Stellenbosch University (SU) has appointed three new Deans. Prof Daniël Brink is the new Dean of the Faculty of AgriSciences, Prof Anthony Leysens will become the new Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, while Prof Reginald Nel has been appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Theology.
Brink (57) has been the Acting Dean of AgriSciences since 2014, and has a long history with the University. In 1983, he was awarded the degree BSc Agric in Genetics and Animal Physiology cum laude, thereafter also completing his honours, Master's and doctoral degrees at SU.
In 1984, Brink was appointed as a technical assistant in the Department of Genetics, thereafter becoming a lecturer, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006. He became Vice-Dean of AgriSciences in 2013.
Among Brink's academic recognitions are a THRIP Excellence Award in 1998, as well as the Rector's Award for Social Impact in 2008. He will take up his new position as Dean of AgriSciences on 1 July.
Leysens (57) also has a long history with SU. He was awarded a BA degree in Political Science in 1986, and also completed his postgraduate studies at US, which culminated in a DPhil degree in 2001.
In 1988, he began teaching in the Department of Political Science and was Chair of this department from 2009 to 2016. In January 2015, he was appointed as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
Leysen's research fields include the political economy of Southern Africa and the politics of historical trauma. He starts on 1 January 2018 as the new Dean.
Nel (50), an alumnus of SU, is currently a professor in Missiology at the University of South Africa (Unisa), and was previously a lecturer at the Technicon of South Africa. In 1992, he completed his theological studies at SU – the first black student to obtain a degree from the SU's Faculty of Theology.
Before he entered the academia in 2001, Nel was a minister in the Uniting Reformed Church (URC). He joins SU as Dean of Theology on 1 November.