Update on executive appointments

05 March 2019 | From Kgethi

Dear colleagues and students

We are continuing with the process of filling a number of vacant posts in the Leadership Lekgotla. I write to provide an update on the various recruitment processes that are under way.

I am pleased to announce that at the beginning of March we welcomed two new colleagues to the Leadership Lekgotla – one as a substantive appointment and the other in an acting capacity.

Dean: Humanities

Associate Professor Shose Kessi has been appointed as the acting dean of the Faculty of Humanities with effect from 1 March until a substantive dean is appointed to the position.

Currently serving as associate professor in the Department of Psychology and having been deputy dean of transformation in the Faculty of Humanities since 2018, she is also the founder and the first chairperson of the UCT Black Academic Caucus. She was appointed to the Special Executive Task Team in 2016 and the University Strategic Forum a year later.

Associate Professor Kessi is also a member of the University Employment Equity Forum, the Transformation Forum, the Institutional Forum and the Senate. At faculty level, she is part of the Faculty Executive, the Humanities Staffing Committee and the Humanities Dean’s Advisory Committee. She has served as the chair of the Humanities Transformation Committee since 2016.

Her qualifications include a PhD in Social Psychology and an MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology with distinction (both from the London School of Economics and Political Science), with her Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration having been obtained at the Wits Business School.

Associate Professor Kessi takes over from Professor David Wardle, who served as acting dean until 28 February 2019. We thank Professor Wardle for providing leadership to the faculty since his appointment to the position in December 2017.

The recruitment process for this post continues. The composition of the selection committee has been approved and the selection committee is scheduled to meet for the first time this month.

Dean: Science

As announced earlier this year, Professor Maano Ramutsindela, the former deputy dean of operations and professor in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, started his term as the new dean of the Faculty of Science on 1 March. He succeeded Professor Susan Bourne, who was the interim dean from 1 January 2018. We express our appreciation to Professor Bourne for serving the faculty during this period.

Since the beginning of the year, we have welcomed four other new colleagues to the Leadership Lekgotla.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation

Professor Kevin Naidoo took over in an acting capacity from 1 January 2019. The process to appoint a substantive deputy vice-chancellor is currently at the open presentations and interview phase, with the dates yet to be confirmed.

Chief Operations Officer

Dr Reno Morar, the former deputy dean for Health Services in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), formally moved into the chief operations officer (COO) post with effect from 1 February 2019. Dr Morar had previously been allocating 40% of his time to the COO role and 60% to the FHS post during the transitionary period.

Dean: Law

Professor Danwood Chirwa took over as the new dean in the Faculty of Law on 1 January 2019, having served as the deputy dean for postgraduate studies in the faculty.

Executive Director: Libraries

Ms Ujala Satgoor joined UCT as the new executive director for Libraries, taking up the position from 1 January 2019. Ms Satgoor was the director of library services at Rhodes University.

We once again welcome these colleagues to the Leadership Lekgotla.

The recruitment processes for other posts at senior management level are ongoing.

Dean: Centre for Higher Education Development

The acting period of Associate Professor Alan Cliff ended on 30 November 2018 after he had taken over in September 2018. He was subsequently appointed as interim dean from 1 December 2018 until 31 December 2019. The recruitment process for a substantive dean is yet to get under way.

Dean: Health Sciences

The recruitment process has commenced through initiating the nominations and elections process for constituents on the committee. Professor Carolyn Williamson will remain in an acting capacity until 30 September 2019.

Director: Graduate School of Business

The process is at the open presentation and interview phase, with the presentation and interview dates scheduled for April 2019. Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran will be serving as the acting director until a substantive appointment is made.

Executive Director: Research

The current executive director, Dr Marilet Sienaert, is retiring at the end of the year. We will, later in the year, have an opportunity to thank Dr Sienaert and acknowledge the contribution she has made to UCT. The recruitment process for her successor has commenced through the initiating of the nominations and elections process for constituents on the committee.

We will continue working to fill the vacant senior positions as speedily as possible, while still following the requisite processes.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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