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Deputy vice-chancellors

Institutional Innovation: Professor Anton le Roex (Acting)
Research and Internationalisation: Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
Teaching and Learning: Professor Lis Lange
Transformation: Professor Loretta Feris

Professor Anton le Roex
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Institutional Innovation)

Professor le Roex

Professor Anton le Roex has been appointed as Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Innovation from 1 February 2018, after completing his seven-year tenure as Dean of Science at the end of December 2017.


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.

Portfolio responsibilities

  • Faculty affairs
  • Information and Communication Technology Services (including classroom facilities)
  • UCT Libraries
  • Human Resources
  • Academic and PASS staff negotiations

Departments and individual reporting lines

  • Faculty deans
  • Director: Graduate School of Business
  • Executive Director: Human Resources
  • Executive Director: Information and Communication Technology Services
  • Executive Director: UCT Libraries

Committee membership

  • University Human Resources Committee
  • Deans’ Forum (Chair)
  • Ad hom promotions committees (all faculties)
  • Honorary Professors Standing Committee (Chair)
  • Consultative Forum on Academic Staff Matters (Chair)
  • Employees Union Consultative Forum (Co-chair)
  • Employee Relations Management Committee
  • Job Evaluation Committee (Chair)
  • Staff Development Committee (Chair)
  • PASS Forum (Chair)
  • Senior Staff Management Advisory Group (SSMAG) (Chair)
  • Operations Management Advisory Group (Opsmag) (Chair)
  • University Information and Communication Technology Committee (Chair)
  • Graduate School of Business Advisory Board

Committees outside UCT

  • African Scholars’ Fund (Trustee)
  • Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (Director)
  • Freedom under Law (Director)
  • Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Member of the advisory council)

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Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Internationalisation)

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng stepped into the role of DVC for Research and Internationalisation on 1 January 2017.


Most recently, Professor Phakeng was Vice-Principal for Research and Innovation at the University of South Africa, where she also served as Professor of Mathematics Education.

She earned her BA (Ed) in pure mathematics (1988) from the University of Bophuthatswana (which now forms part of North-West University). She obtained her BEd (1993), MEd (1996) and PhD (2002) in mathematics education from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Phakeng is a pre-eminent educator and mathematics education researcher, with over 60 peer-reviewed research publications to her name. She has also edited six academic works and has published six research reports. Her research work has been cited over 1 000 times.

She is acknowledged both locally and internationally for contributions to her field. She has been invited to deliver more than 40 keynote and plenary talks at international conferences and as visiting professor at universities across the globe.

As a researcher with considerable international recognition, she is well-placed to spearhead the portfolio that advances research and graduate studies and leads internationalisation.

Throughout her career, Phakeng has focused on the development of mathematics education in primary and high school as well as on teaching and learning mathematics in multilingual mathematics classrooms. She was commended for this work in 2011 by being named the most outstanding Senior Black Female Researcher in the last five to 10 years by the National Science and Technology Forum. In April 2016 the president of South Africa bestowed on her the Order of the Baobab (silver) for her excellent contribution in the field of mathematics education and for representing South Africa on the international stage through her formidable research work.

She is a trustee of the FirstRand Foundation and a member of the board of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as well as the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO). She served as national president of the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (2002–2006) and was the founding chairperson of the board of the South African Mathematics Foundation (2004–2006).

She was secretary of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education from 2003 to 2007. She was the founding director of the Marang Centre for Mathematics and Science Education, Wits School of Education, from 2005 to 2007. She served as President of Convocation of Wits University from 2011 to 2016.

Phakeng also founded the Adopt-a-learner Foundation, a non-profit organisation that provides educational and financial support to help learners from townships and rural areas to acquire higher education.

Portfolio responsibilities

  • Research: profile, impact and engagement
  • Advancing postgraduate studies
  • Internationalisation
  • Climate Change and Sustainable Development Initiative
  • Poverty and Inequality Initiative
  • Social responsibility

Departments and individual reporting lines

  • Research Office
  • International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO)
  • Research Contracts and Innovation team
  • Postgraduate Funding Office
  • Postgraduate Studies
  • eResearch Office

Committees outside UCT

  • National Research Foundation Rating Appeals Committee (Chair)
  • Human Resource Development Council Standing Committee on Maths and Science (Chair)
  • CSIR Research Development and Innovation Committee (Chair)
  • DALRO (Member of the board)
  • CSIR (Member of the board)

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Professor Lis Lange
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)

Professor Lis Lange’s term of office began on 1 February 2018.


Professor Lange joined UCT from the University of the Free State (UFS), where she has held the same position for three and a half years. Before that she headed UFS’s Institutional and Academic Planning and Research Department from 2011 to 2014. She was an executive director for the Higher Education Quality Committee in the Council on Higher Education (CHE) from 2006 to 2010 and was acting CEO of the CHE from 2007 to 2008. During her service in the CHE, she secured funding for research projects on higher education from the following international funders: Fulbright, Nuffic, Carnegie Corporation and Ford Foundation.

Professor Lange was born in Argentina and is a permanent resident in South Africa. She earned a BA(Hons) in history from the University of Buenos Aires in 1984, an MA in African studies from El Colegio de Mexico in 1988, and a PhD in history from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1998.

Professor Lange’s research interests focus on the philosophy and politics of education. She has done research on change in higher education as well as on the meanings and possibilities of the notion of transformation, especially at curricular level. Her current work is on higher education curriculum and pedagogy in the context of the call for decolonisation of the curriculum.

She has participated on a number of national task teams of higher education, including University Fees, Council on Higher Education, 2016; Transfer of the Colleges of Agriculture from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the Department of Higher Education and Training, 2016; Funding of Higher Education, Department of Higher Education and Training, 2012; Consensus Group on the Humanities, South African Academy of Science, 2009–2010; and Quality of Academic Journals, South African Academy of Sciences, 2006–2008.

Professor Lange is the author of White, Poor and Angry: White working class families in Johannesburg (Ashgate, UK, 2003) and co-editor with Leonhard Praeg of #MustFall: Understanding the moment (UKZN University Press, forthcoming 2018). A small sampling of the policy research she has conducted on South African higher education includes, among other reports, “Teaching and learning beyond formal access: Assessment through the looking glass” (Higher Education Monitor No 10, 2010), “Access and throughput in South Africa: Three case studies, 2006–2008” (Higher Education Monitor No 9, 2010) and “Postgraduate studies in South Africa: A statistical profile” (Higher Education Monitor No 7, 2009).

Portfolio responsibilities

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Institutional Planning
  • Properties and Services (including Space and Physical Infrastructure)
  • Finance

Departments and individual reporting lines

  • Dean: Centre for Higher Education Development
  • Executive Director: Properties and Services
  • Director: Institutional Planning Department
  • Executive Director: Finance

Committee membership

  • Austerity Steering Committee (Chair)
  • University Building and Development Committee
  • Space Allocation Committee (Chair)
  • Physical Planning and Landscape Sub-Committee
  • Senate Teaching and Learning Committee (Chair)
  • Teaching Awards and Grants Committee (Chair)
  • Distinguished Teachers’ Award Sub-Committee (Chair)
  • University Finance Committee
  • Quality Assurance Committee (Chair)
  • Adult Learning Sub-Committee (Chair)
  • Programme Accreditation and Approval Sub-Committee (Chair)
  • Examinations and Assessment Committee (Chair)
  • Risk Management Committee
  • Admissions Committee

Ad hoc committees

  • Budget Review Task Team (Chair)
  • Size and Shape Task Team (Chair)

Committees outside UCT

  • DVC representative on Council on Higher Education: Quality Enhancement Project Coordinating Committee
  • African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (Council Chair, and trustee)
  • Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS): Academic Advisory Board


  • InterAcademy Partnership (Steering Committee member)
  • International Council for Science (President-elect and executive board member)

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Professor Loretta Feris
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Transformation)

Prof Loretta Feris

Professor Loretta Feris took up her portfolio as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Transformation on 1 January 2017.


Professor Feris is primarily responsible for the student affairs and transformation portfolios and will provide direction with respect to policies, processes and procedures that are pertinent to decolonisation and transformation as it affects both the student and staff experience. These include institutional culture, discrimination and harassment, HIV/AIDS, disability services, employment equity, student demographic change and student financial aid policies. She currently chairs the Rapid Response Task Team (RRTT), which was set up to monitor and respond to issues that arise as a result of the implementation of the 6 November agreement. The RRTT is also leading the research and engagement project on fee-free higher education.

Feris’s research focus has helped shape her for the transformation portfolio. She is a National Research Foundation-rated researcher whose work is aimed at shaping conversations around environmental law and human rights, accountability and social justice – both in South Africa and across the globe.

Before joining UCT she was Associate Professor of Law at the University of Pretoria (2004–2009), where she was instrumental in developing a master’s programme on trade and investment law in Africa. Her career also includes a stint at the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington DC, USA, first as International Legal Studies Fellow (2000) and later as Assistant Director of the International Legal Studies Program, Assistant Coordinator of the Humphrey Fellowship Program and Adjunct Professor of Law (2001–2004).

Feris joined UCT in 2009 as Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, where she was Director of the Institute for Marine and Environmental Law before her appointment as DVC. She lectured in pollution law, natural resources law and international environmental law.

She has served UCT in a number of positions. Within the Faculty of Law, she was the Chair of the Higher Degrees Committee and, until the end of 2015, she was the Director of Research, during which time she also served on the Faculty Management Board.

She has been a member of the University Research Committee and was the Deputy Chair of UCT’s Conference and Travel Committee (2012–2015) and chaired the committee in 2016. Until early 2016 she was the Vice-Chair of the Black Academic Caucus.

Feris advises the United Nations Environment Programme on priority areas for the environmental law agenda in respect of the Montevideo Programme IV process. She is a law commissioner of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and a member of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, where she served on the teaching and training committee (2007–2009) as well as on a task team on innovative teaching of environmental law (2009).

Portfolio responsibilities

  • Institutional Forum
  • Institutional culture
  • Discrimination and harassment, HIV/AIDS, disability services
  • Employment equity

Departments and individual reporting lines

  • Student Affairs
  • Transformation Services Office
  • Disability Services
  • Safety and Violence Initiative

Committee membership

  • Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC) (Board member)
  • University Council
  • Senate
  • Nominations Committee
  • Admissions Committee
  • Institutional Forum Committee
  • College of Wardens
  • Residence committee
  • University Student Affairs
  • University Transformation Advisory Committee
  • Sports Council

Committees outside UCT

  • Biowatch (Board member)
  • Natural Justice (Board member)

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