The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Ylva Rodny-Gumede as the new Head: International Office following a meticulous selection process that included highly qualified academics and professional support partners.
Prof Rodny-Gumede will take up office as of 1 August 2019.
Announcing the appointment, UJ’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Internationalisation, Professor Saurabh Sinha said her selection comes at an opportune time to complement the strategic direction of the University.
“In Prof Rodny-Gumede, we have found someone with an outstanding academic profile, exceptional leadership qualities and a demonstrated commitment to the University’s values such as equity and diversity that are so important to us. We see Prof Rodny-Gumede as a trailblazer who will advance our international standing to the next plateau of excellence. She is someone with proven success in bringing about partnerships with local and global government and industry, and someone who can further our standing as a premier African city university. She will most certainly take a lead in advancing UJ’s vision for the fourth industrial revolution,” said Prof Sinha.
Prof Rodny-Gumede joined UJ’s Department of Journalism, Film and Television in January 2009 and was the Head of Department from 2013 to 2017. She holds a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London University as well as an MA degree in Politics from University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and an MA in Journalism from Cardiff University in the U.K. She has an undergraduate degree in Law, Media and Politics from the University of Stockholm in Sweden and holds a certificate in Marketing and Business Communication from the Institute for International Research in Stockholm.
Before moving to South Africa in the late 1990s, Prof Rodny-Gumede taught media and communication studies within the adult education system in Sweden and she worked for the Swedish Public Broadcaster and as a freelance journalist and stringer for several Scandinavian media. She has worked in marketing and public relations for two separate internet start-ups in Sweden. In addition, she has also conducted research and consulted for several governments, private and academic institutions in Europe and Southern Africa on issues concerning media and democracy, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, and the SADC Parliamentary Forum.
Prof Rodny-Gumede is a former lecturer in the School of Communication Science at the University of South Africa (Unisa) and has held fellowships at universities in South Africa and abroad, including University of the Witwatersrand and the Danish School of Journalism in Denmark. She is actively involved in teaching and learning development including broader curriculum development initiatives at institutional, national and international level, most recently through the Teaching Advancement at Universities (TAU) fellowship.
In 2015, she received UJ’s Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Teaching Excellence. She has also served as external examiner to several South African universities, as well as curriculum reviewer and critical reader for several universities and international organisations, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Prof Rodny-Gumede, who holds a rating from the South African National Research Foundation (NRF), is the current President of the South African Communications and Media Association (SACOMM). Her current research includes investigating the future of African media and communications studies, and innovation in the field.
She has also published research on questions related to the broader transformation of higher education in South Africa.
Prof Rodny-Gumede has been a member of UJ’s Senate since October 2013 and has served on several Senate Committees, including the Senate Academic Freedom Committee, the Senate committee on the decolonisation of the curriculum, the Senate task team on assessing undergraduate throughput rates, and most recently the task team enabling communications in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.
She has also served on several Faculty committees, including the Faculty of Humanities Higher Degrees Committee and the Humanities Teaching and Learning Committee, and presently sits on the joint Finance, HR and Promotions Committee of the Faculty of Humanities.
Prof Rodny-Gumede is married to Professor William Gumede and they have three boys.