Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Committee for the Institutional Respons​​e to the Commission’​s Recommendations (CIRCoRe)​​​

The Committee for the Institutional Response to the Commission’s Recommendations (CIRCoRe), established in April 2023, is responsible for Stellenbosch University’s processing and response to the Khampepe Commission Report. CIRCoRe will lead, implement, oversee and monitor the University’s response to the Report’s recommendations. CIRCoRe is responsible for the overall goals and objectives, direction-setting, guidance, and the integrated coherence and monitoring of the process. CIRCoRE leads, coordinates and manages the institutional response process for the two-year duration of the committee’s work. 
A CIRCoRe Coordinating Office keeps the various dimensions of the process together, while the CIRCoRe governance committee, headed by the Rector, with the Deputy-Vice Chancellor for Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel as secundus, serve as the governance instrument that oversees the CIRCoRE Khampepe institutional response process. The CIRCoRe process will report back to CIRCoRe committee governance meetings once per term (i.e., at least four times per year).
Please see Documents and Reports for the Terms of Reference and the members of each workstream.

CIRCoRe's mandate

Against the backdrop of transformation as an institutional priority, CIRCoRE aims to develop urgent short-term proposals for immediate implementation. A medium and longer term implementation approach will also be pursued based on the complexity of organisational change and the need to embed such change within the operational culture of the institution. The recommendations of the response process will be fed directly to the Rectorate for consideration and implementation.

The CIRCoRe process is aimed at giving further momentum and impetus to SU's transformation agenda and should in no way be regarded as an add-on that disregards the existing transformational structures of the University. Our approach is that it will seek to enhance the work of said structures and a coordinated and phased implementation approach will be followed. CIRCoRe will also frequently report to the Rectorate, Senate, Council and Institutional Forum.​​

Joint Leadership Structu​re

As from March 2024, an amended structure guides the scope of CIRCoRe activities going forward: 
  • Project owner: Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector
  • Project leader: Prof Nico Koopman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel
  • Project co-ordinator: Mr Mohamed Shaikh, Executive Manager: Rectorate. 
A CIRCoRe Steering Committee comprising the heads of CIRCoRe’s five workstreams – Prof Kopano Ratele, Prof Ronelle Carolissen, Dr Leslie van Rooi, Dr Sharman Wickham and Mr Phila Msimang – as well as Prof Nico Koopman and Mr Mohamed Shaikh will serve as CIRCoRe’s engine and rudder. The Steering Committee will meet with high frequency.
Prof André Keet, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Transformation at Nelson Mandela University, is serving as expert external adviser to CIRCoRe.
The CIRCoRe Advisory Committee will appropriately guide and inform CIRCoRe activities.​


The CIRCoRE processes will develop short-term proposals for immediate implementation by its five workstreams. These workstreams are: 

  1. Student life/communities 
  2. Curriculum 
  3. Institutional culture 
  4. Race, human categorisation and science 
  5. Strategic organisational alignment 

The workstreams will also generate medium and longer-term implementational recommendations. The recommendations of the response process will be fed directly to the Rectorate for consideration and implementation. ​


​The first workstream concentrates on Student Life/Communities. Headed by Prof Ronelle Carolissen, this workstream will concentrate on the entire spectrum of student life. It will develop proposals to align the practices of all University environments responsible for facilitating an inclusive student experience at the University.
Read more here
See this video


​The second workstream focuses on the recommendation to introduce a compulsory core curriculum offering. This workstream will concentrate on intentionally teaching all our students the Constitutional values of human rights, non-racialism, dignity and respect. This workstream is headed by Dr Sharman Wickham.


​The third workstream, headed by Prof Kopano Ratele, focuses on aligning the University’s institutional culture with a democratic human rights ethos. This workstream will focus on the interaction between the complex transformation infrastructure, including the legal, policy and regulatory dimensions, and the softer aspects of the institution's functioning.
Read more here
See this video


The fourth workstream on Race, Human Categorisation and Science, headed by Mr Phila Msimang, will assist Stellenbosch University to re-imagine its academic work within a democratic society and engage with key scientific questions in the use of human categorisations in policy and research.
Read more here
See this video


The fifth workstream will focus on simplifying and aligning University structures, policies and regulations to deal more effectively with transformation matters. Dr Leslie van Rooi heads this workstream.
Read more here
See this video​​