Change the world

Public & Inaugural Lectures

An Inaugural Lecture is an auspicious occasion for the University to acknowledge the appointment or promotion of new, full professors, introduce them to the academic and non-academic community of the University, and to provide opportunity for engagement with the greater community.

The presentation of an Inaugural Lecture is a significant milestone in the academic career of a full professor and provides a platform to share past research and introduce new ideas to a diverse academic and non-academic audience.

The abstract and/or full text of each lecture as well as the CV and a news piece are available for download from the bulleted list below each Professor's name. The video of each lecture has been published on our YouTube channel and can also be accessed below the bulleted list.

Prof Chantal Rootman
Faculty of Business & 

Date: 11 July 2017

In her lecture, Prof Rootman addressed the importance of Financial Services Providers (FSPs) to the South African economy, specifically towards GDP growth, employment creation and employment transformation, dealing with some of the unanswered questions that clients have in this industry. Her extensive research within the field of marketing shows that the focus of research among FSPs relates to relationship marketing.



Prof Sylvan Blignaut
Faculty of Education

Date: 29 May 2017

In his lecture, Prof Blignaut revisits the implementation of a new curriculum in South Africa’s schooling system and provides a brief overview of why curriculum change is so complex and fraught with difficulties. 



Prof André Mukheibir
Faculty of Law
Lecture title: Transformative constitutionalism and reconciliation: Balancing the interests of victims and beneficiaries

Date: 8 September 2016

Twenty-two years into democracy, has our much-lauded constitution transformed what was a very unjust and unequal society into something better? Prof Mukheibir looks at South Africa's constituion to discuss what difference it has made.



Prof Jonathan Makuwira
Faculty of Business & Economic Sciences
Lecture title: Water Under Troubled Bridge: The (Ir)Relevance of Development Studies Pedagogies in African Universities 

Date: 18 August 2016

The relevance of universities as educational institutions in the modern era has, over the past decade, come under intense scrutiny for various reasons. In the development studies field, most of its content has been defined by the disjuncture between the emphasis on Western epistemology at the expense of local contexts; imported theoretical viewpoints at the expense of indigenous viewpoints.

Prof David Bell

Faculty of Science
Lecture title: Natural Systems and Human Affairs

Date: 2 August 2016

The presumption that Nature obeys deterministic laws and that an understanding of Nature is best arrived at by delving ever more deeply into the character and interactions of its fundamental constituents have dominated modern science. Nevertheless, many of science’s discoveries now point to a world underpinned by chance and uncertainty, with fundamental materials and behaviours incomprehensible in familiar physical terms. The study of complex systems narrows the gap between these profound but confusing implications of fundamental physics and world of everyday human experience.



Prof Shelley Farrington
Faculty of Business & Economic Sciences
Lecture title: Family Business: A Legitimate Scholarly Field

Date: 26 July 2016

The lecture provided some background to family businesses and highlighted their prominence and contributions worldwide. Given these contributions it is only fitting that academia recognise the importance of studying these businesses. Over a period of only 30 years, the field of family business has progressed significantly in terms of interested scholars, publication activity, numbers of journals and topics covered, as well as theories and methods used.


Prof Janet Cherry
Faculty of Business & Economic Sciences
Lecture title: Social Structure and Human Agency in the Age of Climate Change

Date: 30 May 2016 

The lecture deals with the relationship between social structure and human agency. This is not a new problem for social scientists, and the motive for Prof Cherry's intellectual enquiry over the past thirty-five years has not changed; it is how to respond to the injustices of our society, with a profound belief that a different social order is possible.