Commerce: Professor Don Ross | Engineering & the Built Environment: Professor Francis Petersen | Health Sciences: Professor Susan Kidson | Humanities: Professor Paula Ensor | Law: Professor Pamela Jane "PJ" Schwikkard | Science: Professor Anton le Roex | Director, Graduate School of Business: Professor Walter Baets | Centre for Higher Education Development: Professor Nan Yeld
Professor Don Ross was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Commerce on 1 June 2010.
A native of Canada, he obtained his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science at the University of Western Ontario in 1990. His doctoral work was on formal properties of neural network processors of natural language semantics in artificial intelligence. While in graduate school he also pursued his interest in economics and game theory, on which he has taught and published throughout his career.
Between 1990 and 1997 he was assistant professor, then associate professor of philosophy at the University of Ottawa. About half of his research during this time was devoted to cognitive science and about half to the foundations of microeconomics and game theory.
In 1997 he joined the UCT academic staff as senior lecturer in philosophy. During 1998 he was academic coordinator for the merger of faculties into the current Humanities faculty. At the beginning of 1999 he transferred to the School of Economics, in which he became professor at the beginning of 2001. He served as deputy Dean of Commerce, responsible for academic programmes, during 2002 and 2003.
At the end of 2003, Professor Ross reverted to part-time status at UCT in order to accept an appointment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the USA. Until he left UAB in order to take up his current deanship, he was professor in UAB's Department of Philosophy and in its Department of Finance, Economics and Quantitative Methods.
Concurrently with leaving UAB and becoming Dean of Commerce at UCT, he was appointed as a Research Fellow in the Center for the Economic Analysis of Risk at Georgia State University, USA.
Professor Ross's main research interests are in the game-theoretic foundations of human sociality; the picoeconomics and neuroeconomics of impulsive consumption, especially addiction; mathematical frameworks for unifying the behavioural sciences with one another and with physics; and trade and industry policy in Africa. He is the author of numerous journal articles and author or editor of 12 books, including Economic Theory and Cognitive Science: Microexplanation (MIT Press 2005) and The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics (with Harold Kincaid), 2010. He has served as a consultant for various South African business associations, companies and government departments. During 2001-2006 he was director of the SABITA Infrastructure Development Assessment Project (SIDAP). Since 2006 he has been director of research for the National Responsible Gambling Programme of South Africa.
Professor Petersen was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment on 01 April 2008. He graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with the B. Ing (Chem), M. Ing (Metal) and Ph.D (Ing) degrees, and completed a short course on Financial Skills for Executive Management with IIR Training. He is a recipient of the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust and the Cape Technikon (now the Cape Peninsula University of Technology) Researcher of the Year Awards and is a regular reviewer, and member of a range of editorial boards for international journals.
Professor Petersen was the Head of Strategy at Anglo Platinum Corporation and a member of the executive committee. He has extensive experience of management at various levels within the University and industry sectors; he holds full professorship from the Cape Technikon where he also represented Senate at their Council; and he is an extraordinary professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch. He has played a key role in various initiatives within higher education, industry and science councils. He is the founder of the first cohort of industry research organisations in the minerals and energy sectors, and has been actively involved in strategic planning in the Science and Technology Sector, Black Economic Empowerment, Joint Venture formation and Scenario Development. Professor Petersen is serving on various technical, editorial and advisory committees (i.e. Universities, International Journals, International Conferences, NRF, Water Research Commission, NSTF, Department of Science and Technology (DST), NACI, Minerals Education Trust Fund, DST Centres of Excellence, etc) is actively involved and has consulted widely to the South African chemical and metallurgical process industries. He is a former Executive Vice-President: Research and Development at Mintek.
Furthermore, he is a member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI), member of the Boards of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and a member of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). Francis is a registered professional engineer with ECSA, and a member of the Board of the Precious Metal and Diamond Regulator. He is the chairman of the Investment Committee of the Innovation Fund, and is a Fellow of both the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the South African Academy of Engineers.
