Meet the Dean
Prof Danie Brink
(BScAgric, 1983; HonsBScAgric, 1985; MScAgric, 1987; PhD Agric, 2004)
As from 1 July 2017, prof Danie Brink has been appointed as Dean of the Faculty of AgriSciences. He was acting Dean of the Faculty since May 2014. Prof Brink is an alumni of Stellenbosch University and serves on several boards, industry organisations and associations.
Vision statement for the Faculty of AgriSciences
Prof Danie Brink (2017)
Over the past 100 years, the Faculty of AgriSciences at Stellenbosch University (SU) has established itself as a high-impact teaching and research institution. Its proud history attests to quality undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, internationally recognised research with a significant impact on the ecological sustainability and competitiveness of local agriculture and related industries, and agricultural economic policy and other scholarly contributions that have benefited the country both economically and socially. With world-class infrastructure and facilities, an excellent staff corps with exceptional integrity, and a student body that reflects South African society, the Faculty is a vehicle for scholarship and social advancement.
As AgriSciences enters its next century, it does however also face a range of challenges, including broader institutional transformation, sustainability, technological innovation, ecological dynamics, economic development and social accountability. The Faculty's continued success and relevance rely on its ability to address these challenges and turn them into opportunities. As an alumnus of the Faculty, I am inspired to actively contribute to this in the position of Dean.
My vision for the Faculty is of an accessible, inclusive institution where students and staff, both individually and collectively, can reach their full potential and thereby meaningfully contribute to the objectives of the Faculty and the University, as well as the betterment of society at large. To this end, the quality and success of students is vitally important, as is the achievement of SU's graduate attributes through the learning and teaching process. Another key requirement is a coherent and motivated staff corps who are equipped to tackle current complexities and challenges. My passion for learning and teaching, creativity and ability to rally people around a common cause will help realise this vision.
Sustainable teaching and research must be built on academic excellence and relevance, must promote creativity and critical thought, and deliver innovative outcomes. Sustainable social impact, in turn, requires the continuous development of academic, institutional and industry networks of mutual benefit and value to all. This includes forging strategic ties with like-minded institutions internationally and elsewhere on the continent to boost the Faculty's capacity, expand its reach, and join in the search for solutions from Africa, for Africa. My innovative approach to issues and extensive experience of networking and liaison could be useful in this regard.
Despite the Faculty's diverse academic offering that has been tailored over years to support the South African agricultural sector, there is a need to critically reflect on future focus areas that would be high in impact, socially accountable and all-round sustainable. I have the required management skills to lead that process.
As one of SU's very first faculties, AgriSciences remains a key role-player in achieving the University's objectives and strategy, whilst also engaging with local, regional and global issues such as food security, economic development, equity and sustainability. In order to continue to meaningfully fulfil this role, the Faculty requires strong leadership and initiative. I am ready to guide AgriSciences in addressing our challenges along with our local, African and international partners, and to inspire our staff and students to continue building on the Faculty's sound foundations as well as harness future opportunities. It will be an honour to serve my alma mater in this way.