South Africa

HIGHER EDUCATION

UCT announces key appointments to leadership structure

From left: Dr Suki Goodman (Photo: UCT) | Prof Elelwani Ramugondo. (Photo: UCT) | The University of Cape Town. (Photo: Jacques Stander / Gallo Images)

‘These appointments speak to the university’s pillars of excellence, sustainability and transformation,’ said Babalwa Ngonyama, the institution’s council chair.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) on Wednesday evening disclosed several key developments in the institution’s leadership structure, announcing the appointment of a deputy vice-chancellor for transformation, student affairs and social responsiveness, and a new dean of commerce. 

“I want to assure you that we are resolute in our aim to establish a senior leadership team for the future, that reflects the academic excellence of our university. A leadership team that is representative of the demographics of our country,” said Babalwa Ngonyama, the institution’s council chair.  

“These appointments speak to the university’s pillars of excellence, sustainability and transformation,” she said.

Professor Elelwani Ramugondo has been appointed as UCT’s deputy vice-chancellor for transformation, student affairs and social responsiveness, starting from 1 July 2022. She presently serves as deputy dean for postgraduate education in the Health Sciences Faculty at the institution.  

Addressing members of the media and fellow UCT leadership, Ngonyama said Ramugondo had emerged as a suitable candidate for the position of deputy vice-chancellor, with 17 of 21 panel members voting in her favour.

Ramugondo had also received more than 73% of votes from UCT’s Senate and more than 80% support from the institution’s council.  

“What’s beautiful about this appointment is that Ramugondo is one of our own. She has risen through the ranks of our university — from being a student, to being a professor,” said Ngonyama.  

Ramugondo obtained her BSc, MSc and PhD in occupational therapy at UCT.  

“As a current member of the senior executive task team and a former member of council, Professor Ramugondo brings a world of experience and institutional knowledge to the task,” said Ngonyama.  

Ramugondo was appointed special adviser on transformation to the vice-chancellor in 2015, following calls for decolonisation by the student-led Rhodes Must Fall movement. 

Ngonyama added that Ramugondo’s appointment as deputy vice-chancellor “underscores the many gains black women have made at the highest level of UCT’s leadership”. 

Ngonyama also announced that Professor Suki Goodman had been appointed the new dean of the Faculty of Commerce, and will assume her role from 1 January 2022. 

Goodman is the current head of the School of Management Studies. Before this, she headed the section of Organisational Psychology. 

Goodman holds a PhD, masters and honours degree in organisational psychology from UCT. 

During the briefing, Ngonyama also announced the appointment of Vincent Motholo as UCT’s new executive director of finance — the first black incumbent of the position.  

Following the announcement of the new appointees, Ngonyama acknowledged that UCT’s vice-chancellor, Mamokgethi Phakeng, had overseen 13 appointments to the university’s leadership team since her own appointment in 2018.  

Commenting on the institution’s new leadership appointments, Phakeng said, “We are proud as UCT that we are not just producing leaders for other universities, but that we’re producing leaders for our own university.” DM

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