Susan Kidson has been interim dean since January 2013, following the retirement of former dean Professor Marian Jacobs at the end of December 2012. She was appointed as a part-time deputy dean, Postgraduate Affairs, in July 2009 and is also a member of staff in the Department of Human Biology. Prior to taking up the deputy dean position, she was the Head of Department of Human Biology for 6 years. Prof Kidson is a PhD graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand with a specialisation in cell and developmental biology. In addition to her deputy dean duties, she continued to run a research lab and train postgraduate students, and her area of interest is stem cell biology in the skin and the eye. From September 2011 to February 2012, she was also appointed as the interim dean during Prof Jacob's sabbatical.
A leading educationalist, Paula Ensor was appointed Dean of Humanities at the University of Cape Town in 2004.
Professor Ensor began her academic career in the field of economics. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Natal in 1971 and the following year went on to obtain her honours degree in economics from UCT.
Politically active during her undergraduate career, she held leadership positions in the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS). Eventually banned in terms of the Suppression of Communism Act by the apartheid regime, she travelled to Britain, where she lived in exile for the next 15 years.
While she was abroad her academic focus turned increasingly to education and she undertook postgraduate studies at the Institute of Education, University of London, where she obtained her MSc in education and her PhD in the field of mathematics education.
On returning to South Africa in 1991 she initially taught at the University of the Western Cape, before moving to UCT's School of Education two years later.
Having taught in a range of educational settings in South Africa and abroad, Professor Ensor has a unique insight into every level of the South African educational system, which has made her a highly sought-after contributor to national educational policy.
Her research interests lie mainly in the sociology of education, and she has explored issues of pedagogy and symbolic control in relation to both schooling and higher education. Her focus on mathematics and teacher-education has received much recognition and her work in these areas has been widely published locally and internationally.
Aside from leading a number of research projects that include staff and senior research students at UCT as well as international collaborators, she has also been commissioned to produce reports on curriculum issues in higher and secondary education.
A National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researcher, Professor Ensor has served in a range of capacities within the NRF appraisal system and is a regular reviewer for prestigious international educational journals. She is a member of numerous professional associations and, most notably, has served as president of the Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education.
Professor PJ Schwikkard took up her position as Dean of Law on 1 January 2009. An accomplished and widely published scholar, Schwikkard has substantial experience in both academia and the legal profession. She completed her BA degree at Wits University before embarking on an LLB, graduating summa cum laude.
She was admitted as an Attorney of the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1990. Schwikkard went on to complete her LLM (cum laude) at the University of Natal. In 1999 she completed her LLD at the University of Stellenbosch.
Over the past 20 years Schwikkard has taught courses in gender and the law, criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, youth justice, conflict resolution, civil procedure, legal interpretation, legal skills and special contracts.
She began teaching in 1987 as a contract lecturer at the University of Natal's School of Law, later rising to senior lecturer. When she left this university in 1998 it was to take up a professorship at Rhodes University's Faculty of Law.
In 2001 she joined UCT's Faculty of Law in the Department of Criminal Justice and was appointed head of department in 2006 before taking on the dual role of deputy dean a year later.
Professor le Roex was appointed as dean of the science faculty on 1 January 2011.
In addition to posts at UCT, he held teaching and research posts at the University of Hawaii and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, US.
Although Le Roex grew up in Pietermaritzburg, he travelled south to earn his BSc cum laude (geology, geochemistry) from the University of Stellenbosch (1975), his BSc Hons, first-class (geochemistry), at UCT in 1976 and his PhD (geochemistry) at UCT in 1980.
In addition to his teaching and research duties at UCT, Le Roex held numerous administrative posts. He headed the Department of Geological Sciences from 1991 to 2005. He has been a member of the Senate since 1991, and was a student advisor in the Faculty of Science from 1986 to 2002. Since 1998 he has served on 17 UCT and science faculty standing committees and he remains active on at least 10, two of which he chairs and on two others he is the deputy chair.
