UP relaunches Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership as Institute

Posted on June 04, 2021

The University of Pretoria’s (UP) Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership (ALCRL) has repositioned itself as the Albert Luthuli Leadership Institute (ALLI). The move is part of the celebration of its 10-year anniversary and to commemorate 60 years since Chief Albert Luthuli became the first African to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Located in the Department of Business Management in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, the Institute has been responsible for the development of future leaders through its activities in research, teaching and academic citizenship. Its aim is to think critically about leadership in the context of large-scale complex problems that the world is facing today.

During the virtual relaunch Professor Derick de Jongh, Founding Director of the ALCRL, explained the repositioning. “A Centre is mandated by a refined, limited scope and impact, whereas an Institute’s mandate is much broader, and includes inter- and transdisciplinary research that spans boundaries between academic disciplines and faculty borders. The vision of this Institute is to reimagine leadership; this is in support of UP’s larger reimagining strategies. The mission of the Institute remains the same: to develop the next generation of leaders in support of social and environmental justice.”

Sandile Luthuli, grandson of Albert and Nokukhanya Luthuli; UP Vice-Chancellor Professor Tawana Kupe; Professor Derick de Jongh, Founding Director of the ALCRL; and UP’s Dr Olebogeng Selebi, communications lecturer.

Sandile Luthuli, grandson of Albert and Nokukhanya Luthuli, said the journey to the ALLI has been a gratifying one, and that he has watched the Institute grow under the auspices of Prof Derick de Jongh and his team. “Ten years ago, we had no expectations that ALLI would grow to such soaring heights,” he said. “By endorsing and now elevating the Centre into an Institute, UP is playing a pivotal role in civil activism. The academic and research work that is being undertaken at ALLI will go a long way in instilling the principles and values mentioned today. UP is playing its role in a practical and demonstrable way in strengthening the governance of our institutions. On behalf of the Luthuli family, all we can do is offer our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to UP for honouring Chief Luthuli in a manner that reflects his lifelong work, and the principles and values that he lived by as well as the society that he dreamt of.”  

UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe said the University is extremely excited about the renaming and repositioning, which will allow the Institute to work across faculty borders and actively pursue collaborative research and teaching. “The newly formed Institute will place the following strategic workstreams at its core: leadership in context – focusing on expanding the theory on responsible leadership and leadership in collaboration; leadership in development – integrating existing work on leadership and the Sustainable Development Goals [SGDs] through the South African SDG Hub, hosted by the Institute; and leadership in accountability – focusing on the role of leadership in shaping alternative accounting principles in support of social and environmental justice.”

“At the Centre, we always sought to understand leadership in the context of a sustainable future, a future that often seems bleak,” added Prof De Jongh. “But our faith in the ingenuity of the human species in tackling these complex problems with vigilance remains. Over the past 10 years, we ended up positioning ourselves as critical leadership scholars; this approach has been both meaningful and insightful, with our endeavours resulting in impactful research and transformative learning experiences.”

He added that the quest of academics is to contribute to both the theory and practice of leadership. “Initially, the vision of the ALCRL was ‘leaders for good’, suggesting both leaders for time to come and leadership in the interest of the common good. The emphasis was on understanding responsibility in the context of a sustainable future. The ALLI was formerly established in November 2020; this repositioning will lead to a new thrust, enthusiasm and commitment to the purpose of our initial foundational arguments and conceptual pathways.”

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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