VC’s five-month sabbatical

10 August 2022

Dear colleagues and students

I write to inform you that I will be on a five-month sabbatical from 1 September 2022 to 2 February 2023. During this period, I will be away from campus and my Vice-Chancellor duties. This will be my first sabbatical since I joined the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the second of my professional career.

Since I arrived at UCT in June 2016, each year has been characterised by crisis and a lot of stress to manage and deal with. I took office as Vice-Chancellor on 1 July 2018 and in preparation for the start of my second term I need to take time out to refresh, reflect and recharge. This will allow me to come back rejuvenated to serve the university and manage the inevitable pressures that come with the role.

Plans to spend time in Johannesburg, Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom and the United States of America while on sabbatical are at an advanced stage. I will also spend time completing some of my writing, catching up on reading and focusing on my growth as a leader.

During my sabbatical the responsibility to act as Vice-Chancellor will be shared amongst our three Deputy Vice-Chancellors (DVCs) and the Chief Operating Officer (COO). We have over the past years built a solid and formidable senior leadership team at UCT and I have no doubt that members of the executive will ably step in during my absence.

I appreciate the support of my colleagues in the leadership team and their willingness to step in and steer operations while I am away. I am confident that they can continue counting on the support of each and every member of the UCT community during this upcoming period.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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