SPU welcomes Professor Russel Viljoen

Sol Plaatje University recently welcomed Professor Russel Viljoen as the inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Viljoen brings his extensive experience and academic prowess to help shape the future of humanities education at our vibrant institution.

With a distinguished academic career spanning over three decades, Professor Viljoen has been a beacon of academic leadership and scholarship. His journey began with a solid grounding in History and Anthropology, which led to a profound impact in the academic sector through his research, teaching and leadership roles. Through a doctoral degree from Leiden University in the Netherlands, his work has been pivotal in understanding the complexities of early colonial South African history with reference to the indigenous Khoikhoi people and the broader humanities discipline.

Professor Viljoen’s previous tenure at the University of South Africa (UNISA) as a Full Professor in the Department of History showcases his commitment to academic excellence. His leadership as the Chair of the Department of History has been marked by strategic development, fostering a vibrant academic community and enhancing research output, making him an ideal candidate to steer the Faculty of Humanities at Sol Plaatje University.

His academic credentials are complemented by a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of South Africa, School of Business Leadership. This blend of humanities scholarship and administrative acumen positions Professor Viljoen to lead the Faculty of Humanities towards new horizons of intellectual and community engagement.

As the first Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Viljoen is set to embark on a journey of innovation and transformation. His vision for the faculty aligns with Sol Plaatje University’s ethos of providing high-quality education, student-centredness, fostering research excellence, and engaging meaningfully with the community. Under his leadership, the Faculty of Humanities is poised to nurture critical thinking, creativity, and a deep understanding of the human condition, contributing significantly to the regional and global intellectual landscape.

The University community eagerly anticipates the contributions Professor Viljoen will make to the humanities and the broader academic environment. His appointment heralds a new chapter in the University’s commitment to excellence in the humanities, embodying the spirit of exploration, social justice, diversity and innovation that Sol Plaatje University stands for.

We extend our warmest congratulations to Professor Viljoen on his appointment and look forward to working with him. 


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