Deputy Deans' message to new incoming Dean
Both Professors Hussey and Mayosi find themselves leading the Faculty at an historic time in our country, more specifically in steering it through the challenges facing higher education in South Africa.
Professor Hussey, who has been the Interim Dean since January 2015, has had his tenure marked by a period of unprecedented turbulence at higher education institutions nationwide during 2015 - the #RhodesMustFall followed by #FeesMustFall campaigns.
These were challenging times, and he led the Faculty’s swift response to the demand by students for the university to institute meaningful transformation. Under Prof Hussey, ours was the first Faculty across the university to initiate faculty assemblies to listen to student and staff views on discrimination and how the lack of transformation impacted their lives. Initiatives to address transformation in the Faculty were instituted, including the development of a Faculty Transformation Strategy. Professor Hussey led the Faculty response in support of the #FeesMustFall campaign that highlighted the financial struggles of especially black students in the country. His openness to engaging and listening to staff and students contributed much to the climate of trust nurtured during this time. Most recently, he steered departments through decision-making on the university's austerity measures.
Beyond these, there were other significant developments that he can be proud of. These include the establishment of the George rural campus for undergraduate programmes; the launch of the Neurosciences Institute that will see clinicians and researchers collaborating on cutting edge treatments for patients with brain disease in Africa; and the strengthening of of relationships with external partners like the provincial Department of Health and the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS).
As the Deanery team working closely with him, we thank him for his unflinching support in our work, and laud him for the sincerity and conviction of his contributions. We wish him well as he settles back into his former role as Director of Vaccines for Africa (VACFA).
The faculty is delighted to warmly welcome the new Dean Professor Mayosi, who joins us at this significant time of change. Head of Medicine from 2006 till taking up the deanship, he is a highly accomplished academic, with a long-standing record of excellence, and a strong track-record of fundraising and leadership in his field.
Our new Dean is highly respected by colleagues and students alike, and is known to be driven, visionary and dynamic. It is much anticipated that he will not only continue with current programmes, but also usher in a new era of leadership for the Faculty. A strong advocate of transformation, his Deanship will advance the initiatives begun by his predecessors. We are also especially proud that he becomes the first african black Dean of this Faculty, an historic moment in the Faculty’s 104 year history.
We wish Prof Mayosi great success in his new role and look forward to working with him as he steers the Faculty to new heights.