UCT's deans are:

Acting Dean of Commerce: Assoc Prof Kanshukan Rajaratnam

Associate Professor Kanshukan Rajaratnam will be the acting Dean of Commerce until a substantive appointment is made.

Faculty of Commerce website

Engineering & the Built Environment: Professor Alison Lewis

Professor Alison LewisProfessor Alison Lewis took up her position as dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment on 1 June 2015.

Professor Lewis was head of the Department of Chemical Engineering since 2013, and a professor of chemical engineering since 2007. She has moved up the department's ranks since July 1996, when she was appointed a senior lecturer. Prior to this, Lewis was a post-doctoral fellow in the Water Research Group in UCT's Civil Engineering Department.

Founder and director of the Crystallisation and Precipitation Research Unit, Lewis has raised R52 million in funding for the unit since 2001, supervised 37 master's and PhD students to graduation, published more than 120 international journal and conference papers and has established an international research reputation. She received the National Research Foundation (NRF) President's 'Champion of Transformation in Research' Award in 2012 for her active involvement in training, fostering and mentoring black and female students.

Amongst other achievements, Lewis won the 2012 Distinguished Woman Scientist award from the Ministry of Science and Technology for her outstanding contribution to building South Africa's scientific and research knowledge base.

She has been the university orator for the past 5 years and has done sterling work in preparing and delivering citations for recipients of honorary degrees.

Professor Lewis took a year's break during her undergraduate studies, and was the education officer for the 1984/85 UCT Students Representative Council. She graduated from UCT with a BSc (ChemEng) in 1985 and an MSc (Chem Eng) in 1987.

After working as a process engineer for South African Nylon Spinners, Professor Lewis studied towards her PhD (Civil Eng) at UCT, graduating in 1993. During this time she was the editor of Upfront, the journal of the Cape Democrats, a United Democratic Front affiliate.

Lewis is a professional engineer, registered by the Engineering Council of South Africa.

She is a fellow of:

  • the Institution of Chemical Engineers (FIChemE)
  • the South African Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • the South African Academy of Engineering
  • the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy 
  • UCT's College of Fellows.

Lewis is also a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.

Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment website

Health Sciences: Professor Bongani Mayosi

Professor Bongani Mayosi

Professor Mayosi took up the post as dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town on 1 September 2016, after being head of the Department of Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital and UCT since 2006.

Mayosi’s work focuses on heart diseases particularly prevalent in developing countries. He led a groundbreaking series of multinational research studies into the management of pericarditis, including an African trial of the use of steroids in treating tuberculous (TB) pericarditis. More recently, he led the first large-scale, multinational study of rheumatic heart disease in the world (first phase).

Mayosi earned his BMedSci (with distinction) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 1986, followed by his MBChB (with distinction) in 1989. He was admitted to the fellowship of the College of Physicians of SA in 1995. He earned his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2003. He joined UCT in 1992 as senior house officer in the Department of Medicine.

Faculty of Health Sciences website

Humanities: Professor David Wardle

Professor David WardleProfessor David Wardle was appointed acting dean of Humanities from 7 December 2017 until 31 December 2018. Before this appointment, Wardle had served the Faculty as deputy dean (finance and space) since 2005.

Wardle has extensive experience in academic management and leadership. He served as head of the then classics section of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages (1999–2000) and as head of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages (2001–2). He oversaw the creation of the larger School of Languages and Literatures and was its first director (2003–4) and returned to the helm in 2016 and 2017. From 2001–2003, he was the academic coordinator of the university’s summer-term programme.

He has taught Latin and Greek language and literature and Greek and Roman history at all levels of the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum.

Wardle has published 4 books, the latest of these (Suetonius: Life of Augustus) was published by the Oxford University Press in 2014. He has also published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He earned a BA Literae Humaniores (first class) in 1983, master of arts in 1987 and doctor of philosophy in 1989, all from Oxford University.

Faculty of Humanities website

Law: Professor Penelope Andrews

Professor Andrews

Professor Andrews is a noted human rights scholar and activist and admitted as an advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa.

Prior to joining UCT, she was president and professor of law at Albany Law School in New York, United States (USA) having formerly served as the first female president and dean for the school.

She was previously associate dean for academic affairs at the City University of New York School of Law (CUNY), where she also sat on the Senate. Prior to joining CUNY, she was a professor of law and director of international studies at Valparaiso Law School in Indiana, USA.

Andrews earned her BA in 1980 (majoring in economic history, comparative African government and administration) and her LLB in 1982 from the then University of Natal in Durban. In 1984 she received an LLM from Columbia University School of Law in New York.

She began her teaching career at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia and since then has been tenured at 4 law schools in Australia and the USA. She has served on significant law school committees and the boards of public interest legal organisations as well as on business councils.

A member of the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association, she has participated in and has chaired several accreditation site teams for the American Bar Association. She has consulted for the Ford Foundation, the United Nations Fund for Women, and the Victorian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity in Australia.

Awards and honours include:

  • the National Bar Association’s International Award for her global human rights advocacy
  • inclusion in the USA’s Lawyers of Colour’s fourth annual power list issue in 2015.

She has published 4 books and over 50 articles that focus on international human rights law, comparative constitutional law, gender and racial equality, and the judiciary. Her most recent book, From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women's Human Rights, was published by Ashgate in 2012.

Faculty of Law website

Science: Professor Susan Bourne

Professor Susan BourneProfessor Susan Bourne was appointed interim dean of Science from 1 January 2018 until 30 June 2019. Prior to this appointment she has been professor of Physical Chemistry, and head of the Department of Chemistry since 2012. She was deputy dean of the Faculty of Science from 2013 to 2016.

Bourne holds BSc(Hons) and PhD degrees obtained at UCT. Her research interests are in supramolecular chemistry and crystal engineering. She is an NRF B-rated researcher and has published extensively in international peer-reviewed journals. She holds the chair of the Structural Chemistry Commission of the International Union of Crystallography, and serves on the editorial boards of 2 of the leading journals in crystal engineering.

Faculty of Science website

Acting Director, Graduate School of Business: Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran

Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran will be the acting director of the GSB until a substantive appointment is made. The process of selection for a new director will start as soon as possible.

Graduate School of Business website

Centre for Higher Education Development: Associate Professor Suellen Shay

Associate Professor Suellen ShayAssociate Professor Suellen Shay was appointed Dean in the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) on 1 September 2013.

She completed her Masters degree at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 1987, and her Doctorate in Education at the University of Cape Town in 2003.

In 1989, Shay started her professional career in the Academic Development Programme, teaching foundation courses in Humanities. She then coordinated UCT's Writing Centre. Her work gradually shifted in the direction of academic staff and institutional development, and she served as Deputy Dean of CHED prior to becoming Dean in 2013. Since 1989, Shay's experience spans a range of development work, including language, curriculum, staff and institutional development. She has convened the PG Dip and Masters in Higher Education Studies since 2010 and taught several of its courses.

Shay's research brings the theoretical frameworks of the sociology of education to an understanding of higher education as social practice, specifically focusing on assessment and more recently, knowledge and curriculum. Since 2010 her work has focused on developing frameworks for curriculum differentiation from a knowledge point of view. This interest emerged in 2010 when she consulted on a SANTED-funded Comprehensive University research and development project. More recently she was the principle investigator for a three-year funded National Research Foundation project, Attending to Knowledge in Higher Education Curriculum. In 2014 the Department of Higher Education and Training awarded her a Teaching Development Grant for a national research and development project on the flexible curriculum.

Shay's most recent publications include: Curriculum in Higher Education: Beyond False Choices. In Thinking about Higher Education, eds. Gibbs, P & Barnett, R.; Conceptualizing curriculum differentiation in higher education: a sociology of knowledge point of view. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34,4, p. 563-582.

She is also co-editing a forthcoming book: Maton, K., Hood, S., Shay, S. (editors) Knowledge-building: Educational Studies in Legitimation Code Theory. Routledge.

Shay has been a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan in 2002 and Harvard University in 2011, and in 2013 she won a Worldwide Universities Network Mobility Grant to visit the University of Sydney. She serves on the Executive Board of Teaching in Higher Education.

Centre for Higher Education Development website