Professor Andrew Crouch will take up the position of Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University on 1 April 2020, the Sol Plaatje University Council has announced.
It said that the University is proud to have Professor Crouch at the helm of the University.
“While he is an exceptional academic, he also has proven operational and administrative leadership qualities honed during his many years of experience as a senior executive and academic at various leading South African universities,” says Judge Yvonne Mokgoro, Chairperson of the Council.
“We look forward to his leadership at this critical stage of the University’s development. Professor Crouch has articulated a succinct five-point focus plan on taking forward the Sol Plaatje University project.”
She said that the University was pleased to have this son of Kimberley back in his home city and in the Northern Cape.
“We know that he will place great emphasis on the importance of engagement, partnerships and fostering sound relationships with all Sol Plaatje University stakeholders and surrounding communities.”
About Professor Andrew M Crouch
Professor Andrew Crouch has served as a Vice-Principal, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science during his eleven years at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).
At Wits he was instrumental in introducing applications of new pedagogies in the digital sphere, championing the use of innovative educational technologies and the integration of technology into existing teaching and learning programmes across multiple platforms.
He spearheaded the establishment of innovative teaching and learning spaces, smart classrooms, e-zones, simulation laboratories and virtual learning spaces, as well as a planned novel centre for educational technologies.
He also championed the Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute at Wits, which is still active today.
He was also instrumental in the planning of the Wits Science Stadium complex and the Mathematical Sciences Building.
Professor Crouch joined Wits from Stellenbosch University, where he had served as the Associate Dean of Natural Sciences.
A full professor of chemistry for the past 27 years, Professor Crouch worked at the University of the Western Cape for seven years, four of which was as the Head of Department of Chemistry.
He holds a BSc (Chemistry and Biochemistry) and a BSc Honours in Chemistry from the University of the Western Cape and a PhD in Chemistry from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.
An active member in the African higher education sector, Professor Crouch has extensive experience in teaching, research, and postgraduate training, having developed courses and taught at all tertiary levels.
He is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching, research, and administration.
The most notable of these are the prestigious Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Fellowship and Gold Medal from the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund as well as the Excellence in Teaching and Research Award from the International Society of Electrochemistry for his contribution to the field of Electrochemistry in South Africa.
Professor Crouch has over 30 years of research experience in environmental electrochemistry and its applications, being the author/co-author of more than 140 research papers and conference proceedings and one patent in the area of electrochemistry.