UCT Dean

UCT Dean

UCT Dean,


Commerce: Associate Professor Linda Ronnie
Engineering & the Built Environment: Prof Alison Lewis
Health Sciences: Professor Carolyn Williamson (interim)
Humanities: Prof David Wardle (acting)
Law: Prof Hugh Corder (acting)
Science: Prof Susan Bourne (interim)
Director, Graduate School of Business: Assoc Prof Kosheek Sewchurran (acting)
Centre for Higher Education Development: Assoc Prof Alan Cliff (acting)
Commerce: Associate Professor Linda Ronnie
Associate Professor Linda RonnieAssociate 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.
Faculty of Commerce website

Engineering & the Built Environment: Professor Alison Lewis
Professor Alison LewisProfessor 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.
Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment website

Health Sciences: Professor Carolyn Williamson (interim)
Professor Carolyn WilliamsonProfessor 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.
Faculty of Health Sciences website

Humanities: Professor David Wardle (acting)
Professor David WardleProfessor David Wardle has been appointed acting dean of the Faculty of Humanities with effect from 7 December 2017 until 31 December 2018. Before this appointment, Professor Wardle had served the faculty as deputy dean (of finance and space) since 2005.
Professor 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.
Professor Wardle has published four 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, MA in 1987 and PhD in 1989, all from Oxford University.
Faculty of Humanities website

Law: Professor Hugh Corder (acting)
Professor Hugh CorderProfessor Hugh Corder has been appointed acting dean of the Faculty of Law since 28 May 2018.
Professor Corder became professor of public law at UCT in 1987 and is widely known nationally and internationally in the field of public law. 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 the 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 the first research chair – in African security and justice.
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.
Professor Corder served as a member of the UCT executive as Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for all the faculties and for human resources from March 2017 until January 2018.
Faculty of Law website

Science: Professor Susan Bourne (interim)
Professor Susan BourneProfessor Susan Bourne has been appointed as the interim dean of the Faculty of Science from 1 January 2018 until 30 June 2019. Prior to this appointment Professor Bourne has been Professor of Physical Chemistry, and head of the Department of Chemistry since 2012. She was deputy dean of the faculty from 2013 to 2016.
Prof 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 is the chair of the Structural Chemistry Commission of the International Union of Crystallography, and serves on the editorial boards of two of the leading journals in crystal engineering.
Faculty of Science website

Director, Graduate School of Business: Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran (acting)
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 Alan Cliff (acting)
Associate Professor Alan CliffAssociate Professor Alan Cliff has been appointed acting dean in the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) from 10 September 2018.

Centre for Higher Education Development website