North-West University appoints new deputy vice-chancellors

Issued by North West University
Johannesburg, Sep 1, 2017

The NWU Council, during its extraordinary meeting on 17 August 2017, took a decision to appoint the two candidates indicated below, in order to fill the positions of Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning and Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation for a term of five years.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and LearningProf Robert Balfour

Prof Robert Balfour is a familiar face at the NWU. He joined the university in 2011 as professor and dean of the Faculty of Education Sciences. He led the restructuring of the faculty in 2013, and from 2016-2017 led the Education Joint Executive Task Team (Edu-JET) as coordinating dean responsible for the planning and transition towards an integrated single-faculty structure for the three campuses of the NWU.

Prof Balfour holds a BA in English and history and BAHons in English from Rhodes University, an MA (cum laude) in English and education from the former University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal) and a PhD in English language from the University of Cambridge.

Prof Balfour is an experienced manager with 14 years of academic and administrative leadership experience in public and private higher education. Prior to his involvement with the NWU, he held various positions at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, including the positions of programme chair for language education and head of the School of Languages, Literacies, Media and Drama Education. Prof Balfour was also the registrar of St Augustine College of South Africa.

He has held three fellowships and received various grants, scholarships and prizes, including the Commonwealth Trust Scholarship in 1997. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed and accredited scholarly publications. He has edited three collections of academic essays in three international language journals, published in five scholarly books and edited four books on education, language, and literature. He is also an NRF-rated academic (C2 - established with international profile).

Focusing on language learning and literacy, rural education, and post-colonial literature, he has also featured widely in the popular press for perspectives on multilingualism and education.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and InnovationProf Nancy (Refilwe) Phaswana-Mafuya

Prof Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya has 12 years' extensive knowledge and experience in various areas of research and senior management, including supply chain, financial and diversity management, research management systems, gender sensitivity and handling racism, as well as all aspects regarding epidemiology.

She holds a BA and an MA in social work as well as a PhD in research from the former University of the North (now the University of Limpopo). She also obtained a postgraduate diploma in epidemiology and an MSc in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Until now, Prof Phaswana-Mafuya has been the acting executive director for the HIV/Aids/STI/TB (HAST) research programme at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), as well as editor-in-chief and executive editor of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research Alliance Journal (SAHARA J), an HSRC international open-access journal disseminating vital research on social factors relating to HIV/Aids.

Prior to this, she held the following positions at the HSRC: Research director of the HAST research programme, research director of the Social Aspects of HIV/Aids (SAHA) research programme, and chief research manager and acting research director of Social Aspects of HIV/Aids (SAHA) and Health. She also served as head of the research unit at the Border Technicon, managing director of Limakhozu, a development agency, and lecturer at the former University of the North.

Prof Phaswana-Mafuya has received various awards and nominations, including the 2016/2017 TW Kambule National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) prestigious award in recognition of contribution to research and its outputs over a period of up to 15 years after completing a PhD. She has published 89 articles in peer-reviewed journals, has written 12 book chapters and has communicated and disseminated research findings through various conference/workshop/seminar presentations, media articles and interviews. She holds various memberships and fellowships and is also a NRF-rated academic with a C2-rating.

The Council chairperson, Dr Bismark Tyobeka congratulated Prof Balfour and Prof Phaswana-Mafuya on their appointments. "I have full confidence in them to take the NWU to even greater heights, and know that they will make a meaningful contribution towards establishing the NWU as a unitary institution."