Chancellor’s farewell and other updates

13 December 2019 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues

This campus announcement aims to inform members of the University of Cape Town (UCT) community about:

1. Chancellor’s farewell and ongoing graduation ceremonies

Outgoing UCT Chancellor, Mrs Graça Machel, was honoured at a special graduation ceremony on 12 December 2019. Mrs Machel presided over her last graduation ceremonies on the day, having served for two decades in her ambassadorial role. She concludes her term at the end of this year.

The summer graduation season will see UCT also conferring three honorary degrees during the ceremonies: renowned scholar Professor Jonathan Jansen, world-leading biochemical engineer Dr Georges Belfort, and leading scientist in molecular genetics and biochemistry Dr Marlene Belfort. Speakers for this graduation season include Professor Peter Zilla, Mr Abbas Jamie, Mr Sandras Phiri and Dr Dumani Kula.

2. Proposal on the December period

At its meeting on Saturday, 7 December 2019, Council took a decision not to approve a proposal that the period between Christmas and New Year should (1) be a paid holiday in 2019 and (2) a paid holiday on a permanent basis as a change in conditions of service for all staff. Council felt the proposal was too ad hoc and instead asked that the University Human Resources Committee considers this matter further, and specifically review the proposal for leave granted within the context of a review of the current staff leave policy.

3. New learning management system

UCT’s new learning management system, SuccessFactors Learning, is a one-stop shop where staff members can browse the learning and development catalogue for courses and workshops, book online, view course progress and load their own learning history. Available courses – such as those offered by the Staff Learning Centre, Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS), Occupational Health and Safety, Student Systems Support, and Finance – can now be booked through the new platform. Over 200 items are already available, either for online learning now or for courses in 2020. More options will be introduced early next year.

4. Get your data and IT in order before the holidays

If you’re taking some time off, leaving UCT or retiring, you may want to get your IT in order before departing.

5. Report on the last UCT Council meeting of 2019

The UCT Council met for the fourth and last time this year on Saturday, 7 December 2019. The Chair of Council, Mr Sipho M Pityana, has written to the campus community to provide feedback on some of the key items discussed and key decisions taken at the meeting.

6. UCT celebrates staff excellence

The university recently celebrated the UCT Annual Awards 2019. These awards recognise staff members who have served the UCT community with exceptional loyalty, excellence and passion, and whose work makes a tangible difference to the students, colleagues and other stakeholders served by the institution.

7. Taking action against GBV

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children ended this week on 10 December. However, the fight against this scourge continues. We need to take constructive action, not just for these 16 days, but every day. Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has challenged especially the men in the UCT community to commit to changes in behaviour and attitudes that contribute to gender-based violence.


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