Cape Town - University of Pretoria Vice-Chancellor Professor Tawana Kupe will receive an honorary doctorate from Michigan State University (MSU) for his notable role in media studies and journalism and many other achievements.
Announcing the accolade, the MSU said Prof Kupe was a scholar of media studies and journalism, having notable records in publication and activism.
He has worked on several books outlining recommendations for public access to media across Africa. In addition, he is chairperson of the board of Media
Monitoring Africa, an entity dedicated to media accountability and promoting the role of the media as an institution integral to sustaining democracy.
Prof Kupe is a leader in providing quality education to more than 53,000 students at UP.
“Kupe previously served at the University of Witwatersrand as the executive dean of the Wits Faculty of Humanities. While there, he led several new initiatives, including the creation of the Media Studies Department and development of the Wits Arts and Literature Experience,” MSU said in a statement.
Prof Kupe will be introduced by Stephen Hsu, Senior Vice-President for Research and Innovation. He will be hooded by Hsu and Interim Provost Teresa Sullivan.
MSU is regarded as the USA’s pioneer land-grant university and is the first institute of higher learning to teach scientific agriculture.
It is a comprehensive university with more than 50,000 students, more than 10,000 enrolled for masters and PhD programmes, more than 20 percent students of colour, the majority of which are African or African-American.
More than 13 percent of the total student population comprises international students.
MSU and UP have a history of partnership, including faculty and student exchanges. One focus has been agriculture and food security, with programmes such as the MSU-led Feed the Future USAID Innovation Lab for Food Security and the International Food Policy Research Institute.
The MSU-UP collaboration has also included a focus on culture and language.
Prof Kupe said: “I am deeply honoured to be recognised by Michigan State University for my work on the media across Africa, media activism and innovative university leadership.”
Referring to UP’s partnership with MSU in the area of food security, Prof Kupe said UP has a strong focus on sustainable agriculture and food.
“Furthermore, our Faculty of Veterinary Science is a driver of food production, because South Africa is food insecure and we need to make farms productive.”