SPL (School of Public Leadership)
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Keynote Speakers

Prof de Villiers, Rector and Vice- Chancellor SU

Prof Wim de Villiers is the 12th Rector and Vice- Chancellor of Stellenbosch University (SU). Formerly, he was Dean of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, he is a medical doctor who also studied and worked in England and America for 21 years. He passed his MB,ChB at SU cum laude in 1983, receiving the Francie Van Zijl and Chancellor’s medals for academic achievement. In 1990, he also obtained the MMed degree in Internal Medicine at SU cum laude. He then went on to complete his DPhil in Immunology at Oxford University in 1995, subsequently going to America to gain more experience – at the University of Kentucky Medical Centre in Lexington, KY. He later also obtained a master’s degree in health-care management at Harvard University. De Villiers practiced as a gastroenterologist and established himself as a respected researcher in the field. He was included in the publication Best Doctors in America, and held a number of senior positions at the University of Kentucky, including Head of Gastroenterology, and Administrative Head of the Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington. In July 2013 he accepted the Dean’s post in Cape Town, and in April 2015 the next chapter of his career started at SU. He was appointed Rector and Vice-Chancellor by the University Council on 1 December 2014, and was inaugurated on 29 April 2015.



   Thomas Bryer, PhD

Title: Redefining access to education, health, and welfare: community partnerships to empower the excluded.

Professor Thomas Bryer holds a joint appointment in the School of Public Administration and the PhD programme in Public Affairs in the College of Health and Public Affairs at University of Central Florida (United States). Additionally, he is Chief Researcher and Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities at Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania, and visiting professor in the Institute of Public Policy and Professional Practice at Edge Hill University in United Kingdom. Professor Bryer is highly published and conducts extensive research in the areas of public participation and collaboration across segments of society, including government, non-profit, private, faith-based, and voluntary sectors. He has won multiple awards for his research, teaching, and service. In 2015, he was granted a Fulbright Core Scholar award to conduct research in Lithuania from 2015-2017. He is the author or editor of three books: Higher Education beyond Job Creation: Universities, Citizenship, and Community, National Service and Volunteerism: Achieving Impact in Our Communities, and Social Media for Government: Theory and Practice, with a fourth book in press: Poor Participation: The Wars on Poverty and Impoverished Citizenship, and a fifth currently in development: Promoting Civic Health through University-Community Partnerships: Comparative Global Perspectives.


   Lutz Franzke, PhD

Title: The process of positive decision making is illustrated by an actual project implementing an (e)mobility platform 2.0 in the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport Region.

Dr. Lutz Franzke graduated at Rostock University in Latin-American Studies and worked until 2000 at Humboldt-University Berlin. Beginning in 2000, he joined the Public Administration at the Borough of Dahme-Spreewald in Brandenburg as Airport Liaison Officer, steering the management of joint Berlin-Brandenburg projects within the EU-Initiative EQUAL and additional 50+-networks of the Federal Ministries of Labour and Economic Affairs (both supported by European Social Fund). In 2005 he became Managing Director of the Technology Centre in Wildau until his direct election as Mayor of Königs Wusterhausen in 2009. He is speaker of the Growth Core Schönefelder Kreuz, BADC and the Dialogue Forum Berlin Brandenburg (Airport Region BER) and expert of regional LEED-projects of the OECD since 2007.