Johannesburg - Professor Adam Habib has been appointed as rector of the University of the Witwatersrand, the university said on Thursday.

Habib would join the university on Friday, but would take up his new position on June 1, the university council's deputy chairwoman Carole Lewis said in a statement.

“This means that his term of office will overlap with that of the current vice-chancellor and principal, Prof Loyiso Nongxa, for three months,” she said.

This transitional period would allow for the efficient transfer of responsibilities to Habib, who was deputy vice-chancellor for research, innovation, library and faculty co-ordination at the University of Johannesburg.

He also served as executive director of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) from 2004 to 2007, and has worked as a research director for the Centre for Civil Society at the University of Natal.

He is a well-known public and media commentator.

“We are certain that Prof Habib will bring with him a wealth of experience and new ideas on how to take the university into the future,” Lewis said. - Sapa