Prof Leopoldt van Huyssteen is SU’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), the first incumbent of this post. With his retirement planned for the end of 2017, the office is currently in a transitional phase, during which the reigns are gradually handed over to the COO designate, Prof Stan du Plessis. Du Plessis will officially take over at the start of 2018. Until then, they will be sharing the duties and responsibilities of the post and taking decisions jointly. However, all communication with the office of the COO still takes place via the normal, single channel, namely personal assistant Ms Mariëtte Hanekom (see details below).