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Deputy vice-chancellors

Professor Loretta Feris | Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng | Professor Hugh Corder | Professor Daya Reddy

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)

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)

Professor Hugh Corder
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Institutional Innovation)

Professor Hugh Corder

Professor Hugh Corder is Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Innovation from 20 March 2017.


Professor Corder became Professor of Public Law at UCT in 1987 and is widely regarded as one of the country’s leading legal minds. He was a technical advisor in the drafting of the transitional Bill of Rights for South Africa and has contributed to the fields of both constitutional and administrative law, notably concerning the judiciary, the separation of powers, and administrative law reform.

As Dean of UCT’s Faculty of Law from 1999 to 2008, he oversaw the establishment of two funded chairs – in Constitutional Governance and Intellectual Property Law – and two research chairs – in African Security and Justice; and Customary Law, Indigenous Values and Dignity Jurisprudence.

It was also under Corder’s stewardship that the Faculty of Law built the Oliver Tambo Moot Court in 2000, which he later described as a physical sign of UCT’s commitment to transformation of the law. Before his full-time teaching career at UCT commenced, Corder graduated from UCT, Cambridge and Oxford universities, and taught at the University of Stellenbosch in the 1980s.

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)

Professor Daya Reddy
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)

Prof Daya Reddy

Professor Daya Reddy is the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning as of 1 January 2017.


An internationally recognised mathematician, Professor Daya Reddy has had a long and distinguished association with the University of Cape Town (UCT).

He obtained his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UCT and a PhD from Cambridge University. In 1979 he returned to UCT as a lecturer with a joint appointment in the departments of Civil Engineering and Applied Mathematics.

He was appointed Professor of Applied Mathematics at UCT in 1989 and served as Dean of the Faculty of Science from 1999 to 2005. He currently holds the South African Research Chair in Computational Mechanics in UCT’s Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.

Professor Reddy’s research interests lie at the intersection of applied mathematics and engineering sciences. Much of his academic work is concerned with analysis and computational simulation in solid and fluid mechanics, and concerns the development of mathematical models of material behaviour, analysis of these models, and the construction and implementation of algorithms for their numerical solution. His work is motivated by applications in areas such as materials science and biomechanics.

He is the new President-elect of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and is only the second African to be elected to this prestigious position.

A founder member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), he served as ASSAf president from 2012 to 2016. He serves on the steering committee of the InterAcademy Partnership, an organization of some 130 national and regional academies that promotes the special role of science in seeking solutions to the world's most challenging problems. He is also a fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering, the African Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and the International Association of Computational Mechanics.

He is a recipient of the Order of Mapungubwe (bronze), which is awarded by the president of South Africa for distinguished contributions to science; the Award for Research Distinction of the South African Mathematical Society; and the Georg Forster Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.

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)