Commerce: Associate Professor Linda Ronnie
Engineering & the Built Environment: Professor Alison Lewis
Health Sciences: Professor Carolyn Williamson (interim)
Humanities: Associate Professor Shose Kessi
Law: Professor Danwood Chirwa
Science: Professor Maano Ramutsindela
Director, Graduate School of Business: Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran (acting)
Centre for Higher Education Development: Associate Professor Alan Cliff (interim)
Associate Professor Linda Ronnie took up her position as dean of the Faculty of Commerce on 22 October 2018.
Associate Professor Ronnie held various leadership positions at UCT’s Graduate School of Business (GSB), including acting director of the GSB for ad-hoc periods, and acting academic director in 2016. Her previous GSB appointments include director of the Associate in Management and the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PDBA) programmes, and programme convenor for the Master of Business Administration (MBA). Ronnie was appointed Associate Professor in Organisational Behaviour and People Management in January 2017.
Associate Professor Linda Ronnie joined UCT in 2002 as a senior lecturer in human resource management at the GSB. In 2005 she moved to the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) as a senior lecturer in academic staff development. In 2006 Ronnie returned to the GSB, remaining there until her appointment as the dean of Commerce.
Ronnie graduated from the universities of Cape Town, Liverpool and Sheffield. In 2014 she received a UCT Distinguished Teacher Award and Lecturer of the Year awards for both the MBA and PDBA programmes at the GSB. In 2016 she received nominations for the Case Centre’s Outstanding Case Teacher (the only candidate from Africa) and the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa’s National Teaching and Learning Excellence awards.
Additionally, Associate Professor Ronnie has diverse experience in both the private and public sector including, but not limited to, Bidvest, Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster, Health Systems Trust, the National and Western Cape Departments of Health, City of Cape Town, and National Treasury.
Professor Alison Lewis took up her position as the dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment on 1 June 2015.
Professor Lewis has been 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, Professor Lewis was a post-doctoral fellow in the Water Research Group in UCT’s Department of Civil Engineering.
Professor Lewis is founder and director of the Crystallisation and Precipitation Research Unit. She 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 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, Professor 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.
Professor Lewis has also been the university orator for the past five years and has done sterling work in preparing and delivering citations for recipients of honorary degrees, ranging from actor Antony Sher, artist William Kentridge and former Reserve Bank governor, Tito Mboweni, to esteemed specialist in infectious diseases, Salim Abdool Karim.
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.
Professor Lewis is a professional engineer, registered by the Engineering Council of South Africa. She is also 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 and UCT’s College of Fellows. Professor Lewis is also a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.
Professor Carolyn Williamson was appointed as the interim dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, effective 1 October 2018. Professor Williamson brings to this position management experience, research excellence and a wealth of institutional knowledge.
She obtained a PhD in microbiology from UCT in 1988. Since then, Professor Williamson has worked on viral diseases at the South African Institute for Medical Research and later at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.
She was appointed professor in 2009, and Head of Medical Virology in 2010, as a joint appointment between UCT and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS). In 2014 she oversaw the establishment of the faculty’s new Department of Pathology, which she led for three and a half years. As head of this department she formed part of the national leadership group at the NHLS, gaining experience in the management of clinical services and taking a lead role in finalising the bilateral agreement between UCT and the NHLS.
Professor Williamson is internationally recognised for her research on HIV vaccine development and an HIV cure. Her work and outstanding research have made significant contributions to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of HIV transmission, and to illuminating the characteristics of the transmitted virus. Her research demonstrates how these characteristics influence both the risk of infection and disease progression. She has also been involved in developing and testing candidate HIV vaccines, and her research aims to inform vaccine design and the search for an HIV cure.
She has over 150 peer-reviewed publications and has received numerous awards, including the Medical Research Council gold medal in 2017. She has supervised 27 MSc and PhD students to graduation. She serves on scientific advisory boards in South Africa, the USA and Uganda.
