- 01 March 2016
BIUST MAKES HISTORY WITH THE INAUGURATION OF THE FIRST MOTSWANA VICE CHANCELLOR, Prof Otlogetswe Totolo
September 2, 2016, marked yet another important milestone in the history of the nation of Botswana and The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), as the first Motswana, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo was inaugurated as the Vice Chancellor. The inauguration was performed by the Former President of the Republic of Botswana, His Excellency, Dr. Festus Gontebanye Mogae who is also the Chancellor of BIUST. Among other distinguished guests who graced the event were; the Chairperson of BIUST Council, Mr. Bernard Bolele, the Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, Hon. Fidelis Molao, Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Hon. Nonofo E Molefhi, Minister of Lands and Housing Hon. Prince Maele and the Member of Prliament for Palapye Hon. Moiseraele Goya who is also Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, BIUST Council Members. Members of the diplomatic corps were also in attendance, one of whom was Her Excellency Ms. Jean W Kimani- Kenya High Commissioner to Botswana. Other guests included the local authorities, former politicians, traditional leaders, top government officials and chief executive officers from the parastatals and the private sector.
In his welcome remarks, BIUST Council Chairperson, Mr. Bernard Bolele hailed Professor Totolo as an internationally acclaimed Professor of repute. He further declared that his first task when he ascended to the chairpersonship of the BIUST Council was to identify someone who could lead the university to realizing its vision and mission of becoming a premier research-intensive university of Science, Engineering and Technology; someone who could lead BIUST into developing a sound Strategic Plan. According to him, all these have been achieved in a short time. “I am happy that, I and BIUST Council have achieved this assignment within the shortest possible time and have identified an internationally acclaimed Professor Totolo” said Mr Bolele.
In his citation the BIUST Chancellor Dr. Gontebanye Mogae described Professor Totolo as an outstanding and seasoned university administrator, a brilliant scholar and an internationally renowned Soil Scientist. Not only did he hail Professor Totolo as a well-renowned scientist, but also as the first Motswana to be appointed to the office of Vice Chancellorship at BIUST. Mogae also lauded Professor Totolo for the wealth of experience that he brings to BIUST as he has served in various key positions prior to joining BIUST. Notably, Professor Totolo served as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) and professor of Environmental Science, (soil science specifically). He was also Director of the Center for Scientific Research, Indigenous Knowledge and Innovation (Cesrlki), Dean of Faculty of Science, Head of Environmental Science at the University of Botswana and other numerous positions that he served in.
Like any other Motswana child, Professor Totolo rose from a very humble Setswana background to a protuberant scholar. He obtained his Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) at the University of Botswana, Master of Science (MSc) at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at the University of London (UK).
In his acceptance speech, Professor Totolo did not hide his excitement and gratitude for his appointment as Vice Chancellor at BIUST. “I am conscious that the position of Vice Chancellorship is awesome and it is particularly significant for me as an individual. If it is destiny that has accorded me this highest academic elevation, then I bow and off my hat in humble adoration” he said.
He also vowed to dedicate his entire energy to ensuring that BIUST realises its vision and mission of being a premier research-intensive university of Science, Engineering and Technology. Professor went on to implore Batswana to replicate what they did to the University of Botswana by contributing towards its construction. His own belief is that if all contribute anything in any measure, BIUST may grow and realise its vision and mission within the shortest possible time. “It is a great honour for me to deliver this address to you today at my inauguration as the third Vice Chancellor of this bubbling institution – a university that has many opportunities and responsibilities, said Prof. Totolo.
Follow the link to access the VC Inaugural Speech (2 Sep 2016)...