Dear colleagues and students
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Pura Mgolombane as the new Executive Director: Department of Student Affairs with effect from 1 February 2021. With over 20 years of experience working with students, he is an ideal person to lead such an integral department. He joins us from the University of the Free State (UFS), where he holds the position of Dean: Student Affairs.
Mr Mgolombane is well versed in higher education, having worked in student affairs at no less than six institutions of higher learning in South Africa. After starting his career in higher education at the then Technikon Pretoria (now Tshwane University of Technology) as a facilitator in student governance, he continued to show strategic insights, the ability to make decisions and leadership skills – which culminated in his appointment as Dean: Student Affairs at UFS in 2016. During his time at UFS, among other things, he was responsible for creating humanising conditions for students in their daily lived experiences that are critical for social justice, social cohesion and academic success. As a university that aims to help build leaders of the future, these experiences and insights are invaluable to UCT.
Having held positions such as Director: Student Affairs; Head of Department: Student Ethics and Judicial Services Department; Project Manager: Transformation and Diversity; and Manager: Diversity, Ethics and Social Justice at various top universities across the country, Mr Mgolombane also has a keen understanding of what it takes to manage a department responsible for students, who are the key stakeholders of a university.
Besides his many career accomplishments, Mr Mgolombane holds numerous academic qualifications, including a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in corporate law, a PGDip in applied ethics for professionals, an honours degree in employment relations, a Master of Commerce in business management and a Master of Arts in diversity studies. These qualifications not only enhance his ability to engage in student matters, but also his ability to lead a diverse team with widely different skill sets and objectives.
Mr Mgolombane also played a role in the development of the student affairs profession through serving as the Deputy President of the National Association for Student Development Practitioners and, currently, as the Secretary General of the South African Association of Senior Student Affairs Professionals.
Please join me in officially welcoming Mr Mgolombane to the UCT community.
He will take over from Dr Moonira Khan, who will retire at the end of the year. Mr Grant Willis will serve as acting executive director for the month of January 2021, prior to Mr Mgolombane joining in February.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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