She is a fellow of UCT, a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and a fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.
Professor Williamson will be at the helm of the faculty until 30 September 2019 while the process of searching for and appointing a substantive dean is underway.
This follows the passing of the late dean, Professor Bongani Mayosi.
Associate Professor Shose Kessi has been appointed as the dean of the Faculty of Humanities, where she has been the acting dean since 1 March 2019.
Currently serving as associate professor in the Department of Psychology and having been deputy dean of transformation in the Faculty of Humanities since 2018, she is also the founder and the first chairperson of the UCT Black Academic Caucus. She was appointed to the Special Executive Task Team in 2016 and the University Strategic Forum a year later.
Associate Professor Kessi is also a member of the University Employment Equity Forum, the Transformation Forum, the Institutional Forum and the Senate. At faculty level, she is part of the Faculty Executive, the Humanities Staffing Committee and the Humanities Dean’s Advisory Committee. She has served as the chair of the Humanities Transformation Committee since 2016.
Her qualifications include a PhD in Social Psychology and an MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology with distinction (both from the London School of Economics and Political Science), with her Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration having been obtained at the Wits Business School.
Professor Danwood Chirwa has been appointed Dean of the Faculty of Law with effect from 1 January 2019.
Professor Chirwa holds a PhD from the University of the Western Cape, an LLM from the University of Pretoria, and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Malawi. Currently, he holds a full professorship at the University of Cape Town. Over the last 14 years, Prof Chirwa has taught Administrative Law, International Human Rights, Children's Rights, and Constitutional Law. He has played a key role in curriculum development and the administration of the human rights post-graduate programmes and has gained considerable experience as a postgraduate supervisor at both the LLM and doctoral levels.
Professor Maano Ramutsindela, Deputy Dean of Operations and Professor in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, has been appointed as the new Dean of the Faculty of Science. He will take up his position on 1 March 2019.
Professor Ramutsindela has served the science faculty in critical committees such as the Ad Hominem Committee, Committee of Assessors and the Executive Committee. He chaired the Faculty of Science Transformation Advisory Committee and served as an elected member of the UCT Council and the Senate Executive Committee. As a member of the Senate Committee of 12, he chaired and participated in committees that handled conflicts. He represented UCT in the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) and is the founding co-chair of the WUN Global Africa Group.
Having obtained his PhD in Geography from Royal Holloway, University of London, Professor Ramutsindela has gone on to receive the NRF President’s Award, an appointment as Fellow of the Society of South African Geographers, and elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He is the recipient of the NRF Award for the Transformation of the Science Cohort.
Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran will be the acting director of the GSB until a substantive appointment is made.
Associate Professor Alan Cliff has been appointed interim dean of the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) from 1 December 2018. He will continue to serve in an acting capacity until 31 December 2019.
Associate Professor Cliff is substantively located in the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CILT) in CHED where he is co-ordinator of the Staff Development cluster. He obtained his BA, BEd and MEd qualifications from UCT and his PhD from the University of Auckland. Associate Professor Cliff has extensive experience teaching courses in educational psychology, educational assessment and adult education to mostly postgraduate education students. He convenes courses in educational assessment and evaluation for students at certificate, diploma and master’s levels. He has published in international journals including Higher Education, Language Matters and Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies and the South African Journal of Higher Education.
Associate Professor Cliff has supervised master’s and PhD students in areas such as the development of literacies practices in disciplinary contexts; the validation of standardised admissions tests; the use of alternate admissions tests for admission and placement purposes; and factors that facilitate the development of electronic systems literacy in the workplace. He has contributed to research on the alignment between curriculum and student assessment. Regionally, Associate Professor Cliff teaches courses on assessment design and academic literacy. His current research interests are in the use of theories and principles of Dynamic Assessment to facilitate student learning; and in the processes of staff development as ‘literacies practices’ and induction into professional learning communities. Associate Professor Cliff contributes to the development of educational assessment policy in the further and higher education sectors nationally.