Professor Loretta Feris

Professor Loretta Feris

Professor Loretta Feris was appointed as Vice-Principal: Academic at the University of Pretoria (UP) from 1 July 2022.

The portfolio includes responsibility for all nine faculties and GIBS and focuses on promoting excellence in teaching and learning at undergraduate level. Prof Feris also oversees and ensures the implementation of the University’s academic plans and policies.

She was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Transformation and Student Affairs at the University of Cape Town (UCT) from 2017 to March 2021 where she developed a framework for transformation that draws on her scholarly work on spatial justice and spearheaded an approach that introduced transformation benchmarks for higher education.

Prior to taking up the position of VP: Academic at UP, she had a brief stint as Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Pretoria. At UCT (2009 – 2016) she was a law professor and director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Law. She was associate Professor of Law at UP from 2004 to 2009 and before that she was a research fellow and Assistant-Director of the International Legal Studies Programme at the Washington College of Law, American University in the USA. She holds the degrees BA (law), LLB and LLD from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and LLM from Georgetown University in the USA.

Professor Feris is a transdisciplinary scholar with an interest in environmental justice, environmental human rights, indigenous knowledge systems and trade and environment.

As an environmental law consultant, she has worked with various government departments, industry, international organisations such as the IUCN and UNEP where she was part of a group of international experts on the Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law (Montevideo Programme).

Professor Feris has always maintained a strong relationship with civil society. She is currently the Chair of the board of Natural Justice, a non-profit organisation that focuses on social and environmental justice in Africa and is also a board member of Biowatch South Africa, a non-profit that works with small-scale farmers to promote agroecology.