Prof Piet Naudé, well-known academic, public speaker, column writer and currently deputy vice-chancellor responsible for teaching and learning at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, has been appointed as director at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). He has more than twenty years of management experience at a university.

Prof Russel Botman, rector and vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University (SU), described the appointment of Prof Naudé as the new director of USB as the beginning of an exciting phase at one of the flagship departments of SU’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.

“As an ex-director of Nelson Mandela University Business School, Prof Naudé brings a wealth of leadership skills in entrepreneurship, business management, ethics and governance at a time when business schools worldwide are seriously taking stock of their role and contribution in the aftermath of the global economic meltdown,” says Prof Botman.

Prof Naudé said he is delighted to be the next director at USB and is looking forward to start on 1 September. “I am excited and honoured at the opportunity to lead such a prestigious school. I look forward to working with all the stakeholders to enhance the reputation of USB as a place of both cutting-edge, high-end management knowledge and a source of social development and hope to those excluded from the benefits of the economy.”

Prof Naudé emphasised that he is fully supportive of the current vision of Stellenbosch University and USB in particular. He is keen to expand the footprint of the Business School in Africa, to capitalise on the virtual learning opportunities that are opening up and to enhance USB’s social engagement projects, such as the Small Business Academy.

“I am convinced that a mixture of blended and virtual learning will change the nature of universities and business schools as we know it. Technology has its limits but also the potential to give USB a global edge as the number one business school at the gateway to the rest of Africa.”

He added: “USB needs to create the right synergies between intellectual credibility, social transformation, innovative curricula, financial sustainability and a good mix of ‘glocalisation’ between South Africa and the rest of the global communities.”

When asked what he regards as a first priority, he said that concentrated interaction with key stakeholders would be of paramount importance, followed by open institutional dialogue that will chart the way forward, building on the significant achievements and stature of the USB.  

The dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Prof Stan du Plessis, said: “I am thrilled with the appointment of Prof Piet Naudé as director of USB. As a university we will gain a formidable scholar and an experienced academic leader, and USB will gain a director with the vision and experience to lead it through the exciting transition that business schools are currently making here and internationally. I look forward to the constructive collaboration with the corporate and social sectors that I believe Prof Naudé will build at USB in support of the university’s vision of excellent scholarship in the service of our society and continent.”

Prof Naudé received all his qualifications, including a doctorate in theology and a master’s degree in philosophy, cum laude at Stellenbosch. Up to today, he is the only student who was president of the SRC and a recipient of the prestigious Chancellor’s Medal as best final-year student. He started off his career as a part-time junior lecturer in philosophy at SU in 1980. He has been a professor extraordinaire at Stellenbosch since 2012.

Prof Naudé has been involved with the former UPE and NMMU since 1992 where he was Dean of the Arts Faculty. Between 2008 and 2011 he was the first full-time director of the NMMU Business School before he became vice-rector and a member of the executive management of NMMU. In his earlier career he was a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church.

He is a highly rated researcher and has published more than 100 articles in academic journals and has presented at almost 150 national and international conferences and academic occasions on topics related to public ethics and forms of social justice.

He is a member of a number of academic societies. He is currently the African representative on the executive committee of the International Society for Business Economics and Ethics (ISBEE) and a board member of EthicsSA. He is the past president of the Business Ethics Network of Africa (BEN-Africa), where he led partnerships in 21 African countries.

Prof Naudé has received numerous awards nationally and internationally. He is an active public and conference speaker, a consultant on value-driven organisations to many national companies, and a column writer for the last decade.  In 2011, he was named the Vodacom Journalist of the Year.

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