New publications written by Goodenough Alumni (summer 2024)

Statues and Storms: leading through change by Max Price  (Tafelberg, August 2023)

Max Price was in residence at the College from September 2018 to September 2019 during which his main project was to start writing Statues and Storms.

Max was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT) for a decade that spanned a watershed period in higher education in South Africa. From 2015 to 2017, triggered by the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) protest at UCT, the universities across South Africa experienced the most sustained, disruptive and at times violent protests. RMF’s global ripples have contributed to the removal of statues, symbols and names on campuses worldwide. On South African campuses, the movement has compelled a deep re-examination of their institutional cultures. Following RMF, the Fees Must Fall protests shook up the funding of South Africa’s universities and also led to a reversal of outsourcing at many. However, the Fallist movement fragmented and degenerated into an extended series of destructive storms that threatened to ruin universities.

Statues and Storms is a memoir about leading a university in turbulent times and back to safe harbour. It is an insider’s view of the protests, an attempt to explain what happened, and why the decolonising protests erupted at liberal universities two decades after the transition to democracy. It is about leadership and the tough decisions leaders have to make, especially in times of rapid transformation. Finally, it is a reflection on some enduring themes in academia that were in the eye of the storms – academic freedom, artistic freedom, limits of the rights to protest and civil disobedience, institutional culture, racism and inclusiveness, funding higher education, outsourcing and a few more.

“Max Price’s book is a fascinating and invaluable chronicle of the recent student protests at the University of Cape Town. At the same time, it is a thoughtful meditation on the values of universities and the meaning of leadership under fire with relevance far beyond South Africa’s borders.” (Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University, 2007-2018)