The advent of COVID 19 is unprecedented in the manner in which it has disrupted every aspect of human life. Within the Higher Education sector, all campus based activities were brought to a standstill. Universities have had to contend with the fact that for the immediate and foreseeable future, remote and flexible multimodal teaching and learning will take the place of face to face instruction.

This has placed enormous and multifold responsibility in the Office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching & Learning which had taken on an additional responsibility of Research and Innovation following the retirement of Professor Gideon De Wet.

In light of the above, Professor Mashupye Kgaphola, (Interim) Executive Director: Richards Bay Campus has been asked to act in the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Innovation. This acting appointment takes effect immediately, and should ensure that Teaching & Learning provides the dedicated focus required by the new reality and its varied challenges.

Professor Kgaphola brings demonstrable skills and leadership experience in the sphere of research. Aside from holding the requisite qualifications and experience, he is an accomplished scholar in his own right. He has formerly occupied numerous strategic positions in the higher education sector, most notably the following: Vice-Chancellor (MUT), Senior Policy Analyst in Science and Technology Policy (NRF).

He also played a critical role as Knowledge Management Coordinator at the DBSA, where he led a project to galvanize key African regional research centers, universities, governments and development institutions to support the Knowledge Management Africa agenda for the continent. During his tenure as Vice-Chancellor, he had a stint as the Chairperson of the South African
Technology Network (SATN) which has been spearheading the development of future academic leaders.

Professor Kgaphola holds the following qualifications: PhD (Chemistry), B.Sc. Honours, Chemistry (Leeds, UK), Certificates and Diplomas.

While acting in this capacity, Professor Kgaphola will remain in his current position of Interim Executive Director of the Richards Bay Campus.

We have confidence in Professor Kgaphola’s competence in effectively discharging this responsibility.

Issued on behalf of University Management

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