UCT replies to Mike Berger

University says the rules precluded it from granting retired academic emeritus status or access to digital library materials

UCT response to article by Prof Mike Berger

11 September 2015

The University of Cape Town confirms that Professor Mike Berger requested that UCT confer emeritus status on him, however it is not appropriate for UCT to do so. The worldwide practice is for universities to confer emeritus status on staff who retire from the institution. Professor Berger left UCT in the middle of his career to take up a chair at what was then the University of Natal. He did not return to UCT before retiring.

UCT has not been able to grant Professor Berger the access to digital library materials because of the restrictions in the licence conditions to which the UCT Library Services Department is subject. In general, such access is granted only to current staff, current students and emeritus staff. Professor Berger has no current links with UCT, nor any involvement with the work of the UCT department where he worked before leaving to join the University of Natal.

It is unfortunate that Professor Berger feels he has not been treated fairly by UCT. We could not grant his requests for specific reasons that were explained to him. As a public institution we are accountable to policies and conditions that limit the services we can make available to former staff members.

Patricia Lucas

Manager: Communications & Media Liaison

Communication and Marketing Department

University of Cape Town