THE UCT Council has extended the contracts of two senior officers, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin West, and Registrar Hugh Amoore, for a further five years.
This is the second time West has been invited to renew his contract with UCT and is an indication of the high esteem in which he is held within the UCT community. As a UCT alumnus (he enrolled for a BA in 1964 and obtained his PhD in the early '70s), West joined UCT as a lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology in 1971. He was appointed as Professor of Social Anthropology in 1978, and as a Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 1991.
West has overseen some significant challenges. "Each year seems to have brought different challenges," he commented. "In the early days it was probably managing the implications of the rapid transformation of the student body, with concomitant sit-ins, protests and marches but also constructive if robust debates and discussions! The two worker strikes were very demanding. Then dealing with the University Transformation Forum and its work, as different sectors came from such different positions, was also a challenge. More recently taking over the temporary Deanship of Humanities in a crisis situation was a formidable task."
West's decision to tackle another five-year term at UCT is based on his enjoyment of "the variety and challenges of the job". "I feel that I can make an important contribution in what will be a crucial period facing us over the next few years."
He says he has been fortunate to list many highlights during his "tenure". "To name a few: being part of the successful transformation of the student body and working with some extraordinary staff and students in making that happen. The successful negotiation through the Transformation Forum of various contested issues. Being involved in the post-1994 internationalisation of the campus, and in particular, being able to forge useful links with other African countries. Helping the University Library to move from a dispirited and divided institution into the pride that it is today, and latterly, assisting the Humanities Faculty to turn a particularly nasty corner."
Amoore is described as "having the most amazing knowledge of UCT" and is a source of many interesting anecdotes. His skills as an administrator and probably due, in part, to his skills as a speed reader. He graduated from UCT in 1973 and was employed at the University as an administrative assistant a month later. He was appointed Senior Administrative Officer in 1976 and Planning Officer two years later. By 1984 he had become Deputy Registrar and Academic Secretary. Three years later he achieved the status of "youngest-ever" Registrar at UCT.