Update on senior leadership roles

09 May 2023

Dear colleagues and students

I write to provide an update in relation to two roles in the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) senior management team: the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Teaching and Learning (T&L) and the Chief Operating Officer (COO).

DVC: Teaching and Learning

Earlier this year, the university announced that Council had approved the extension of Professor Harsha Kathard’s term as acting DVC: T&L to 30 June 2023. She took up this role in May 2022. Following an extension by six months, Professor Kathard has now indicated she wishes to return to her academic activities when the current contract ends. She will remain at UCT in her substantive role as Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders; and Research Director of the Inclusive Practices Africa Research Unit.

Chief Operating Officer

The first-ever COO at UCT, Dr Reno Morar, is in the fifth and last year of his fixed-term contract. Having taken up this position in February 2019, Dr Morar has now indicated that he wishes to take early retirement. He will therefore step down from this role on 31 July 2023.

It is naturally an undesirable coincidence that we will part ways with both Professor Kathard and Dr Morar at more or less the same time. In the short time I have worked with both, I have appreciated greatly the commitment and dedication that they have brought to their positions, and in supporting me and the executive team in various ways. Both have taken decisions to step down based on their own personal and professional considerations. While it is sad to be losing leaders of such calibre, I fully respect their decisions.

I will in due course share further updates in relation to the acting appointments in the two roles. We hope to commence the recruitment process for a substantive COO appointment as soon as possible, while the process of appointing a substantive DVC: T&L is under way.

Update on other senior roles

Furthermore, please take note of developments in relation to two other senior leadership positions: the Dean: Faculty of Science and the Executive Director (ED): Human Resources. As communicated in January 2023, Professor Maano Ramutsindela made a request to step down as dean at the end of June 2023 for personal reasons, while Mr Bongani Ndaba has been serving as acting ED: HR since May 2022. The processes for filling both positions continue and announcements will be made in the near future.

We remain grateful to the four Leadership Lekgotla colleagues for the contributions they have made in their portfolios, particularly during a notably challenging period for UCT. We will, as usual, have an opportunity at a later stage to thank and acknowledge them more fully.


Emer Prof Daya Reddy
Vice-Chancellor (interim)

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