Prof Sibusiso Moyo has been appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies at Stellenbosch University (SU).
The SU Council took this decision at its meeting on Monday 11 April 2022 after Moyo had also secured the support of the Institutional Forum and Senate. She will assume office on 1 September 2022, succeeding Prof Eugene Cloete, whose second term comes to an end on 31 July.
Moyo, an experienced higher education executive with a background in the mathematical sciences, is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement at the Durban University of Technology (DUT).
She says she is “very excited and humbled" to join SU: “I want to thank the University and its Council for giving me this opportunity. I can't wait to become part of the SU family and make a positive contribution to both our standing and our diversity as we move forward together."
SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers says he is looking forward to working with Moyo. “Quality research, innovation and postgraduate studies at SU are crucial for the achievement of our strategic institutional objectives, including creating a thriving SU and conducting research for impact. I am confident that our new DVC will help us realise our vision of becoming Africa's leading research-intensive university, with global reach."
Moyo holds a BSc in Mathematics (with merit) from the University of Zambia (1996). She obtained her postgraduate qualifications in Mathematics from the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal) – a BScHons in 1997, an MSc in 1998, and a PhD in 2002. In 2016, she also graduated with a master's degree in Tertiary Education Management (with distinction) from the LH Martin Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Her previous positions at DUT include director of Research and Postgraduate Support and head of the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics, where she had also served as lecturer and senior lecturer.
She has been guest editor of a number of mathematical sciences journals published by Springer-Verlag, John Wiley & Sons and the American Institute of Physics. Currently, she serves on the editorial board for the Taylor & Francis Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management.
Moyo, a married mother of two, is passionate about promoting gender equality in the STEM fields of research (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). She was one of the inaugural executive members of the South African chapter of the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD).
One of her more recent interests is to mentor student entrepreneurs to use design thinking to identify opportunities and find solutions to existing challenges in their communities. She is a two-time recipient of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) Entrepreneurial Development in Higher Education leadership award (2019 and 2021), and was instrumental in the establishment of the Innobiz, DUT's Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Apart from her role at DUT, Moyo also holds national and international appointments. She chairs the DHET's Future Professors Programme. And from 2020 to 2021, she was a member of the ministerial task team charged with reviewing South Africa's Technology and Innovation Agency.
She serves on several boards, including those of the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME) and Innovate Durban, a non-profit company set up by the eThekwini Municipality and DUT Pty Ltd to raise third-stream income.
Internationally, she is honorary dean of the School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the Tianjin Vocational Institute in China (2021–2023), and institutional coordinator for the Alliance of Guangzhou International Sister-City Universities, which comprises 13 member universities in 12 countries.
Vision and plans
Moyo says she will endeavour to strengthen SU's existing multidisciplinary research and innovation entities. To this end, she will seek alignment between her blueprint for the Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies portfolio at SU and the University's Vision 2040 and Strategic Framework 2019–2024. “My role will be to put systems and processes in place, as well as dialogue platforms for engagement, to allow staff, students, alumni and other key stakeholders to be part of designing solutions and implementing them," she says.
In addition, she will strive to expand mutually beneficial research and innovation partnerships and collaborations, both internally and externally. “Being people-centred will be critical – to ensure that each staff member is operating at their full potential. I also want to help maximise our impact, research outputs and grant acquisitions."
Wanting to contribute to postgraduate training and the transformation agenda of SU, Moyo says an increase in the number of postgraduate students and pursuing greater diversity through the development of a new generation of academics will be high on her agenda. “Both the graduate experience and graduate attributes are important. We also have to encourage our postgraduate students and researchers to be entrepreneurial to help reduce youth unemployment in our country, which has reached an alarming 66,5%."
Recognising and celebrating excellence is critical, she says. “I will be giving strategic leadership, providing oversight and helping to co-design interventions to ensure that we move to the very top of the list of universities in South Africa. At the same time, we have to pay attention to our impact and the value we add to our communities."
- Prof Eugene Cloete, whom Moyo will succeed, has served SU with distinction for 13 years – three as dean of Science, and ten as DVC. He intends returning to the SU Water Institute, of which he was the founding director, and will also collaborate with our schools for Climate Studies as well as Data Science and Computational Thinking.
- Photo by Anton Jordaan