is proof that good things come in threes

Dr Duane Aslett was appointed strategy officer in the office of the vice-chancellor, Prof Dan Kgwadi. He is following in the footsteps of Robert Kettles who retired last year.

This is how it happened: The first and best part of this sequence of happy events was the arrival of his baby boy, Dallas Joshua Aslett on 22 September 2020. Then, on 1 December, Duane started a new job as strategy officer in the office of the vice-chancellor, and moved to Heide women’s residence as newly appointed house master.


At the time that Dallas, their little bundle of joy, made his appearance, proud parents Duane and Tammy – a lecturer at the School of Music – were still staying at the Veritas men’s residence where Duane had been house master since 2011.


Taking the pulse of people and processes


Duane believes his experience as house master of Veritas and now Heide makes him ideal for the position of strategy officer, as he understands the expectations of students, as well as the challenges they face.


In addition to understanding students, his previous experience at the Mahikeng Campus and later at the Potchefstroom Campus gave him insight into the daily life of staff and the processes that keep the NWU’s wheels turning.


His stint at the Mahikeng Campus started in 2004, when he joined the campus as a lecturer in commercial law. During those years he also served on Senate, chaired the Student Disciplinary Committee and was one of the campus’s representatives in the drafting of the first language policy of the NWU.


A slight change in direction came when he moved to Potchefstroom in 2007, where he started lecturing in criminal law at the newly established programme in forensic accountancy.


Duane believes his experience with staff and students at two of our three campuses will be extremely valuable in his new position.


Also coming in handy are the problem-solving skills he gained before joining the NWU. Serving in the South African Police Service, the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa and a PricewaterhouseCoopers commercial forensic practice prepared him for the challenges he may face as strategy officer.


Tackling challenges from the hot seat


Following in the footsteps of former strategy officer Robert Kettles, Duane has his work cut out for him.


“My immediate goal will be to help steer the NWU through the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has brought, as it could potentially derail the NWU’s strategy and prevent us from reaching our goals,” he says.


With his career path preparing him for this moment it seems as if Duane is ready to handle the hot seat with great competence and keep the NWU on track in realising its strategy.

A new baby, a new job, a new home. This is the hat trick of good news Dr Duane Aslett experienced in 2020.


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