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Academic Baby Boomer Association (ABBA) is the brainchild of Jimmy Wayland, CEO of Executive ABAC Talenting (Pty) Ltd. (trading as Academic Partners and Executive Partners), a business that has evolved over more than 30 years to serve the executive and senior management level recruitment needs of higher education institutions (HEI’s) in South Africa. In the course of these activities it has become increasingly evident that strict retirement policies in HEI’s are creating a significant pool of highly-skilled retired academic and executive managers, which South Africa has been unable to replace within the available timespan. Over the past 12-18 months, a small team of committed individuals has brought the initial idea to fruition with the formation of Academic Baby Boomers Association, a non-profit company, aimed at addressing both the needs of retired academic and senior managers to remain active- and HEI’s and related research organisations seeking specialised skills as consultants and mentors.

One major government initiative that recognises this challenge is the new Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP), driven by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). nGAP is a funding initiative to develop and meet equity goals, based on academic merit, and institutional and national priorities linked to the transformational agenda of the Staffing South Africa's Universities Framework (SSAUF), which guides the selection of those qualifying for nGAP consideration. All nGAP academics are assigned a mentor for the duration of their participation in the programme (http://www.dhet.gov.za/ssauf/home.html). The nGAP mentor's role includes keeping close track of agreed developmental milestones and plans. Mentors are envisaged to be experienced and successful academics. If necessary, recently-retired academics may be contracted as mentors.

ABBA Advertisement

An Academic Partners’ advertisement (above) appeared in the Sunday Times in June 2015 and was placed initially to measure an interest of retired academics in establishing such an association. The advertisement received an overwhelming response, which led to Academic Partners hosting several breakfast meetings around the country, to gain inputs for drafting of an initial concept document for the establishment of what was to become ABBA.

Jimmy Wayland then embarked on establishing ABBA, as a formal association. A meeting between possible directors took place at the Sheraton Hotel, Pretoria on Thursday, 28 January 2016, followed by telephone conferences between the potential directors in February 2016, resulting in appointment of Jimmy Wayland and Jonathan Youngleson as directors. Gary Atkinson-Hope joined as director in April 2016.

Through its on-going commitment to address the skills shortages of academics in South Africa, Academic Partners hosted a ‘Participlan’ planning session in Cape Town led by Peter Thomas in April 2016, the outputs of which led to the drafting of a ABBA Business Plan/Case and Marketing Plan. At the first meeting of the directors it was agreed to establish ABBA according to the Timmons model for New Venture Creation illustrated here below:


Opportunity Jimmy Wayland (through Academic Partners) identified a need to provide retired academics on a service basis to the higher education sector to address the critical shortages of trained and experienced academics. To this end, he has held a number of meetings in the major centres of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. As a result of these meetings, and through the offices of EAT, the Non-Profit Company of ABBA has been officially registered as the business entity to house retired academics. (Please see company details below)*.
Resources Approximately 60 retired academics, identified through ABBA advertising, have indicated a willingness to participate in the new venture. Initially, these 60 or so retired academics will form the cohort of human resources that will be made available by ABBA to applicable institutions.. Further promotions by ABBA will increase these human resources, thereby increasing ABBA’s overall capability to serve its aligned markets.

The initial cost of advertising and holding the meetings has been carried by Academic Partners. Further meetings identified a need to obtain seed funding to carry the new venture forward.
Team Initially the team will comprise the three directors, Jimmy Wayland, Jonathan Youngleson, and Gary Atkinson-Hope. One of the first task(s) of this core management group was to establish a business case for the new venture and also to set up an ABBA non-profit company registered with CIPC (Ref: K2016129156) dated 22 March, 2016, under the directorship of Jimmy Wayland, Jonathan Youngleson and Gary Atkinson-Hope.

ABBA is now embarking on a seed-funding campaign to build the company, and we welcome your positive proposals in this regard.


Purpose of ABBA


To give a voice to its member group of retired academics and professionals with HEI work experience wishing to continue their useful employment years beyond the mandatory retirement age of 65, through assignment of the ABBA member to various institutions within and on the periphery of higher education.


Management Board


Name Position Highest Qual. Years in Related Sector Years Managing a Business
Dr Jonathan Youngleson (CEO) Founding Director PhD ±15 Years ±15 Years
Prof Gary Atkinson-Hope (Dr) Founding Director PhD ±35 ±15 Years
Jimmy Wayland Founding Director M+3 ±38 Years ±30 Years
To be appointed Calling for Nominees
To be appointed Calling for Nominees

Advisory Board


Name Position Highest Qual. Years in Related Sector Highlights
Prof Jonathan Jansen Advisory Board Member PhD 40+ Years Rector of University of the Free State
Prof Dave Woods Advisory Board Member PhD 40+ Years Rector (retired) of Rhodes University
To be appointed Calling for Nominees
To be appointed Calling for Nominees

As a member of ABBA, you will both have a voice and opportunity to remain a useful contributor to the academic community of South Africa for many years to come. membership is free for the first year, so do join up and make our future together.