Update on executive appointments and changes in SLG and SETT

25 October 2016 | Story by Newsroom

25 October 2016

Dear colleagues and students

I am writing to update you on a number of appointments and changes in the Senior Leadership Group (SLG) and Special Executive Task Team (SETT) of the University of Cape Town. I recognise that the timing of this announcement is not ideal, with the university experiencing unprecedented events. However, many of these changes commenced before 19 September and it is important to formally alert UCT to these changes.

Appointment of acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning

Professor Daya Reddy has been appointed by Council to be acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Teaching and Learning with effect from 1 January 2017. He will take over the portfolios of Professor Sandra Klopper, whose term will expire at the end of December 2016.

There will be another opportunity closer to the end of her term to thank Professor Klopper for her dedication and hard work. For now, I just want to signal my deep appreciation for her loyal commitment to UCT and to her significant contributions through her wide-ranging portfolios, which covered teaching and learning, properties and services, planning and budgeting (including the austerity planning) and much more.

I am delighted that Professor Daya Reddy has agreed to stand in as acting DVC until the post is filled. Professor Reddy joined UCT in 1979 as a lecturer, jointly in the departments of Civil Engineering and Applied Mathematics. He was appointed Professor of Applied Mathematics in 1989, and to the South African Research Chair in Computational Mechanics in 2006. He holds an A rating from the National Research Foundation.

Professor Reddy has considerable leadership experience relevant to this appointment. He has served at UCT as Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics from 1989 to 1994, as Dean of the Faculty of Science from 1999 to 2005, and two periods as acting DVC (five months in 2002 and nine months in 2008/2009). He was elected by Senate to serve on the UCT Council from 1996 to 1999 and from 2002 to 2008.

Professor Reddy is President-elect of the International Council for Science and has just completed a four-year term as President of the Academy of Science of South Africa. Read Prof Reddy's abridged CV...

Our next DVC: Research and Internationalisation has arrived and is settling in

I have previously announced the appointment of Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng to be the next DVC: Research and Internationalisation. She joined UCT on 1 July 2016 as DVC designate. She will be taking over the portfolio from Professor Danie Visser, who will be retiring at the end of 2016. This allows a six-month handover period. Professor Phakeng is joining UCT from the University of South Africa, where she was Vice-Principal for Research and Innovation. For more information about her extensive academic background, please read Prof Phakeng's abridged CV...

Update on the appointment of DVC: Transformation

The process for appointing a DVC: Transformation is under way. The selection committee sent a recommendation to Senate, which Senate approved. The recommendation will now be forwarded to Council.

Appointment of Director of the UCT Graduate School of Business

Associate Professor Mills Soko has been appointed Director of the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) with effect from the beginning of the 2017 academic year. He will take over from Professor Walter Baets, who left the GSB at the end of July this year. I would like to thank Professor Geoff Bick, who is acting Director of the GSB until Associate Professor Soko assumes his post.

Associate Professor Soko earned a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree from UCT in 1992. Soon thereafter he worked for a year as a research assistant with UCT's Equal Opportunities Research Project. From 1994 to 1995 he was employed by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa as a researcher on parliamentary affairs, monitoring and preparing reports on the work of parliamentary committees in South Africa's first democratic national legislature.

In 1996 he joined the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) – the upper house of the South African Parliament – as a researcher to the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs, and Public Enterprises. During this period he completed a master's degree in international studies through the University of Stellenbosch. This was followed by his appointment as Head of Policy and Legislative Research in the NCOP, where he oversaw and coordinated the work of committee researchers.

Subsequently he resumed his academic studies and obtained a master's degree in international political economy from the University of Warwick, UK. In 2004 he completed a PhD on the political economy of trade policy reform in post-apartheid South Africa at the same university.

He was appointed at the GSB as a senior lecturer in 2006 and promoted to Associate Professor of International Political Economy in 2010.

He is a research associate of both the South African Institute of International Affairs and the Institute for Global Dialogue. He previously chaired the board of trustees of Inyathelo (The South African Institute of Advancement), and is a member of the Evian Group's Brains Trust. He is also a member of the Africa Business Network. He is the former deputy chairperson of the editorial board of New Agenda, as well as a member of the editorial boards of Global Governance and Africagrowth Agenda.

He previously chaired a working group on education and employment under the auspices of the Africa–Germany Partnership, an initiative of the former president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Horst Köhler. He was also a member of the Warwick Commission on the Future of the Multilateral Trading System.

Associate Professor Soko has supervised 52 MBA research dissertations since 2006. He is currently supervising three PhD theses. He has a wide range of working links with the business community, including government and multinational organisations, and international working links in business and higher education. He has published 11 papers and articles in peer-reviewed journals, seven chapters in books, and many research papers, policy reports and publications of a popular nature, and articles in newspapers and magazines.
Read Prof Soko's CV...

Appointment of Dr Shose Kessi to the Special Executive Task Team

The Special Executive Task Team (SETT) works with multiple stakeholders across campus to anticipate and defuse tensions, ensure good communication with the campus community when events are moving rapidly, and ensure maintenance of a safe environment for all. The task team is led by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) Professor Francis Petersen. Other members include acting DVC Professor Anwar Mall; Dr Russell Ally, Executive Director (ED): Development and Alumni Department; Mr Roland September, Director: Risk Management in the Properties and Services Department; and Ms Gerda Kruger, ED: Communication and Marketing Department.

Dr Shose Kessi has been appointed to serve as a member of SETT. She replaces Associate Professor Elelwani Ramugondo who was a member of SETT while she served a 12-month term as the VC's Special Advisor on Transformation. Associate Professor Ramugondo is now returning to her academic duties in the Department of Occupational Therapy in the Faculty of Health Sciences. I would like to thank her for her energy and care in assisting me and the university in thinking through transformation and engaging with many groups on campus on transformation issues. Although I have not appointed a VC's Special Advisor to replace Associate Professor Ramugondo, I have asked Dr Kessi to join SETT.

Dr Kessi is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at UCT. Her research centres on decoloniality and social change. A key focus is the development of PhotoVoice methodology as a participatory action research method that can raise consciousness and mobilise community groups into social action. She has written on race, class and gender identities and how these impact on participation in social change. Dr Kessi completed her PhD in 2010 at the London School of Economics (LSE) and was the Mandela fellow at the WEB DuBois Research Institute, Hutchins Centre, Harvard University, USA, for 2014. She is one of the founding members of the UCT Black Academic Caucus. She has also been appointed chair of the Humanities Faculty Transformation Committee. Read Dr Kessi's abridged CV...

I invite you to join me in welcoming our colleagues to their appointments and thanking those who are leaving us for their dedication and support.

The executive looks forward to working with our new colleagues.


Dr Max Price

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