The government has appointed sociologist, Professor Thabo Fako, as the new University of Botswana Vice Chancellor.
He is expected to take over from Professor Bogosi Otlhogile at the end of his contract in April. The appointment takes effect from the 1st of April, 2011 for a period of five years.
Among other shortlisted candidates was Brian Mokopakgosi.
Fako has previously served as Deputy Vice Chancellor at UB and has been in the department of sociology for a long time.
His appointment places him as the fifth UB Vice Chancellor after Professor John Tuner, Professor Thomas Tlou, Professor Sharon Siverts and Professor Bojosi Otlhogile. He is currently teaching in the Department of Sociology and doing research on higher education and on nursing practices in Botswana. He was also instrumental in developing criteria for the establishment and registration of tertiary institutions in accordance with the Tertiary Education Act of 1999 in Botswana.
Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology, Professor Monageng Mogalakwe, said, “My colleagues and I are delighted that one of our own has been found worthy of leading Botswana’s institution of higher learning.”
He said whilst the department welcomes his appointment, the department will be poorer without him and the task of finding his replacement is daunting. He credited Fako for his counsel and humour, stating that Fako will confidently take the institution to greater heights in the fields of teaching, research and service to the nation.
Fako is the first Motswana citizen to be professor of Sociology with a commensurate record of research and publications. He pursued his university education in the United States where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with honours (magna cum laude) from Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri in 1974. He obtained a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Sociology from the University of Kentucky in Lexington in 1978 and a PhD in Sociology from the highest ranked Sociology Department in the USA at Madison Wisconsin in 1984. His PhD studies focused on Complex Organizations, and Medical Sociology.
Professor Fako has worked at the University of Botswana in various capacities since 1974 when he joined the then University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. He rose through the ranks and has held numerous positions, including lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor. He has held many responsibilities such as Head of Department, Dean of Student Affairs, Director of Continuing Education, etc. He was the first Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) when the position was established in 1995.