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25 January 2023 | Story Lacea Loader | Photo Supplied
Prof Vasu Reddy
Prof Vasu Reddy, newly appointed Vice-Rector: Research and Internationalisation.

Prof Vasu Reddy has been appointed as Vice-Rector: Research and Internationalisation of the University of the Free State (UFS). His appointment for a five-year term was approved by the university’s Council during its quarterly meeting on 25 November 2022.

Prof Reddy completed a BA, BAHons, and an HDE at the University of Natal (Durban), a master’s at Wits University, and a PhD in Gender Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He began his career in languages, comparative literature, and gender studies as a lecturer at the same institution in 1993, before moving through the ranks as senior lecturer, associate professor, honorary professor, and research fellow. He was also Executive Director of the Human and Social Development Research Programme at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) before joining the University of Pretoria as Professor of Sociology and Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities in 2015.

“Prof Reddy has valuable experience in the South African higher education sector, and his extensive networks – nationally, on the continent, and globally – will contribute greatly to the university’s intent for the coming years to be a research-led university that contributes to development and social justice through the production of globally competitive graduates and knowledge. His portfolio will play a critical role in supporting the institution’s Vision 130, which is a formulation of our aspirations and intentions to reposition the UFS leading up to 2034, when the university will celebrate 130 years of existence,” says Prof Francis Petersen, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

Prof Reddy is a member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa (ASSAf) and a B1 NRF-rated scientist. His research areas are African sexualities, genders, and inequalities, which exposes the persistent silences around sexualities (also aligned to HIV/AIDS). His research focuses on the importance of sexual cultures to interpret and understand sexual diversity in promoting people’s rights, well-being, and dignity with local and international research partners. He has supported an extensive number of postgraduate students and contributed to numerous peer-reviewed publications as both author and editor. He also boasts an extensive list of local and international conferences and is a respected workshop and short course facilitator.

Between 2007 and 2022, he was involved in obtaining substantive research funds, which contributed to numerous projects, including topics such as gender-based violence, affirmative action, poverty, food security, sexuality, education, public intellectuals, and equality – to name a few.

Prof Reddy is a regular guest for local and international media, providing expert opinions and insight in his field of interest. He was part of a Ford-funded international project on sexualities and pedagogies and had several successful linkages with institutions in the USA and the UK. He has also been involved in successful partnerships with civil society organisations and some multilateral agencies that have resulted in successful research collaborations with scholars and activists in South Africa, other parts of Africa, India, Europe, the UK, Latin America, and North America.

“Prof Reddy’s experience in these positions and his demonstrated success with research collaborations across different sectors place him in good standing to lead research and internationalisation at the UFS, “says Prof Petersen.

Prof Reddy will assume duty on 1 May 2023.

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