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Appointment of new members of the leadership team

Appointment of new members of the leadership team

I am delighted to announce that Council, on the advice of Senate and the Institutional Forum, has confirmed the appointment of the following three new members of the Senior Executive Team: 

• Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) - Professor Vivienne Lawack
• Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) - Professor Frans Swanepoel
• University Registrar - Ms Nita Lawton-Misra 

It is expected that these new Executive members will join UWC early in 2015. I welcome them warmly and wish them well as they join the University. For more information about the new staff members, please see their mini-biographies below. The intended portfolio responsibilities of the two DVC positions will be based on the way in which the split of the existing DVC (Academic) was originally conceptualised and subsequently advertised. These portfolio positions, however, would be discussed and firmed up with the two respective Deputy Vice-Chancellors. 

I would also like to use this opportunity to personally thank the Deputy Registrar, Professor Judith Cornellisen, for her dedicated service to the University as the Acting Registrar during the past months. Over the past few years the outgoing Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Professor Ramesh Bharuthram, played a significant role to take UWC’s intellectual project to greater heights and for this we are immensely grateful. 

Professor Tyrone Pretorius
Rector & Vice-Chancellor: Designate

Short Biographies

Professor Vivienne Lawack

Professor Vivienne Lawack will join UWC on 1 April 2015 from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) where she has served as the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law since 2008. She joined NMMU from the South African Reserve Bank and has published extensively and supervised a number of masters and doctoral candidates. Her field of research is legal and regulatory frameworks pertaining to the payment system, banking system and financial markets.

In her current role as Dean of the Faculty of Law she provides strategic direction and manages the operations of the faculty as well as its core functions of teaching and learning, research and engagement.

Professor Lawack has been the President of the South African Law Deans’ Association since 2010.

Professor Lawack holds a BJuris, LLB, LLM from the University of Port Elizabeth (now known as NMMU) and an LLD from UNISA. She also completed a Leadership Development Programme at the Manchester Business School and South African Reserve Bank.

Professor Lawack will be leading our academic project in relation to its teaching and learning activities at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The portfolio could, amongst others, include: academic planning functions, teaching and learning activities, the continued development of technology-enhanced teaching and learning, community engagement, information and communication services as well as other services that support the academic project.

Professor Frans Swanepoel

Professor Frans Swanepoel has 25 years of experience in Higher Education and will join UWC on 1 March 2015 from Stellenbosch University (SU), where he is currently the Director of the African Doctoral Academy a position he has held since 2012. Prior to this he was Senior Director for Research Development at the University of Free State (UFS) for 10 years.

Professor Swanepoel was an NRF rated researcher and has published widely and supervised numerous masters and PhD students. He is a Fulbright scholar and a Visiting Fellow at the US Cornell University’s Institute for African Development. He has extensive experience as a HOD, Director and Dean at four universities - namely Fort Hare, Pretoria, UFS and SU –

and is recognised as a thought and practice leader in research and innovation management both in SA and internationally. 

Professor Swanepoel holds Cum Laude degrees BSc (Agric), BSc Hons (Agric), M.Sc (Agric) from UFS. He also did research for his PhD in Animal Science at Texas A&M University, USA and UFS, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at CSIRO, Australia and earned his Honours in Business and Administration from SU. He is a member of numerous professional organisations, boards and committees, including the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). >Professor Swanepoel will be leading the University's research and innovation portfolio, in collaboration with various partners and external stakeholders. The portfolio could, amongst others, include: postgraduate studies, technology transfer, research support and library services.

Ms Nita Lawton-Misra

Ms Nita Lawton-Misra will join UWC on 1 February 2015 from the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), where she was the Head of the University’s Disability Unit since 1999, and has served as the Deputy Registrar: Academic since 2009 (and also as Acting Registrar). 

As Deputy Registrar at WITS the following departments report to Ms Lawton-Misra: University’s Secretariat, Examinations and Graduation Office, Disability Unit, Central Records Office, Academic Publications Unit, and the five Faculty Registrars. Furthermore she coordinates returning students’ registrations, inaugural lectures and Council Readmissions Committees, and develops academic and administrative policies.

Ms Lawton-Misra is a registered psychologist and holds a University Diploma in Education (UDW), Diploma in Specialised Education (UNISA), BA Degree (Majors: Education and Psychology) (UNISA), BEd Degree (UNISA) and an MEd Degree from WITS. 

As Registrar, her main responsibilities will be concerned with: Institutional Governance (which includes the overall management and secretariat function of the governance structures within the applicable governance and statutory frameworks) and Academic Administration in partnership with Senate and Faculties (which includes, amongst others the Registration of University qualifications, the overarching responsibility for Student Administration from Application, Admissions, Registration and Examinations to Graduation). The management of all records associated with the above responsibilities also form part of her portfolio.