Vice-Chancellor’s Circular No. 7 – New senior appointments to the University

Dear Colleagues

It gives me great pleasure to announce four new senior appointments to the University.

Professor Imraan Valodia has been appointed as the new Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management. Professor Valodia joins Wits from the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He will assume the deanship as from 1 April 2014.

Professor Valodia has a doctorate in Economics from UKZN. His research interests include employment, the informal economy, gender, and industrialisation. He is currently coordinating an international study, in 10 cities, of the informal economy. His most recent book reports on the methodology and research findings of a three-year research project, conducted in eight countries, on the gender impacts of taxation. He has published in leading international journals and is one of only a handful of South African economists with an NRF B-rating. He serves on a number of economic policy forums and has worked with leading international development organisations, including the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, the United Nations Development Programme, UN Women, the World Bank, and Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising, among others. Professor Valodia is a part-time member of the Competition Tribunal and a Commissioner on the Employment Conditions Commission.

Professor Steve Bluen will serve as the new Head of the Wits Business School, beginning on 1 February 2014.

Professor Bluen is no stranger to Wits, having been educated at the University, where he received a PhD in Industrial Psychology. He also completed the Development Programme in Labour Relations at UNISA and an Executive Development Programme at the University of Michigan. He was Head of the Psychology Department and Professor of Industrial Psychology at Wits. Professor Bluen also ran a consulting business, working with many leading South African companies. He joined SA Breweries in 1993 as a Consulting Psychologist and went on to hold several positions in both the South African and the Africa & Asia businesses. In 2002, Professor Bluen was appointed HR Director of the South African operation and, from 2005, headed up HR in both the Beer and Soft Drinks Divisions of SAB Ltd. In 2007/8 he also served as SAB’s Acting Corporate Affairs Director. In 2011, Professor Bluen joined GIBS as a major-time professor in Human Resources.

Professor Jannie Rossouw has been appointed as the new Head of the School of Economic and Business Sciences. He will take up the position on 1 February 2014.

Professor Rossouw, an NRF C2-rated researcher, pursued his tertiary studies at the University of Pretoria where he obtained an MBA and an MCom in Economics. He was awarded a PhD by the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2008. He started his professional career as a lecturer in the Economics Department at UNISA, before joining the private sector. Professor Rossouw served as Head: Currency Management at the SA Reserve Bank. He then took up a position as Professor in the Department of Economics at UNISA. Professor Rossouw was co-editor of a special supplement of the journal Economic History of Developing Regions (2011). He is a prolific writer and has authored and co-authored numerous articles in a wide variety of media. He is a member of the Economic Society of South Africa and the Finance Committee of the South African Academy for Arts and Culture, and sits on the Board of the Afrikaans Language Museum.

Associate Professor Christine Woods, an experienced academic development practitioner with 20 years of experience in higher education in South Africa and internationally, took up the reins as Director of the Centre for Learning, Teaching and Development on 1 January 2014.

Professor Woods was a Fulbright Humphrey Fellow at Pennsylvania State University in the US and Head of Educational Development at Central Queensland University in Australia. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre at the University of Fort Hare and Manager of the Academic Development Centre at the East London Campus of Rhodes University. She has developed national and international collaborative networks around learning and teaching research interests in the areas of educational technology, assessment, evaluation, alternate access provision, student engagement, curriculum development and learning design. She has a proven track record of undergraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision, and extensive experience in modelling best practice in learning and teaching and the use of web-based educational technologies to support active and collaborative learning in higher education.

Please join me in extending a hearty welcome to Professors Valodia, Bluen, Rossouw and Woods as they assume their new roles within the University.


Professor Adam Habib

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

9 January 2014