UFS appoints a new dean
Prof Heidi Hudson is expected to bring a wealth of experience in her role as dean of the faculty of the humanities
THE appointment of Prof Heidi Hudson as dean of the faculty of the humanities has been welcomed by University of the Free State vice-chancellor Prof Francis Petersen.
Hudson, who is a professor of international relations with a PhD in strategic studies, started her new job at the beginning of the month and is expected to bring to the university a wealth of experience in her new role, Petersen said.
She is a respected researcher who has been associated with the institution for the last 25 years.
“Prof Hudson is a well-respected researcher and senior manager and will add immense value to the faculty. She has been associated with the UFS for almost 25 years and the institutional memory she brings to the position is indispensable. I look forward to working with her and supporting her in realising her vision for the faculty,” he said.
Petersen said her vision for the faculty included, among others, curriculum renewal, interdisciplinary research and improved governance at middle-management level which is going to benefit the institutions tremendously.
Among her achievements, Hudson was co-editor of The International Feminist Journal of Politics for the past six and a half years, as well as a Global Fellow of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo (2014-16).
Hudson is serving on the advisory board of the African Peace-buliding Network at the Social Science Research Council in New York.
She has been recognised for her undisputed international standing, which resulted in the awarding of a B2 rating by the National Research Foundation, effective from January 1, 2018.
In 2018, she will also be the Claude Ake visiting chair, hosted by the Department and Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University and the Nordic Africa Institute.
Her Claude Ake memorial lecture will focus on the decolonisation of gender and peace building in Africa.
She started her academic career at the UFS, spent six years at the former University of Durban-Westville from 1991 to 1996, after which she rejoined the political science department at the UFS, where she was departmental chairperson from 2006 to 2007.
In 2009, she joined the Centre for Africa Studies as Africa Studies programme director (2009-11) and has been the director of the centre since September 2012.
The centre was recently externally evaluated and the positive report testified to her leadership.
Hudson managed to increase the centre’s international footprint in a short space of time and effected an increase in research outputs, as well as PhD enrolments and output.
In addition to serving on the faculty committee of the humanities, she is a long-standing member of the faculty research committee and also chaired the portfolio committee on quality assurance (2005-08), while also serving on the UFS quality assurance committee until 2008.
She was Senate representative on the Institutional Forum from August 2013 to July 2017 and a member of the UFS gender committee until 2006.
She was recently nominated to serve on the senate research committee.
Hudson has been acting in the position of dean of the faculty of the humanities since October 1, 2017.
ADDING VALUE: The University of the Free State has appointed a new dean of the faculty of humanities, Prof Heidi Hudson.