Appointment of the Dean of Science

01 December 2023

Dear colleagues and students

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Professor Hussein Suleman has been appointed as the Dean of Science with effect from 1 January 2024.

Professor Suleman has a long history with the University of Cape Town (UCT). He joined the university as a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science in 2003 and worked his way up to his current position as head of the department. His early academic career started at his alma mater, the University of Durban-Westville (now known as the University of KwaZulu-Natal), as an associate lecturer in 1996. He then joined Virginia Tech in the United States for his PhD and as a research assistant and instructor from 1997 until 2002.

His current research interests are in digital libraries and networked information systems; information retrieval; ICT for development; computer science education and educational technology; internet standards, application-level protocols and interoperability; architecture of learning management systems; and high-performance computing.

Professor Suleman has served in various leadership and administrative roles at UCT. These include stints as acting director of the School of Information Technology, employment equity representative on faculty selection committees, chair of the Faculty Transformation Committee, chair of the Faculty Readmissions Appeal Committee, Senate representative: Library Working Group, Senate Readmissions Review Committee member, University ICT Committee, chair of Web Governance Working Group, and HoD representative on the Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) Steering Committee.

He has equally held important roles on national and international committees, including ACM SIGIR Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity co-chair, member of the board of directors of Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), member of the Department of Higher Education and Training publication count committee, member of the National Research Foundation (NRF) ICT competitive funding for rated/unrated researchers committee, member of the review panel for the University of the Free State’s Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, member of the review panel for the University of KwaZulu-Natal bachelor degrees in mathematical sciences, member of the advisory board for Central University of Technology, and member of the NRF ICT Ratings Specialist Committee.

Professor Suleman’s recent academic engagements include being invited as a keynote speaker at the Open Repositories 2023 conference; as well as involvement at the Council on Higher Education Seminar on Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education; the Digital Humanities Association of South Africa Conference 2021; and the UCT Science Critical Conversations: Best Practices for Remote Teaching 2021. His recent work has focused on the design of digital archives for the preservation of and access to historical documents and the products of scholarship in low-resource environments. Ongoing projects that he collaborates with include the Bleek and Lloyd archive, the Emandulo archive and the NDLTD Global ETD Search.

He has supervised 11 PhDs; 37 masters; 98 honours; and one postdoctoral fellow. He is currently supervising three PhDs; nine masters; six honours; and one postdoctoral fellow. He has been an external examiner for approximately 24 theses; and has published 110 conference papers, 14 journal articles, 13 books/chapters/theses, 11 posters, and other publications.

Professor Suleman holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics (cum laude), an Honours degree in Computer Science (cum laude), and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Durban-Westville. He also holds a PhD in Computer Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

With his experience in the science field, higher education, and leadership I trust he will continue to build on the excellent work of the faculty. I congratulate Professor Suleman and look forward to his contributions to steer the faculty to another level.

I also extend gratitude to Professor Patrick Woudt, who has been serving as interim Dean since 1 July 2023, for holding the fort while the process of making a substantive appointment was in progress.


Emer Prof Daya Reddy
Vice-Chancellor interim

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