UFS appoints Christo van der Rheede as adjunct professor 

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The University of the Free State (UFS) recently appointed Christo van der Rheede, former chief executive officer of Agri SA, as adjunct professor of the UFS Business School.

Van der Rheede brings a wealth of experience and corporate contacts to his new role at the UFS Business School. Networking between the institution and industry will be one of his key focus areas. “The UFS boasts world-class experts who generate research that is well suited for practical application,” he says. Although his involvement will be part-time, the university believes that Van der Rheede’s contribution will be invaluable to both the university and the industry.

Van der Rheede has a diverse and rich career that spans over three decades. He started as an educator in 1986 and then moved on to various roles in education, culture, business, and agriculture. Among others, he served on the board of the Business Unity of South Africa, was appointed by the minister of higher education as the chairperson of AgriSeta and represented the agricultural sector on the National Human Resources Development Council.

Read more about the new UFS dean of natural sciences.

After eight years as deputy CEO and CEO of Agri SA, Van der Rheede’s retirement leaves a legacy characterised by unwavering commitment and transformative leadership.

With a master’s degree in Public Policy Analysis, Administration and Public Leadership from Stellenbosch University, Van der Rheede is convinced that policy can and should be applied positively. “I am in support of providing each citizen with affordable, nutritious, healthy, and sustainable food – all our policies should be measured against these outcomes. Food security is at the core of a peaceful and prosperous country. It is not possible to have progress and peace without access to food. A hungry nation is a desperate and dangerous nation,” he says.  

Facilitation of research project

 Van der Rheede plans to use his new position at the UFS to facilitate research projects pertaining to policy and food security, food nutrition and entrepreneurship. “The university is well positioned to provide data-driven solutions for the challenge we are experiencing in South Africa,” he says.

“Van der Rheede’s focus on food security, nutritious and affordable food, and sound policy aligns with our vision and strategy to, among others, promote and practise sustainability, do innovative and impactful research, and participate in social justice. The UFS is eager to welcome him to our institution and is looking forward to working with and learning from him,” says Prof Philippe Burger, dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. – Press release, University of the Free State

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