NEW DIRECTOR: Dr Randall Jonas
NELSON Mandela Metropolitan University is pleased to welcome Dr Randall Jonas on board as the new Business School Director.
Dr Jonas, who assumed duty yesterday (9 January 2016), brings with him a wealth of business and education experience to NMMU. He is also no stranger to the University, having previously served on the NMMU Council and NMMU Trust with distinction, and is currently President of NMMU Alumni Association.
Dr Jonas is honoured to lead the Business School and says he is aware that his new role also comes with huge responsibility.
“As Director of the Business School I am privileged to be a partner in business education services as a catalyst specifically for business success and economic growth more generally. Needless to say, I am excited to be working for this exceptional university and, in particular, to be part of the Business School team,” he said.
Dr Jonas will work closely with NMMU’s Executive Dean of Economic Sciences, Dr Ismail Lagardien, using his extensive business experience to strengthen the faculty’s vision that of being an active and engaged faculty at the cutting edge of teaching, learning and research that contributes to real socio-economic solutions.
He boasts an elaborate curriculum vitae with more than 35 years’ working experience in both public and private sectors, including many years as Chief Executive Officer of the Eastcape Training Centre (ETC) and Private FET College, where he served industry and commerce in the development of critical skills.
Dr Jonas has proven leadership and managerial skills and has led numerous public and private sector institutions. He has a commendable record of leading successful turnaround strategies in non-profit organisations and established best practices in corporate governance.
In his new role, Dr Jonas aims to continue building on the successes of the Business School, which he said had done exceptionally well in its short existence.
“In a very short time it has established its reputation, relevance and value by being abreast of a changing world. I believe that it provides a sound basis to continue in my role to lead the Business School as an engaged entity that is in tune with current and future challenges and opportunities,” he said.
“I believe that business schools in general have an important role to play in society. Through their research and education programmes, they are able to influence the management and leadership of organisations. Our country, with an emerging economy, requires business leaders who are in tune with the contexts.
“The NMMU Business School shall continue to offer relevant and value-adding programmes in order to make a meaningful contribution to business in general and in particular to socio- economic challenges facing our continent. We live in a changing world and the Business School shall offer programmes that are utilitarian and relevant to the development challenges of South Africa.”
He said while adapting to the ever-changing business trends, the Business School should also be at the cutting edge of research and “lead the pack”.
“Some of the new trends in business education place a high premium on entrepreneurship education, corporate responsibility, sustainability, innovation, strategy, etc. The Business School will, through its value proposition, continue to add value to our clients,” he said.
Dr Jonas has also demonstrated experience in generating third stream income, which has become key for South African universities in light of the threat to financial sustainability as highlighted by the calls for free higher education.
He has become widely known for selling his vision and getting staff to buy into it, effectively working towards a unified end goal.
Of Dr Jonas’s appointment, Dr Lagardien said: “Dr Randall Jonas will lead the Business School at an exciting time for Business and Economics Sciences at NMMU. His wealth of experience and his deeply moored knowledge base will significantly strengthen the vision of Business and Economics Sciences Faculty.
“Early in December, the Business School received confirmation of its MBA accreditation from the International Accreditation Advisory Board of the Association of MBAs. Under Dr Jonas’ leadership, and with the dedicated team in place within the Business School, will strengthen the scope of our MBA, expand our collaboration with our business and community partners in the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) and in the Eastern Cape and nationally.”
Dr Jonas holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the Western Cape, a Higher Diploma in Education (HDE), a Masters in Sociology (University of Port Elizabeth) and a doctorate specialising in organisational management from NMMU.
He spent 26 years as an educator at Chapman High School, working his way up to headmaster from 1998 until he left the school in 2006. From there he headed the ETC and, in 2012, he started a company Symposia (Pty) as a subsidiary of the ETC Group to commercialise business opportunities such as conferencing, catering, corporate training and motor vehicle repairs.
He has demonstrated networking, engagement and relationship management skills as evidenced by a wide range of professional and community involvement activities such as his work with the University, Eastern Cape Education Advisory Council, Centre for Integrated Post School Education and Training (CIPSET) and the national body for private tertiary education and training providers APPETD.
His work in higher education has largely been recognised with numerous awards, including a national one for outstanding leadership in private tertiary education in 2009.
Dr Jonas’s appointment has been welcomed by organised business in the Metro, believing him to be the best man for the job.
Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber chief executive Kevin Hustler congratulated Dr Jonas, saying the Business Chamber looked forward to working with him in strengthening a longstanding partnership with the Business School.
“Dr Jonas is a prime example of the high calibre of individuals, who remain in Nelson Mandela Bay to make a difference in the city. He has served the city for over a decade as President of the NMMU Alumni Association and as CEO and Director of Eastcape Training Centre,” he said.
“We are delighted with his appointment and we wish him well in the new position.”
National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (Nafcoc) regional secretary Mandla Msizi said Dr Jonas was very deserving of his new role.
“He is a great visionary and very clear when it comes to business. He has been greatly understanding when it comes to business and he has always availed himself whenever there were challenges, working to turn things around,” he said.
“We believe he is the best man for the job and as Nafcoc, we have always supported his initiatives and will continue to do so even here.”
NMMU is proud to welcome Dr Jonas to this position at NMMU. We believe his experience and expertise will help further grow the NMMU Business School and Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences.