Director hits ground running

23 May 2007 | Story by Helen Swingler

Charles Khotso Raphoto is new director of Student Housing and Residence Life.

Charles Khotso Raphoto, new director of Student Housing and Residence Life reminds one of a juggler. A varied portfolio means several balls in the air at once: students, academics, administrators, contractors, staff.

Taking the helm at the beginning of May, Raphoto came at a turbulent time. The department had been without a director for some months and restructuring was necessary.

'But it's been an exciting, new opportunity to craft something that will work for the students and for the university,' said the human resources management specialist.

Born in Soweto, Raphoto studied in the Eastern Cape, returning to Johannesburg to complete an MBA. He has worked for a spread of companies, including a stint as a human resources executive for a chemical manufacturer.

Student housing, with its tiered model of accommodation (from first-years to postgraduates), has become a sophisticated operation. More than merely placing students in rooms and residences, housing reflects the university's strategic goals. Postgraduates, for example.

For some time now UCT has been building its postgraduate cohort, senior students whose residence needs are different and must be managed differently, Raphoto believes.

'Residence life is the value-added aspect of a university,' he says. 'And it can give UCT a competitive edge.'

That aside, he's looking forward to opportunities in Mama City. He's a keen runner and attractions like the Baxter Theatre are also right on his doorstep.

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