AFTER 10 years of lying dormant, the giant that is the University of Zululand Foundation is being awakened. The university’s resource mobilisation wing was formally relaunched recently at an event which also saw its new offices at the KwaDlangezwa Campus being opened.
Speaking at the event, the foundation’s Executive Director Dr Connie Israel said reviving the foundation has been a journey fraught with challenges but one that also proved that limitations only exist in our minds.
She had high praise for her staff and all stakeholders – both internal and external – for working hard in ensuring the foundation is functional and also thanked the Foundation Board for its strategic direction Given the work and the mandate of the foundation, it is important that it has all the necessary tools it needs to succeed, she said.
She said despite the foundation not having a full staff complement, there were already signs of progress with donations and gifts having started to come in. The mission of the foundation was to build purposeful partnerships of benefit to the university and the donor, she said.
Former Vice-Chancellor Professor Fikile NM Mazibuko could not attend the function but sent a message in which she stressed the importance of the foundation. In the message read out by Professor Rob Midgley, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, she noted that given the complexity of the core business of any university, resource mobilisation and securing strategic networks become critical.
Dr Riaan Els, CEO of the Fuchs Foundation which supported the event, said third stream funding was critical to any university but warned that sourcing such funds is not child’s play. “The market is tough and very competitive because all the universities are competing for funding from the same pot which is not getting any bigger.”
He said however, it becomes easier to attract funding once the internal systems are sorted out, with internal and external stakeholders singing from the same hymn sheet. After the launch Dr Els conducted a workshop on resource mobilisation, which was well-received.