SMU appoints VC

The Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) has appointed Prof Chris de Beer as its first Vice-Chancellor with effect from 1 July 2017. Prof De Beer was the Interim Vice-Chancellor of the SMU since 1 July 2015.

The appointment of Prof De Beer results from a rigorous and competitive process of recruitment and selection.

Announcing the appointment of Prof De Beer, the Chairperson of the University Council, Justice Mavundla, said that the SMU is fortunate to be able to appoint a candidate in this position with the knowledge and unique experience of Prof De Beer in higher education management, and with the vision to stabilise and develop the core functions of the SMU with a view to enhancing the quality and relevance of the academic enterprise. The SMU Council is confident that through Prof De Beer’s continued contribution the University will be well positioned to respond to its special responsibility and focus to produce highly qualified health personnel with competencies similar to those who have highly effective health care systems in the world, and to ensure that the SMU over time will become the benchmark institution providing holistic health sciences education that meets the health needs of the individual, the family, the community and the population. Justice Mavundla called upon all stakeholders to support Prof De Beer and his Management Team in the SMU’s quest to deliver on its mandate in the interest of our country.

Prof Chris de Beer hails from the District Mahikeng and matriculated from Hoërskool Lichtenburg.

He holds the following tertiary qualifications: BJur et Art (PU for CHE) (NWU), LLB (Cum laude) (PU for CHE) (NWU), LLM (RAU) (UJ), LLM (UWC), Drs Juris (Leiden, Netherlands), LLD (Leiden, Netherlands)

Prof de Beer has also been admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa.

After completing his LLB, he accepted a full-time appointment as lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the Potchefstroom University, where he was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer and Professor. During this time Prof de Beer published a number of articles in peer reviewed and accredited journals and contributed to legal publications and research reports on negotiable instruments, the legal position of slaves and access to early legal jurisprudence at the Cape.

Since becoming involved in tertiary education, Prof de Beer held the following management positions:

  • At the Potchefstroom University:
    Head of Department (Department of Mercantile Law), Deputy Dean (Faculty of Law) and Dean (Faculty of Law)
  • At the University of Pretoria:
    Registrar, Vice-Principal and Senior Vice-Principal
  • At SMU:
    Interim Vice-Chancellor

Prof De Beer has held a number of Ministerial appointments such as: Administrator to the University of Zululand, member of the Interim Council of the newly established University of Mpumalanga and later as a Ministerial appointee on the full Council, Administrator/Compliance Officer of the NIHE (Mpumalanga) and the NIHE (Northern Cape), respectively, with the mandate to disestablish the said NIHE’s, and member of the Council for Higher Education.

Prof de Beer also assisted the Department of Higher Education and Training with a project aiming at the revision of the Higher Education Act, 1997, as amended. The Higher Education Amendment Bill, which was passed by the Parliament on 24 May 2016, resulted from this initiative.

Prof de Beer’s career in tertiary education spans a period of 46 years, with 24 years in Senior Management at various institutions.

During his term of office, Prof de Beer has served on numerous committees and task groups of HESA and its predecessors, among others on the Legal and Human Resources Committees.

He is a member of the SA Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns and of ASSAf and has a keen interest in sport and has made an impact as sport manager and administrator.


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