Appointment of two Deans

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Prof Renuka Vithal, DVC: AA, is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Deans who will be joining the University of Fort Hare.

Professor Neil Roos, incoming Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, will join the University on July 1st 2021.

Professor Mzikazi Nduna has been appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences with effect from January 1st 2022.

Currently, Professor Neil Roos is Professor of History at the University of the Free State, and co-implementer of the South African Department of Higher Education and Training’s national collaborative Future Professors Programme. He received his first degrees at the then University of Natal, and obtained his doctorate in History from the University of North West (now part of North West University), in Mahikeng. A member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), Professor Roos is an NRF-rated researcher, and writes on social histories of race and racism. He is the author of a monograph Ordinary Springboks: White Servicemen and Social Justice in South Africa 1939-1961 with Ashgate. His recent research has focused on the historical, moral and political dimensions of white everyday life in apartheid South Africa. From this body of work, he has published essays in Social History, the Journal of Social History, The Historical Journal and International Review of Social History, and has a book forthcoming with Indiana University Press, Ordinary Whites in Apartheid Society. For Professor Roos teaching and curriculum design have long been central features of his identity as a professional historian, and for over twenty years he has accumulated a wealth of experience in undergraduate and postgraduate education. In recent years, however, his focus has expanded to include academic career development and the tasks associated with cultivating a next-generation, South African professoriate. Successes in this domain culminated in his secondment as one of the lead implementers of the national Future Professors Programme. Professor Roos was a Fulbright Fellow in anthropology at the University of Chicago, and has also enjoyed fellowships at Universities Notre Dame, Maryland, the University of Technology – Sydney and Harvard University. He is editor of the Southern Journal of Contemporary History.

Professor Mzikazi Nduna is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand, and had been Head of the School of Human and Community Development from January 2017 to September 2019. Professor Nduna holds a PhD in Public Health from the University of the Witwatersrand and an MA in Research Psychology from the then University of Natal. She is an esteemed South African academic with extensive experience as an educator, trainer and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Professor Nduna was part of the respected team at the Medical Research Council’s Gender & Health Unit that undertook the successful Randomized Controlled Community Trial to evaluate an HIV behavioural prevention intervention, the Stepping Stones. In addition to work experience in the education and civil society sectors, Professor Nduna has 15 years of academic work experience in the Department of Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her teaching spans Health Psychology and Qualitative Research Methods and her research interests are in the areas of gender, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and father (dis)connections. She is an experienced supervisor and mentor, having graduated 27 postgraduate students. A receiver of multiple grants and fellowships, Professor Nduna established the Net10 research working group for capacity-building through research networking. Her research outputs include 64 peer-reviewed journal articles, 2 books, 4 special issue journals, 8 book chapters, and several research reports. On Google Scholar she has 5866 citations and an H-index of 29. Professor Nduna’s research knowledge is accessible and available in multiple mediums and formats. She contributes to workshop and training interventions, as well as policy advocacy work. 

I take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to Professor Fhulu Nekhwevha for firmly steering the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences during his tenure as Acting Dean, which will conclude at the end of June. Professor Nekhwevha’s contribution and leadership have been greatly appreciated.

I am also very grateful to Professor Leon van Niekerk who has kindly agreed to stay on as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences until the end of the year.

As we welcome Professor Roos to the University in July, we are looking forward to a period of exciting growth and renewal for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

We are looking forward to Professor Nduna joining the University in January next year, which will open a new and innovative chapter for the Faculty of Health Sciences.


Professor Renuka Vithal

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic Affairs