QUALIFICATIONS: MA, PhD, University of Cambridge. Fellow Royal Society of Arts, Fellow Royal Society of South Africa, Principal Fellow Higher Education Academy, Life Fellow University of Cape Town
AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Digital solutions and connected learning; the politics of contemporary culture; higher education policy, practice and strategy; the archaeology of the colonial world.
I research and write about contemporary culture, our virtual world and higher education policy, practice and strategy. Trained as an archaeologist, I worked first on the pre-colonial history of Southern Africa and then on the archaeology of the colonial world (The Changing Past: Farmers, Kings and Traders in Southern Africa, 200-1860, first published in 1987; Archaeology Africa, 1996; Archaeology and the Modern World: Colonial Transcripts in South Africa and the Chesapeake, published in 2000). I began to write about the Internet and its political and cultural implications at an early stage in its development (“Africa Connected”, First Monday 3(11) http://www.firstmonday.dk. 1998; “Virtual Colonisation”. Journal of Material Culture 4(1):39-55, 1999; “Straylight, Mala Mala, Pink Frikkie, Blekgelexy and Rumba Kali @Africa”. The Net: New Apprentices and Old Masters, Mots Pluriels, 2001). I have continued to work in these interconnected spheres of culture and connectivity, both in my writing and in application, and I currently chair the Board of Jisc, which provides internet services and digital solutions for all colleges and universities in Britain.
In parallel, I have held a number of senior positions in higher education, as Dean of Higher Education Development and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town (from 1999-2008) and as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salford, Manchester, from 2009 until the end of 2014. I was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Prize by the University of Cape Town and I was the first Vice-Chancellor in Britain to be accredited as a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy while in office. I returned to Cape Town in January 2015, where I have renewed my long-standing association with the Graduate School of Business as Emeritus Professor.