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Plenary Speakers



Professor Wim de Villiers

Rector and Vice-Chancellor : Stellenbosch University

wim.jpg Prof Wim de Villiers is the 12th Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University (SU). He was appointed by the University Council on 1 December 2014, and was inaugurated on 29 April 2015.

Formerly, he was Dean of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, and he is a Matie alumnus and medical doctor who also studied and worked in England and America for 21 years.

De Villiers was born in Stellenbosch, the youngest child of Prof AB de Villiers, who would later become Dean of Law at SU, and Mrs Gera de Villiers (née Klomp) of Kroonstad. He matriculated from Paul Roos Gymnasium in 1977 with the best marks in the then Cape Province, and passed his MB,ChB at SU cum laude in 1983, receiving the Francie Van Zijl and Chancellor’s medals for academic achievement. In 1990, he also obtained the MMed degree in Internal Medicine at SU cum laude.

He spread his wings and obtained a DPhil in Immunology at Oxford University in 1995, subsequently going to America to gain more experience – at the University of Kentucky Medical Centre in Lexington, KY. He later also obtained a master’s degree in health-care management at Harvard University.

De Villiers practiced as a gastroentero logist and established himself as a respected researcher in the field. He was included in the publication Best Doctors in America, and held a number of senior positions at the University of Kentucky, including Head of Gastroenterology, and Administrative Head of the Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington.

In July 2013 he accepted the Dean’s post in Cape Town, and in April 2015 the next chapter of his career started at SU.

De Villiers sees SU as a mature university that is well positioned to be locally relevant, yet globally competitive. He wants students to receive an excellent education that will give them a competitive advantage as graduates in a rapidly changing world.

He believes the University should offer an experience that is pleasant, welcoming and hospitable – in an inclusive environment. He is committed to continued transformation to address the inequalities of the past, and supports the University’s Institutional Intent and Strategy, adopted in 2013.

De Villiers likes to stay fit. “I discovered marathons in my middle age and have run the ‘Big 5’ – Boston, New York, London, Chicago and Berlin”. He also enjoys mountain biking.


Professor Piet Naudé

Professor: Ethics related to politics, economics and business
Director: University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB)


Prof Piet Naudé holds an MA in Philosophy (cum laude) and a Doctoral degree in Theology from Stellenbosch University, and was appointed as Director of the Stellenbosch University Business School (USB) on 1 September 2014. He has received a number of national and international academic awards, including an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation scholarship to the Universities of Heidelberg and Bamberg (Germany), and life membership of the Centre for Theological Enquiry at Princeton University (USA).

Between January 2012 and August 2014, he held a position of Professor Extraordinaire at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Theology. He is a rated scientist by the National Research Foundation of South Africa and has published over 90 articles in accredited journals and presented more than 100 papers at national and international conferences. His monograph on the Belhar confession was awarded the Andrew Murray- Desmond Tutu prize for theological-academic literature in 2011.

Prof Naudé is the past president of the Business Ethics Network of Africa (BEN-Africa) and also the African representative on the executive committee of ISBEE, the International Society for Business, Ethics and Economics. He was appointed as a Trustee of the Wilderness Foundation Africa in 2015, and was appointed to the EFMD Dean’s Steering Committee in 2016. He regularly speaks at business and civil society conferences and has done consulting work for national and international listed companies on issues of ethics and governance. He has written a weekly column for The Eastern Province Herald for the last nine years, and won the national Vodacom Journalist of the Year competition in 2011 for his work as a columnist. Times Media published a collection of these columns entitled, Reading between the (head) lines, in October 2014. Prof Naudé is married to Elize Roodt, an academic, and the couple has three children.

Professor Rajani Naidoo

Professor: Higher Education Management
Director: International Centre of Higher Education Management


Rajani Naidoo is Professor and Director of the International Centre for Higher Education Management, University of Bath and a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge and Natal. She researches transformations in global political economy and organisational change in universities with a focus on global competition and markets, new forms of imperialism and the contribution of universities to global wellbeing. She has delivered keynotes in a wide range of countries and presented the 2016 Annual Worldviews lecture in Canada.

Funded projects have included a comparative study of the changing academic profession, trans-national higher education partnerships, access in relation to private and public goods and higher education and social justice. She was previously Honorary Secretary of the Society for Research in Higher Education. She has been the recipient of the John Willis award for accomplishment in research and a significant contribution to the academic and personal lives of students and the Deans Excellence in Teaching Award. She has been invited to visiting research positions across many institutes worldwide, has acted as an expert advisor to international bodies and is on the Research and Development Steering Committee of the European Foundation for Management Development.

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey


Veronica Professor Hope Hailey is the Dean of the School of Management at the University of Bath and holds a Chair in Management Studies. Externally facing in this role she is a member of Osbourne’s new Productivity Group in addition to being a member of the Steering Group for the UK Government’s Task Force on Employee Engagement. She has been named among the “UK’s Top 10 Most Influential HR Thinkers” in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Her previous appointments include Associate Dean and Professor of HRM at Cass Business School, Professor of HRM at Cranfield School of Management, Professor of Strategy at Bath between 2004 and 2006, and also a Fellowship at the University of Cambridge.

Professor Hailey has worked for over 20 years on issues relating to strategic change in organisations and has co-authored one of the bestselling text books on the topic, Exploring Strategic Change, for which the fourth edition has recently been published.

She specialises in working with large, mature organisations in collaborative research partnerships. A consistent theme of the collaborations is exploration of the challenges of corporate renewal and people transformation. Her most recent work has focused on the Repair of Trust following the financial crisis, culminating in a series of reports for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), “Where has all the trust gone?”, “Cultivating Trustworthy Leaders” and “Experiencing Trustworthy Leadership”. In 2015 she published two CIPD reports with Professor Julia Balogun on “Landing Transformational Change”. This research was undertaken within 14 organisations, including the John Lewis Partnership, GKN, Norton Rose, HMRC and a banking group. Professor Hailey has also researched internationally comparing Employee Engagement and Performance Management in the United Kingdom, India and China and The Netherlands, a project funded by The Society for Human Resource Management in the United States.

Professor Hope Hailey is married with five daughters.

Professor Charles Adjasi

Professor and Head of Development Finance Programmes (USB)

Veronica Professor Charles Adjasi Charles Adjasi is Professor and Head of Development Finance Programmes at the University of Stellenbosch Business (USB) School Cape Town South Africa. Prior to joining the USB in 2011 he was at the University of Ghana Legon, Business School, where he also served as one time Head of Department of Finance. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at the International Monetary Fund, Washington DC, USA. Charles has consulted for various institutions; World Bank, Africa Centre for Economic Transformation, Frederich Stiftung Foundation Ghana & Trades Union Congress of Ghana, Investment Climate Facility for Africa & African Development Bank. He has also served on a panel of experts on Special Commodities Unit of UNCTAD, Geneva, and facilitated for Tariffs, Trade and Regional Integration within the West African Institute of Economic and Financial Management. Charles is a network member of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) Nairobi, Kenya; and the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP), Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN USA. His research focus is generally in the area of development finance/economics in Africa; with specific interests in financial markets, FDI and growth, household welfare, firm behavior and productivity and international trade & development. He has published widely with 31 articles in internationally reputable journals, 3 monographs and contributed 5 chapters to edited book volumes. He has been a recipient of a number of research grants; ESRC UK (joint), UNU-WIDER, AERC (joint), GTAP, and DANIDA. Charles holds a PhD from Stellenbosch University, an MPhil in Economics and a BA in Economics and Political Science both from the University of Ghana.

Professor Ulrich Hommel

Director of the Quality Services Department at EFMD and Director of Business School Development at EFMD Global Network

Veronica Ulrich Hommel is Director of the Quality Services Department at EFMD and Director of Business School Development at EFMD Global Network. He has been working for Quality Services since 2007 and has been instrumental in the establishment of the EFMD Programme Accreditation System (EPAS). In the past, he was also the Director of EFMD’s Research & Surveys Unit and, in this role, has created the Annual EFMD Higher Education Research Conference. Ulrich Hommel is a Professor of Finance at EBS Business School and heads the Chair of Corporate Finance & Higher Education Finance. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and has been awarded the Habilitation in Business Administration at the WHU, Germany. His current research focuses mainly on corporate risk management as well as higher education management and financing. He has published more than 100 journal articles, books, edited volumes and contributions to edited works including articles in Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Journal of Business Research, Annals of Operations Research, Venture Capital, Journal of Business Economics and the Journal of International Entrepreneurship. Before joining EBS, he was an Assistant Professor of Finance at the WHU from 1994 to 1999. Ulrich Hommel has been Dean of EBS from 2000 to 2002 and has subsequently held the position of Rector and Managing Director from 2003 to 2006. In the past, he has held visiting appointments at Stockholm Business School (Stockholm University), Stephen M. Ross School of Business (University of Michigan), Krannert School of Management (Purdue University) and Bordeaux Business School.