Le Roex is or has been active on the following scientific committees and working groups: the South African Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SASCAR - Earth Sciences Committee; the Council of the Geological Society of South Africa; the NRF Open Research Programme Earth Science Evaluation Committee (1998 to 2001; Convenor 1999 to 2001); the NRF National Isotope Working Group; the Southwest Indian Ridge Working Group of the International InterRIDGE Programme; the NRF Proposal Funding Committee (2001 to 2004); and the editorial boards of the Journal of African Earth Sciences and the Open Mineralogy Journal.
He is a member of the Geological Society of South Africa, the American Geophysical Union, the Electron Microscopy Society of South Africa, the Mineralogical Society of South Africa, the Royal Society of South Africa and the Geochemical Society.
In addition, Le Roex has authored or co-authored 86 articles in peer-reviewed journals; two chapters in books; 23 extended abstracts and 95 abstracts. His collaborations with other academic institutions and colleagues extend to the US, France, Germany, England, Botswana and Kenya.
Prior to being appointed as the Director of the UCT Graduate School of Business in July 2009, Professor Baets was Professor of Complexity, Knowledge and Innovation, Associate Dean for Research and MBA Director at Euromed Marseille Ecole de Management. Previously at Euromed Marseille he was Director of Graduate Programmes. Before joining Euromed Marseille, he held the Philips Chair in Information and Communication Technology and he was director of NOTION (the Nyenrode Institute for Knowledge Management and Virtual Education) at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands. He has held academic positions in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Spain.
He graduated in Econometrics and Operations Research at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) and did postgraduate studies in Business Administration at Warwick Business School (UK). He was awarded a PhD from the University of Warwick in Industrial and Business Studies and a Habilitation of Paul Cezanne University, Aix-Marseille III, France.
He pursued a career in strategic planning, decision support and IS consultancy for more than ten years, before joining the academic world, first as managing director of the management development centre of the Louvain Universities (Belgium) and later as Associate Professor at Nyenrode University, The Netherlands Business School. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Aix-Marseille (IAE) and GRASCE (Complexity Research Centre) Aix-en-Provence. He held visiting teaching positions at ESC Rouen, KU Leuven, RU Gent, Moscow, St Petersburg, Tyumen University, Purdue University and Narsee Monjee (Mumbai, India). Most of his professional experience was acquired in the telecommunications and banking sector. He has substantial experience in management development activities in Russia and the Arab world.
He is a member of the International Editorial Board of the Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Information & Management, and Systèmes d'Information et Management. He has acted as a reviewer/evaluator and chair for a number of International Conferences (e.g. ECIS an ICIS) and for the EU RACE programme. He has published in several journals including the Journal of Strategic Information Systems, The European Journal of Operations Research, Knowledge and Process Management, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, The Journal of Systems Management, Information & Management, The Learning Organisation and Accounting, Management and Information Technologies. He has organised international conferences in the area of IT and organisational change.
Baets has been published extensively. His most recent books are Knowledge Management and Management Learning: Extending the Horizons of Knowledge-Based Management, published with Springer (2005); and Rethinking growth: social intrapreneurship for sustainable performance (Palgrave MacMillan, 2009) co-authored with Erna Oldenboom.
Read more about Professor Walter Baets on his blog.
Associate Professor Nan Yeld took up the position of Dean of Higher Education Development in July 2003. She began her post-school education at Rhodes University, and continued at the University of Cape Town, where she obtained her PhD.
She has been involved with academic development work since the late 1980s, with a focus on developing procedures and instruments for widening access to university study for students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Her work is well known in South Africa, and has also attracted considerable international interest for its innovative approaches to assessment.
She was a Senior Africa Fulbright Scholar, based at the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey, in 1999-2000, and a Nelson Mandela Fellow at Harvard in 2002-3, based at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American studies. She has been appointed by successive ANC Ministers of Education to serve, as chair and as committee member, on several ministerial committees, investigating such issues as the future of the Senior Certificate, differentiation in school curricula, assessment at key National Qualification Framework exit levels, and the status of independent and foreign examining bodies. Her publications are in the areas of language, assessment and academic development.