The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is fortunate to have widely respected leaders supporting its move forward to the next level of excellence in teaching, research and community outreach.
Leading the University community to become the institution it envisages, Prof Ihron Rensburg, Vice-Chancellor and Principal – assisted by a senior executive management team that comprises five deputy vice-chancellors – oversees strategic and institutional planning, finance, human resources and operations, academic matters and research, innovation and advancement. Together with the Registrar, the nine executive deans of faculties and the executive directors, these leaders constitute a team that guides UJ on its way forward.
Council Chairperson: Mike Teke
Mr Mike Teke was born in 1964 in Kwa Thema, Springs and has the following qualifications: BA (Ed), B.Ed (University of the North) 1985-1989; BA (Hons) (RAU) 1995-1996 and MBA (Unisa) 1999-2002. He started work as a school teacher and subsequently served in various HR roles at Unilever, Bayer, BHP Billiton and Impala Platinum until 2007. In 2008, Mike left Impala to be one of the founding members of Optimum Coal (he was appointed CEO) and was part of the listing of Optimum Coal on the JSE in March 2010. In September 2012, after Glencore purchased and delisted Optimum, Mike resigned as CEO and became Non-Executive Chairman until April 2015.
Mr Teke was appointed VP of the Chamber of Mines in 2011/12 and on 5 November 2013 was appointed President of the Chamber of Mines until 25 May 20017. Mike was further appointed Chairman of the Richard Bay Coal Terminal in 2012 and in 2016 stepped down to become Non-Executive Director of the Board and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee.
Chancellor: Prof Njabulo S Ndebele
Prof Njabulo Ndebele was inaugurated as the Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg in November 2012. He is the second Chancellor of the University since the merger in 2005.
Prof Ndebele was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy by the University of Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland (now the National University of Lesotho) in 1973; a Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Cambridge in 1975; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Creative Writing by the University of Denver in 1983. He also studied at Churchill College, the University of Cambridge, where he was the first recipient of the South African Bursary.
Prof Ndebele served as Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Cape Town from July 2000 to June 2008, following tenure as a scholar in residence at the Ford Foundation’s headquarters in New York. He joined the Foundation in September 1998, immediately after a five-year term of office as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Limpopo in Sovenga, in the then Northern Province. Previously he served as Vice-Rector of the University of the Western Cape. Earlier positions include Chair of the Department of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand; and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Dean, and Head of the English Department at the National University of Lesotho.
An established author, Njabulo Ndebele recently published a novel The Cry of Winnie Mandela to critical acclaim. An earlier publication Fools and Other Stories won the Noma Award, Africa’s highest literary award for the best book published in Africa in 1984. His highly influential essays on South African literature and culture were published in a collection Rediscovery of the Ordinary.
Njabulo Ndebele served as President of the Congress of South African Writers for many years. As a public figure, he is known for his incisive insights in commentaries on a range of public issues in South Africa.
Prof Ndebele is also a key figure in South African higher education. He has served as Chair of the South African Universities Vice-Chancellor’s Association from 2002–2005 and served on the Executive Board of the Association of African Universities since 2001. He has done public service in South Africa in the areas of broadcasting policy, school curriculum in history, and more recently as chair of a government commission on the development and use of African languages as media of instruction in South African higher education. He recently became President of the AAU and Chair of the Southern African Regional Universities Association.
He holds honorary doctorates from universities in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, South Africa and the United States of America. The University of Cambridge awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Law in 2006, and he was made an honorary fellow of Churchill College in 2007. In 2008 the University of Michigan awarded him another Honorary Doctorate in Law.
Prof Ndebele married Mpho Kathleen Malebo on 30 July 1971. They have one son, two daughters and a grandchild.
Vice-Chancellor: Prof Ihron Rensburg
Prof Ihron Rensburg completed his undergraduate studies in 1981 and graduated from Rhodes University with a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree. He completed his Master of Arts (Sociology) in 1994, and PhD (International Development Education, Dissertation with Distinction) in 1996, both from Stanford University.
Prof Rensburg has held the position of Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg since 2006, prior to which he was Chief Executive Strategic Corporate Services at the South African Broadcasting Corporation, Deputy Director General of South Africa’s Department of Education, and General Secretary of South Africa’s National Education Crisis Committee.
He is a Commissioner of South Africa’s National Planning Commission, where he chairs the working group on Social Protection and Human Capabilities. Rensburg is Co-Chairperson of Education Dialogue SA and Chairperson of the READ Foundation. Recently Prof Rensburg served as Chairperson of the Southern African Universities Vice-Chancellors Association, Chairperson of Higher Education South Africa, Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee on Student Accommodation in South African Universities, Member of the Ministerial Committee on the Funding of South African Universities, Councillor of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and Chairman of the Human Resources Committee the Council of the prestigious St John’s College in Johannesburg. Previously he was President of the Southern African Broadcasters Association, Founder Member of the Pan African Broadcasters Union, Councillor of the Commonwealth Broadcasters Association, and Board Member of the Commonwealth of Learning.
Having successfully pioneered the University of Johannesburg through its first stages of accessible global excellence and stature, Prof Rensburg is a regular keynote speaker at prestigious national and global conferences where he is an avid contributor to internationalisation, change and transformation. He has won many awards, including the President’s Medal (University of Southern Carolina), the Le Matinal Africa-India Education Leadership Award,Metropolitan Eastern Cape Education Leadership Award, WK Kellogg Foundation Global Fellowship, Ford Foundation Research Grant, HSRC Social Movement Research Grant, Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Fellowship and the Rhodes University Bursary.