The Installation of the RCU Chancellor and Vice Chancellor
The 28th of June 2019 marked the 4th Graduation Ceremony for the Reformed Church University (RCU). The ceremony which was held at the Riebeek Campus in Masvingo also coincided with the installation of both the Chancellor, Rev Isaac Pandasvika and Vice Chancellor Professor Obert Edward Maravanyika. The ceremony was graced by the ZIMCHE CEO, Professor Kuzvinetsa Peter Dzvimbo who officiated as the Guest of Honour and many other dignitaries from both the public and private sectors.
The RCU Council through the Council Chairman Dr Mazvuru, welcomed and congratulated the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor on their appointments and wished them great success as they guide the university towards being a centre of academic and research excellency. Dr Mazvuru pointed out that he had no doubt that Professor Maravanyika had what it takes to lead the University on its growth trajectory…
“Your predecessors laid the foundations, you should erect the walls and complete the house!” said Dr Mazvuru.
He further highlighted that he had the confidence that under Professor Maravanyika’s watch, RCU would effectively play her part in moulding a competent graduate for modern day challenges and human capital needs.
Rev Isaac Pandasvika is the sitting Moderator of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe who, in line with the University Charter becomes the Chancellor of the university. He is the incoming Chancellor taking over from DR Rev. Rangarirai Rutoro. He commenced his pastoral career in the Church in 1998 and rose through the ranks of leadership until he was elected Moderator of the RCZ and consequently the RCU Chancellor at the 2018 Synod held at Morgenster Mission.
In his acceptance speech, the RCU Chancellor, Rev Isaac Pandasvika, said that he shall strive to ensure the University gets the necessary support to accomplish its mission and vision.
“Inspiredby our rich legacy in education and community service, we commit our faith and energies in establishing a great academic institution for generations to come. He (the Lord) shall be greater, I shall be less (John 3:30),” said Reverend Pandasvika.
Professor O.E. Maravanyika accepted the challenge to lead the university with humility, faith, hope and determination for success. To ensure effective trudging in the current muddy terrain and challenging operational environment, the Vice Chancellor highlighted that the University would soon engage itself with the 2020 – 2024 Strategic Plan which would be guided by the 21st century higher education philosophy and the vision of the Church in founding the University.
In his acceptance speech, Professor Maravanyika declared that the University’s mission would go beyond the traditional teaching, research and community service to include socialization of knowledge and targeting teaching and research towards sustainable socio-economic progress based on value addition of local natural resources. This developmental matrix, he said would be based on deployment of local resources, human and material to address local development gaps and finding sustainable local solutions.
Within this framework, the RCU would emphasize innovations and creativity for producing goods and services of relevance for local and global impact hence drifting from merely regurgitating theoretical bodies of knowledge. The university shall thus adhere to international best practice as explicitly expressed by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education and Technology Development through such documents as the Ministry’s Strategic Plan and The Skills Audit and the Qualifications Framework.
Professor Maravanyika emphasized that the RCU shall leverage on its niche area of inclusivity and he went on to reveal the University’s immediate plans to establish the National Institute of Inclusivity, Research and Rehabilitation which apart from teaching and research would be a hub for innovation, production and warehousing of assistive devices across a wide range of disabilities.
In his congratulatory message to the RCU Vice Chancellor, Professor Ranga Zinyemba revealed that he was privileged to have known and worked with Professor O. E. Maravanyika for a long time. He narrated how Professor Maravanyika was an accomplished academic and researcher who worked through the entire education value chain from schools, colleges to universities and bravely closed some doors to open others. Professor Zinyemba quipped that Professor Maravanyika perhaps deserves a place in the Guinness’s Book for being the first Zimbabwean to have been a vice chancellor of two universities in his life time.
The Guest of Honour at the graduation and installation ceremony, the ZIMCHE CEO Professor Kuzvinetsa Peter Dzvimbo praised RCU for the progress it has made over the past few years. He also implored all university staff to continue to hone their skills in order to grow the institution’s scholarly reputation. “The number of professors that the institution has, qualifies it to be a university and I challenge all lecturers here who are not yet professors to improve their knowledge and become professors. We have a crisis in the country and now, universities must change their genetic code. Innovation is what the university should move for,” said Professor Dzvimbo.
Professor Dzvimbo expressed confidence that Reverend Pandasvika and Professor Maravanyika would take RCU to higher academic heights. “ZIMCHE has abundant faith that the two, will spearhead exponential academic growth of the RCU,” said Professor Dzvimbo.
“It is our anticipation, as ZIMCHE that the RCU would maintain the highest degree of academic excellence. ZIMCHE implores the RCU to foster heritage-based inclusive education, which values human capital for socio-economic development, as encapsulated in the 2030 national vision and the Transitional Stabilization Programme (TSP). ZIMCHE would like to express gratitude to the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) Board and the RCU’s Senate for religiously adopting educational policies put in place by the Second Republic,” concluded Professor Dzvimbo.