AFRICA University’s fourth Vice-Chancellor, Professor Munashe Furusa, who died on Wednesday after a short illness, was buried yesterday in Shurugwi.
Prof Furusa’s family could not disclose the cause of the academic’s death.
He joined Africa University in July 2014 as its fourth Vice Chancellor and immediately began focusing on high-impact learning, the student experience, excellence, innovation and accountability.
In a statement yesterday, Africa University said he led the students and staff with vision, empathy and great energy in ensuring that Africa University offered a broadly accessible, high-quality education that equipped leaders with the skills and desire to help fashion a more humane, just and sustainable world.
“As we mourn a great leader who inspired, motivated and moved all of us to become the best versions of ourselves, we cherish the memories, transformative work, and powerful moments we were honoured to share with him.”
Prof Furusa is survived by his wife, four children and two grandchildren.
He held a PhD in African Literature and Critical Theory, a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts Honours in English, all from the University of Zimbabwe, as well as a Diploma in Education from Bondolfi Teacher’s College in Masvingo.
He was a first generation college student and the first in his family to earn an MSc and PhD.
Under his leadership, Africa University experienced dramatic transformation including the comprehensive restructuring of its seven teaching units into three colleges.
This leaner structure immediately yielded positive results that saw the university winning major research grants and being ranked second best in the country as well as receiving numerous national and continental awards for excellence in the higher education sector.
Prof Furusa also established public/private partnerships that provided internships and job opportunities for students and the business enterprise development arm of the university.