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Donovan Neale-May
Chairman of the Board of Trustees

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I have great pleasure in announcing that on 8 October 2014, the Council of Rhodes University unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Sizwe Mabizela as the 6th Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University with effect from 1 November 2014. This appointment is for a period of seven years and may be extended for a further term determined by the Council of the University at its discretion.

Following the resignation of Dr. Saleem Badat as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University to pursue a career with the Mellon Foundation in the United States of America; the Council, after consultation with the University's Senate and the Institutional Forum, determined a process to select the next Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University. This process was driven by a Selection Committee chaired by the Chairman of Council and consisting of nominees of all the major stakeholders of the University, including Council, Senate, academic and non-academic staff, and students.The objective of the Selection Committee was to conduct a credible selection process benefitting the stature and global standing of Rhodes University.

Through public advertisements, invitations were extended to, and received from, persons who considered themselves to meet the requirements and profile determined for appointment to this position. The Selection Committee, following an extensive interview, preceded by a presentation by Dr Mabizela, unanimously recommended his candidature to the University's Senate, in accordance with the agreed process for this selection. Senate, overwhelmingly, recommended Dr. Mabizela's appointment to Council.

Dr. Mabizela is eminently worthy of his appointment as the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of this prestigious University.

Dr. Mabizela enjoys a solid standing as a mathematician amongst his peers and his professional global contribution to the discipline of Mathematics is considerable. He has, amongst others, been an FRD/NRF rated researcher for 13 years; served on the FRD/NRF Advisory Panels for the rating of researchers; chaired the NRF Mathematical Sciences Grant Applications Committee; been a member of the Board of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences(AIMS) since its inception eleven years ago; presented lectures locally and abroad; been a reviewer and referee for academic journals, including Quaestiones Mathematicae(South African Mathematical Society Journal), Mathematicae Japonica(Japanese Mathematical Journal) and the Indian Mathematical Journal; been an external examiner for PhD theses and Master's dissertations and served as an external assessor of the University of Stellenbosch's Department of Mathematical Sciences.

Dr. Mabizela is a leading scholar with impressive and extensive publications covering his research and teaching interests of Applied Functional Analysis, Approximation Theory, Topology, Real Analysis, Metric Spaces, Sympletic Geometry, Geometric Quantisation, Lie Theory and Differential Geometry. He has addressed academic conferences, colloquia and seminars globally, from 1986 to September.

Dr. Mabizela's academic history includes having been an Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the University of Cape Town's Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics; Visiting Professor of the University of Zimbabwe's Department of Mathematics; Professor and Head of Department of the Rhodes University's Department of Mathematics (Pure and Applied); and Rhodes University's Deputy Vice - Chancellor: Academic and Student Affairs since 2008.

Dr. Mabizela is the outgoing Chairperson of the Council of Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training. He has previously served as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture, Cowley Home, Woodstock, Cape Town; Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Zithembe Career and Education Counselling Centre, Langa Township, Cape Town; Board member of the Catholic Schools Board of 2013 Cape Town; Director of Science Development Project, Cape Town; Chairperson of the St Francis Adult Education Centre, Langa Township, Cape Town; and President of the African Students Association at his alma mater, The Pennsylvania State University.

He has made public addresses and other presentations since September 1999 on a broad range of topics, including Embracing Cultural Diversity Challenges and Opportunities, presented at the Smuts Hall, University of Cape Town; Challenges and Opportunities presented by Mergers in Higher Education, University of Cape Town; The STRUGGLE beyond the struggle: Facing the Challenge, at St Francis School, Langa Cape Town; Is South Africa a home for all?, for a panel discussion at Rhodes University, Leadership in the context of a changing society at Rhodes University; the Marikana massacre: A Call to action, at the Cathedral of St Michael and St George, Grahamstown;  Could more students offer Mathematics than is currently the case? at the DBSA-HSRC- Umalusi joint seminar, Irene, Pretoria; Are we still on course? Celebrating the life of Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, at the Cathedral of St Michael and St George, Grahamstown; What is your purpose in life? at the Kutliso Daniels High School, Grahamstown; You can make a difference! at the Victoria Girls High School, Grahamstown; and Standards in education : What are they? at the IEB Workshop for IEB Examiners, Kingsmead College, Johannesburg.

Dr. Mabizela enjoys the support and confidence of Council to lead the University out of who he is and drive the finalization of the Institutional Development Plan intended to address the grand challenges faced by the University, to sustain Rhodes University, where leaders learn.


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Manager of Alumni Relations at Rhodes University.

How is Rhodes handling and prioritizing the growing number of financial aid requests from students?

  • Sound academic performance
  • Proven financial need
  • Willingness to make a minimal financial commitment to the University to pay fees
  • Mostly South African citizens
  • Signing of the acknowledgement of debt in instances where the family is unable to settle fees in full by the end of the academic year. This is done to ensure that academically sound students are permitted to progress to the next academic level so that the University is able to collect the funds once they have graduated and secured permanent employment.

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