friend. First, I was numb because I did not believe it. I said my goodbyes to a friend, got into the car and started screaming in excitement. I was elated!” she said.
Furthermore, she explained that her duties include leading the Faculty of Health Sciences in implementing its strategic initiatives. She indicated that she resumed her duties on the 1st of June 2021, however she is still overwhelmed by the warm welcome, she is receiving from everyone she has interacted with so far.
Addressing some of the challenges she has encountered since she started, Prof Mchunu said not being physically at work is not easy. However, she understands that the country is still on alert level 2 lockdown and that everyone needs to observe the COVID-19 rules and regulations.
“This is our new normal which must not be viewed as a challenge, but as a situation which forces us to be innovative,” said Prof Mchunu.
Her plan for the Faculty of Health Sciences, is guided by the ENVISION2030 values and principles.
“Health Sciences students are viewed as future inter-professional team members. The focus will be on our people mainly on the three areas, namely: Research, Transformative Curriculum and Community Engagement. The plan is to: inculcate the culture of increasing research productivity, introduce blending of professional cultures through a collaborative approach and strengthening partnerships with local and international partners,” explained Prof Mchunu.
Pictured. Prof Gugu Mchunu, new Executive Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences.