14 November 2016
Dear colleagues and students
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Professor Loretta Feris will be appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Transformation with effect from 1 January 2017. She will be taking over the portfolio from Professor Anwar Mall, who has been acting in this capacity since the departure of Professor Crain Soudien at the end of August 2015. There will be opportunities later on to thank Professor Mall more fully for taking on the job of acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor. For now, I will simply say that I am grateful for the hard work, commitment and huge courage that he demonstrated in this challenging task.
Professor Feris's current focus has helped shape her for the transformation portfolio. She is a National Research Foundation-rated researcher whose research is aimed at shaping conversations around human rights, accountability and social justice, in particular environmental justice, both in South Africa and globally.
She received a Bachelor of Arts (Law) in 1988, a Bachelor of Law in 1990 and a Doctor of Law (LLD) in 2002, all from the University of Stellenbosch. In 1995 she received a Master of Law (LLM) degree from Georgetown University Law Center in the United States. She also received a diploma in alternative dispute resolution from the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa (AFSA) in 2008. Professor Feris was admitted as an attorney of the Cape High Court in 1992.
Before joining UCT she was Associate Professor of Law at the University of Pretoria, where she was instrumental in developing a master's programme on trade and investment law in Africa. Her career includes a stint at the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington DC, USA, first as International Legal Studies Fellow and later as Assistant Director of the International Legal Studies Program, Assistant Co-ordinator of the Humphrey Fellowship Program and Adjunct Professor of Law.
She joined UCT in 2009 as Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, where she is now Director of the Institute for Marine and Environmental Law. She currently lectures in pollution law and natural resources law as well as international environmental law. Professor Feris has served UCT in a number of positions. Within the Faculty of Law, she is the Chair of the Higher Degrees Committee and until last year she was the Director of Research, during which time she also served on the Faculty Management Board. She has been a member of the University Research Committee and was the Deputy Chair of UCT's Conference and Travel Committee from 2012 to 2015. She is currently the Chair of the Conference and Travel committee. She is also a member of the University-wide Selection Committee on Honorary Professors and Honorary Associate Professors. Until earlier this year she was the Vice-Chair of the Black Academic Caucus.
She advises the United Nations Environment Programme on priority areas for the environmental law agenda in respect of the Montevideo Programme IV process. She is a Law Commissioner of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and a member of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, where she served on the teaching and training committee (2007–2009) as well as on a task team on innovative teaching of environmental law (2009).
Please join me in welcoming Professor Feris to the Vice-Chancellor's Office and wishing her well as she takes up her new responsibilities.
Dr Max Price
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