SEBENZILE NKAMBULE

On Monday, 27 July, following the resignation of prof. Callie Pistorius, the University of Pretoria was pleased to announce the appointment of dr Cheryl de la Rey as the new Vice-Chancellor and Principal.

After extensive interviewing, presentations by the candidates and careful consideration of all 13 applicants for the position, dr De la Rey’s impressive record of academic achievements and leadership made her the chosen successor of prof. Pistorius.

Prof. Pistorius resigned in March this year after accepting the position of Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull, in the UK. Dr De la Rey was previously appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Higher Education in May 2008.

Prior to that position she served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for six years at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She has also served as the Executive Director of the Research Promotion on secondment to the National Research Foundation (NRF).

UP Council Chair, Futhi Mtoba said, in a press release on the university’s website, that the appointment followed an “exhaustive process.” The process included interviews with seven shortlisted candidates from the 13 who applied.

One of the candidates withdrew their application for the position. The process also included two rounds of voting by the Senate and the Institutional Forum. Dr de la Rey is said to have extensive knowledge and “strategic understanding” of institutions of higher education, and of the number of challenges in the “operational environment” within which universities function.

In her declaration of intent, dr de la Rey said this about UP: “There is a sound base from which an exciting future can be built to realise a vision to be South Africa’s leading academic institution renowned for the quality of its teaching and student life, outstanding research, diversity, innovation and public engagement”. Mtoba said the date on which “dr de la Rey will assume duty in her new position is still to be agreed with her.”

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