May 7, 2019

Last week Vanderbilt faculty and staff welcomed Adam Habib, Ph.D., M.Phil., vice chancellor and principal of University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) from Johannesburg, South Africa, to the Vanderbilt campus for discussions on partnership opportunities to create new, innovative programs and research initiatives.   

The three-day visit included a moderated discussion between Vanderbilt faculty members Brian Heuser, Ed.D., associate professor of the practice of international education policy in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations, Keith Weghorst, Ph.D., assistant professor of Political Science, and Dr. Habib. 

Dr. Habib drew upon his perspectives as a vice chancellor and social scientist to address a number of topics, including his time as a student activist in the days of apartheid, the role of universities in promoting social justice, the importance of thoughtful activism, and the need to engage political and social scientists to mobilize political will to deploy public health initiatives. He asked the audience to reimagine global academies and emphasized that collaborative and equitable partnerships are essential to addressing global health issues.

From the VUMC Reporter, "Habib’s visit is an important part of an emerging collaboration between two institutions with similar cultures and strengths, said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine."