Page 558 - UCT2012 Research Report

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Faculty of
Dean’s Report
Dean of Commerce
Research output from the Commerce faculty has been rising
steadily for several years, but plateaued in 2011 by comparison
with 2010. The 2012 results show this to have been a pause for
breath. In 2012, the faculty produced a thirdmore peer-reviewed,
accredited journal articles than in any previous year, and our
overall total of accredited units nearly doubled. By a number of
measures, Commerce is the fastest growing hub of research at
UCT, albeit from a comparatively low base, historically.
he faculty is undergoing rapid organisation into a structure of
wall to wall
research units, each led by one or more senior scholars and including mid-
career and junior academics, postgraduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.
Three new units were accredited by the University Research Committee in 2012
for a provisional three-year period. First, the School of Economics added Policy
Research in International Services and Manufacturing (PRISM) to its existing
strong suite of units. Professor Mike Morris is PRISM’s founding director.
Second, the Applied Management section of the School of Management
Studies hosts the new UCT Tourism and Events Research Unit, directed by Dr
Richard George. Third, the African Collaboration for Quantitative Finance and
Risk Research (ACQuFRR) is jointly hosted by the Actuarial Science section and
the Department of Finance and Tax. Associate Professor David Taylor serves as
its founding director.
ACQuFRR merits special attention as the first piece of a larger enterprise that
constitutes one of the faculty’s three strategic priorities. It will serve as the
research wing of the larger planned African Institute for Financial Markets and Risk
Management (AIFMRM), now in the final stages of planning. To be sponsored in its
operations and governance by a consortium of South African financial institutions,
AIFMRM will partner with the Risk Management Institute of Georgia State University
to create capacity in quantitative finance and risk modelling on a level that has not
previously been approached on the African continent.
AIFMRM will constitute the second major structural addition to postgraduate training
in the Commerce Faculty. Ahead of it is the Graduate School for Development
Policy and Practice (GSDPP), which will enjoy its first official year of operation in
2013, under the administration of founding director, Professor Alan Hirsch. Professor
Hirsch rejoins UCT after several years of service as the senior economic policy
advisor in the Office of the Presidency. The GSDPP has already made its presence
felt in the country and the continent through a series of highly successful workshops
and short courses on policy implementation for senior civil servants and municipal
administrators from across Africa. In 2014, it will receive its first cohort of executive
master’s students, with a full-time master’s programme to follow thereafter.
The past year has been a milestone in the growth of the faculty’s corps of NRF-rated
researchers. Before 2013, there had never been an A-rated commerce researcher
in South Africa. Now the Commerce faculty hosts the first two. In addition, three
Commerce researchers received new B ratings, two received new C ratings, and one