Three eye UKZN post

2014-07-09 00:00

IT’S a three-horse race for the position of vice-chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which falls vacant this year with the retirement of Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.

The university has confirmed the shortlist for the vice-chancellor post.

The three contenders:

• Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, CEO National Research Foundation;

• Professor John Mubangizi, UKZN deputy vice-chancellor: college of law and management studies and

• Professor Renuka Vithal, UKZN deputy vice-chancellor: teaching and learning.

Later this month the three candidates will make presentations to the university community, followed by closed interviews.

An announcement regarding the successful candidate is expected to be made in September.

• Professor Renuka Vithal is currently involved in developing UKZN teaching and learning policies and monitoring their implementation.

Her other focus areas are curriculum transformation, quality promotion and assurance, promoting student access, throughput and success, and implementation of the university language policy in relation to teaching and learning. As a scholar in the field of mathematics education, she actively supports institutional research by promoting research-led teaching and learning in the University.

Vithal is a full professor of mathematics education and previously held the position of dean in the Faculty of Education. She obtained a BA with distinctions in mathematics from the former University of Durban-Westville and her BEd Honours cum laude from the former University of Natal. She gained an MPhil in mathematical education from the University of Cambridge in the UK and a doctoral degree in natural sciences from Aalborg University in Denmark — the first woman in the Faculty of Science to be awarded this senior doctorate at Aalborg University.

• Professor John Mubangizi has been deputy vice-chancellor since 2007. He is vice-chair of Senate and also sits on several college and university-wide committees, some of which he chairs. He is an NRF-rated researcher and he is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE).

Mubangizi holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), a Masters in Public Law (LLM) and a Doctorate in Law (LLD). He also possesses a Diploma in Legal Practice, a Diploma in Education and several professional certificates.

Mubangizi is the author The Protection of Human Rights in South Africa: A Legal and Practical Guide and co-editor of The Creation of the University of KwaZulu-Natal: Reflections on a Merger and Transformation Experience.

He has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles in accredited local and international journals as well as chapters in several academic books. He has also presented papers at national and international conferences and delivered guest lectures at universities such as the State University of New York and the University of Oslo.

• Dr Albert van Jaarsveld is CEO of the Pretoria-based NRF — a post he has held since 2009 and which was renewed in March this year. He was previously vice- president and managing director of the NRF.

Van Jaarsveld is a highly respected researcher in the field of Conservation Biology and has published both nationally and internationally.

He has also held leadership positions at the University of Pretoria and the Stellenbosch University, where he was dean of Science for four years, and held an adjunct professorship in Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, in the U.S. He was elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa in 2009.

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