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USB alum and ExCo member appointed in key leadership position at Dubai University
Dated: Thursday, August 31, 2017
Prof Steyn Heckroodt was recently appointed as the Dean of Academic Affairs at the Jumeira University (JU) in Dubai. He is also a Moderator in the UAE for Harvard Business Publishing, a wholly owned non-profit subsidiary of Harvard University.  

On 12 July 2017, the CEO of the Jumeira University announced the appointment of Heckroodt as Dean of Academic Affairs as a key leadership appointment for JU, and noted that: “Dr Steyn will lead JU educational and learning platform to ensure the optimization of students’ learning as well as the effective management of JU resources’. 

This appointment forms part of a new structure to build leadership capability at the JU and to position JU’s talented team to meet operational needs. This new organisational model provides faster coordination to support JU’s growth and to expand its academic program offerings as well as to improve the operational efficiency and services provided across JU offices. 

Coinciding with the new position, Heckroodt was also bestowed the academic rank of Full Professor and will perform the deanship responsibilities in this capacity. 

Heckroodt is an international expert on systems thinking and business strategy with a focus on sustainable business competitiveness. His 2013 publication, ‘Strategic Thinking- Game Over’, is currently under review for a follow-up publication by Pearson Publishing International, UK. The follow-up title is, “Dancing with Ambiguity”. As with his first work, Heckroodt again challenges business organisations with the thought paradigms they use to manage in disruptive times, but this time round includes a large number of case studies in the book, stemming from having worked as a specialist in 17 countries over a period of 20 years. Heckroodt also co-authored a publication by Oxford University Press in Supply Chain and Logistics in 2015. He is a regular speaker on topics related to business strategy and supply chain. 

Prior to taking up the reins as dean at JU, Heckroodt’s expertise were grinded through assisting companies to focus on sustainable business competitiveness through flexible business modelling, expanding their boundaries of growth. Heckroodt chose to focus his consulting talents on companies expanding on the African continent specifically as, as he always put it: “I prefer working in regions that are faced with non-textbook challenges and Africa certainly has a lot of them. From infrastructure to education to governance a lot needs to be done.” It was putting his skills to test in countries like Northern Sudan, Nigeria and Ghana that gave Heckroodt the ability to view business landscapes differently and come up with ways of dealing with disruptive challenging business environments that helped companies to sustainable competitive business modelling. 

Today, Heckroodt finds himself in the middle of disruptiveness again working for a local University in the UAE, a region challenged by the need to diversify their economic model on the back of a poor performing oil price and dwindling world economy. As Dean Heckroodt aims to play a significant role in addressing these challenges, not just on university level, but also on societal level, leveraging the opportunities the UAE Government provides for universities to build leaders and generate creative innovative thinkers. A vision that Heckroodt believes will, if achieved, change the face of education, societies and have a global impact on dealing with the future. 

Away from his work responsibilities, Heckroodt enjoys a good game of chess, loves playing the piano and enjoys cooking dinner for the family. 

View the organisational structure here​.