13 March 2018 Photo Johan Roux
Prof Heidi Hudson appointed as UFS Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities
Prof Heidi Hudson, Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities.

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the appointment of Prof Heidi Hudson as Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities during a meeting on the Bloemfontein Campus on 22 January 2018. She assumed office on 1 March 2018.

Prof Hudson is a Professor of International Relations with a PhD in Strategic Studies, and has been recognised for her undisputed international standing, which resulted in the awarding of a B2 rating by the National Research Foundation, effective from 1 January 2018. She 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 (2014-2016). Prof Hudson currently serves on the Advisory Board of the African Peacebuilding Network at the Social Science Research Council in New York. In 2018, she will also be the Claude Ake Visiting Chair, hosted by the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University and the Nordic Africa Institute. Her Claude Ake Memorial Lecture will focus on the decolonisation of gender and peacebuilding in Africa. 

“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 to support her in realising her vision for the faculty,” says Prof Francis Petersen, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor. 
 
Prof Hudson started her academic career at the UFS, spent six years at the former University of Durban-Westville (1991-1996), after which she re-joined the Department of Political Science 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 (2009-2011), and has been the Director of the centre since September 2012. The centre was recently externally evaluated and the positive report testifies to her leadership. Prof 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 enrolment 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 (2005-2008), while also serving on the UFS Quality Assurance Committee (until 2008). She was Senate representative on the Institutional Forum (August 2013–July 2017) and a member of the UFS Gender Committee (until 2006). She was recently nominated to serve on the Senate Research Committee.
 
Prof Hudson has been acting in the position of Dean: Faculty of the Humanities since 1 October 2017. Her vision for the faculty includes, among others, curriculum renewal, interdisciplinary research, and improved governance at middle-management level.


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