Appointment of new VC and other updates

28 May 2024

Dear colleagues

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has formally announced the appointment of Professor Mosa Moshabela as the 11th vice-chancellor (VC) of the institution. Read more about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. Appointment of new VC

Professor Moshabela accepted the offer to become UCT’s 11th VC after a thorough and consultative six-month recruitment and selection process. He will take up the position on 1 October 2024.

Professor Moshabela is currently the deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), a role he has held since 2021. He has previously served at one international and two other local universities.

Professor Moshabela will take over from Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy, who has been serving as VC interim since March 2023. He has committed to working with Professor Moshabela over three months as part of handing over the VC baton.

2. Update on bargaining engagements

UCT management has continued engagements with the unions representing academic as well as Professional, Administrative Support and Service (PASS) staff around, amongst other matters, the 2024 salary increases.

3. Proposed Nelson Mandela Memorial Centre

UCT marked a significant milestone in its history with the announcement of the proposed Nelson Mandela Memorial Centre. Conceptualised to honour the legacy of the late President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the iconic building will be a living memorial to emulate his leadership in the best way possible: by building a new generation of ethical leaders.

The proposal is to build a new home for UCT’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, and to create a vibrant convening space located within a memorial centre curated with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The Nelson Mandela Memorial Centre and School of Public Governance will serve emerging leaders from across the African continent. The precinct, which will be designed through an architectural design competition, will offer interactive public art installations, contemplative walkways, and meeting areas designed to facilitate catharsis, reflection and spiritual resonance; and provide for reflection on the life and times of Mandela.

4. Development dialogues Cycle 1 June 2023 to 31 May 2024

The Development Dialogue (DD) is the agreed system for performance contracting, management and development at UCT for PASS staff in payclasses 1 to 12, and for senior staff in payclasses 13(5) to 13(1). It aims to create alignment between the university’s strategic goals and individual performance goals by ensuring effective feedback and forward planning.

As staff may know, 31 May 2024 marks the end of the 1 June 2023 to 31 May 2024 DD cycle. While regular, formal and informal performance and development engagements take place throughout the cycle, the formal cumulative/summative DD must be completed and documented by the end of June 2024. The 2024-2025 DD cycle commences on 1 June 2024, and performance and development plans and objectives for that cycle must be completed and documented before the end of June 2024.

5. Call for applications: UCT Teaching Innovation Grant

Individual academics, teams or departments are invited to apply for the UCT Teaching Innovation Grant to fund initiatives that are aligned with Vision 2030 and aimed at making teaching at UCT more effective.

This grant is available to support individuals or teams who are engaged in developing innovations to or designing or re-designing curricula or courses aimed at improving student learning, including through the design of digital materials for blended or online learning as well as open educational resources. A limited number of grants of up to R30 000 are available to support such projects.

Interested individuals can email Cindy Gilbert with their intention by 5 June 2024. Applicants do not need to provide any details other than their name and intention. They will be invited to attend a briefing session on 10 June 2024 (13:00–14:00 via Microsoft Teams).

The closing date for all applications is 28 June 2024.

The Teaching Awards and Grants sub-committee, which reports to the Senate Teaching and Learning Committee, oversees this process.

6. Call for expressions of interest: Innovation Builder Fund

UCT’s Innovation Builder Fund (IBF) is now accepting new expressions of interest. The IBF was launched in 2019 with the primary goal of nurturing and advancing UCT research projects that have demonstrated an initial proof of concept. The fund is designed to support projects that have been assessed as commercially viable and where research outputs have either been protected or have protectable intellectual property (IP).

This unique opportunity not only provides financial support but also aids in maturing research outputs and mitigating associated risks, thereby preparing them for later-stage funding. Successful projects will receive a grant ranging from R150 000 to R500 000 to aid in their development. Applications are welcomed from researchers across all disciplines who are conducting innovative research with the potential for commercial application and IP protection.

To express your interest, fill in the expression-of-interest form and send to Mpho Baisitse. The deadline for expressions of interest is 17 June 2024.

More information about the IBF, including detailed application requirements and procedures, is available online.

7. Call for nominations: Distinguished Teacher Award

Nominations for the Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA) for 2023 are now open.

The DTA is the highest accolade awarded to teaching staff at the UCT. Through the award, the university recognises and celebrates excellent teaching and transformed practice, and acknowledges the primary place of teaching and learning in the institution’s work.

Each year, the DTA committee considers nominations made by students and staff on behalf of a number of excellent teachers. The committee examines each submission in detail in accordance with a carefully devised rubric, terms of reference, and set of criteria.

Please submit nominations to the committee by 3 June 2024. Once they accept the nomination, nominees will have until 31 July 2024 to submit a portfolio. The outcomes of the adjudication process will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2024. The list of past awardees can be seen on the DTA page on the UCT website.

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