UCT appoints a new vice-chancellor

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The University of Cape Town (UCT) has appointed Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng as its new Vice-Chancellor. She replaces outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Professor Max Price, who leaves at the end of June. Phakeng’s appointment is seen as a positive step for transformation at the institution.

Professor Mamokgethi’s appointment as the new UCT vice chancellor has been hailed as a new dawn for the University of Cape Town. It follows a huge uproar regarding inclusivity at the institution. Council chairperson, Sipho Pityana, says their decision was unanimous.

“After an extensive and inclusive process, pleasantly the university has decided – overwhelmingly to appoint Professor Mamogkethi Phakeng as the new vice chancellor of the university effective first of July 2018.”

Professor Mamokgethi brings with her a wealth of knowledge. A leading mathematics educator and researcher, she has published 57 peer-reviewed research publications, edited five academic volumes and published six research reports with over 1000 citations. She says she is looking forward to taking the institution to greater heights.

“Talking about the people that have fought for her to be there and how she will help transform the university to be unapologetically African,”he said.

The Black academic caucus has been very vocal on how UCT makes appointments.

“The black academic caucus is very happy that the university recognised a well qualified candidate in this instance. She is a dynamic leader, she is an exceptional academic so we stand behind her. At the same time the university is not off the hook for failing to recognise a qualified black scholar for the post of dvc teaching and learning so we question that,” said UCT’s Professor Adam Haupt.

Phakeng will take over from Dr Max Price on the 1st of July. He has served at UCT for ten years.

Meanwhile, Professor Elelelwani Ramugodo is likely to take legal action against the university on their failure to appoint her as the deputy vice chancellor for teaching and learning, citing a flawed appointment process.