Inaugural lecture by Professor Yeats and other updates

20 September 2023

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) will host the next lecture in the UCT Inaugural Lecture series, to be delivered by Professor Jacqueline Yeats, on Wednesday, 27 September 2023. Read about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. Inaugural lecture by Professor Yeats

Professor Jacqueline Yeats, Director of the Corporate Law and Governance Unit (CLGU) within the Department of Commercial Law at UCT, will present her inaugural lecture on Wednesday, 27 September 2023 at the Oliver Tambo Moot Court, Kramer Level 5, on middle campus. It will address the topic “Value(s), Vices and Voice – how the evolution of modern company law reflects shifting societal values in a changing world”.

The commercial, social and environmental landscape within which companies operate has changed dramatically since the turn of the century. In recent years, companies across the globe have been confronted with a host of new and complex issues. These include environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, sustainability concerns, corporate social responsibility, focused stakeholder and shareholder activism, increased calls for corporate accountability and transparency, and campaigns aimed at the formal recognition of multiple stakeholder interests by directors. The catalyst for these developments has been a shift in societal values and priorities regarding the relationships between people, the planet and profit.

Company law reform has made some progress in addressing the new developments and challenges, but the process is ongoing and far from complete. In the lecture, Professor Yeats will discuss these developments and the challenges they present for companies.

She practised as a commercial attorney before joining UCT in 2015. Her research and teaching are primarily focused on company law and corporate governance, the interaction between the regulatory frameworks and their combined effect on companies, directors, shareholders and other stakeholders. Yeats was instrumental in founding the CLGU.

2. SRC elections underway

The UCT Students’ Representative Council (SRC) elections are underway. Voting will remain open until Friday, 22 September at 23:59.

Students can log in using their UCT credentials and may vote for up to 10 candidates or choose to abstain.

Voters are encouraged to attend the next town hall session with candidates on 21 September at Beattie Lecture Hall 1 on upper campus for a chance to engage with candidates. The session will start at 13:00.

Should voters have any queries or issues in relation to voting, please contact the Chief Electoral Officer Vhugala Nthakheni.

3. Sports Union, SRC, Residence Council and DSA to host sports festival

The Sports Union, SRC, Residence Council and the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) are partnering to host a students’ Sports Festival on Friday, 29 September 2023. These will take place at the netball and tennis courts, the Sports Centre, lower campus fields and certain residences. UCT students are invited to register to participate in the various sporting codes at R30 per person for individual sports and R50 per person for team sports.

Students have a wide choice to participate in either supa pool, basketball, table tennis, volleyball, esport, netball, chess, football or indigenous games. Residence students are requested to sign up using forms available from their respective residence sports committees.

For more information please contact Usivile Giyose.

4. Join the celebrations at inaugural UCT Day

The university will host the inaugural UCT Day on Friday, 6 October 2023. The special day of campus celebrations will take place during UCT’s birthday month. It is all about celebrating the essence of what the university is all about, and the spirit of excellence and innovation that pervades its various activities.

An exciting schedule of in-person and online events is planned, including team challenges on the day. The UCT Day website provides information on the planned activities. There will also be an eight-hour phonathon, inviting alumni and friends to pledge their support to UCT students. The day will feature sports challenges in which teams, drawn from across the university, will compete against each other.

5. Closure of Post Office on upper campus

Please note that the Post Office on upper campus officially closed on Tuesday, 19 September 2023 after operating at UCT for more than two decades. Members of the UCT community who may have enquiries about their parcel deliveries are advised to make use of university’s mail room located on the ground floor at Otto Beit Building, Avenue Lane.

For any further queries, please email the UCT post room or call 021 650 2457.

6. Reminder: UCT TLC 2023 call for proposals

Calls for proposals are open until 1 October 2023 for the 2023 UCT Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC 2023) to be held in-person at Neville Alexander Building, Lower Campus on 21 and 22 November 2023. This year’s conference aims to provide the UCT community with an opportunity to connect, share and envision purpose-driven, innovative, inclusive and socially-just assessment practices and strategies that can unleash human potential and meet the three pillars of Vision 2030: excellence, transformation and sustainability.

Assessment in higher education is at a critical juncture. In addition to challenges posed by historical and contemporary inequalities, the rapid shifts in mode of teaching, learning and assessment (face-to-face, emergency remote, hybrid and online) have problematised traditional assessment practices. Furthermore, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), ongoing limitations to accessibility and worsening mental health reports prompt critical questions about the purpose of assessment in relation to learning and the meaning of academic integrity.

The focus for this year’s TLC 2023 is therefore “Assessment entangled: Reimagining assessment for excellence, transformation and sustainability”.

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