By Dr. Andrew Kok, 11 May 2016, Pretoria – South Africa.
Presented at the 2016 Southern African Knowledge Management Summit.
I am sure that each and every one of us can say that during our lifetime, whether it was in our family life, academic life or work life, that there was this few people who stood out as the giants in their community. I was in the lucky position to have in both my academic life and career one of these giants as a mentor and friend. If you talk about knowledge management and competitive intelligence in South Africa the name Adeline du Toit immediately sprung to the fore.
Over the years, I was in the fortunate position to not only work with Adeline as a colleague, but she was also the study leader and supervisor for my studies.
Over the past few weeks, I did a lot of work on the personas of knowledge managers and think it is appropriate to use them to describe Adeline.
Firstly she is seen as a knowledge leader. She started her career as indexer at the University of the Free State in 1974. After that, she moved to the Meat Board, CSIR and the SA Development Trust. In 1989 she started her career as an academic when she was appointed at the University of South Africa as lecturer. In 2002 she moved to the Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg) where she soon became professor and later also Head of the Department: Information and Knowledge Management. Under her leadership the focus of the Department moved away from the traditional library and information sciences. The new focus of the department was now on how information and knowledge can be used in businesses. This led to the introduction of new subjects such as the Knowledge Economy, Knowledge Management and Competitive Intelligence.
Secondly, she is an inquisitive person, who loved to do research. In her academic career spanning 25 years she published 78 articles in peer-reviewed journals and was the author of chapters in 5 academic handbooks.
She is thirdly an excellent networker. She delivered 48 papers at national and international conferences that were published in peer-reviewed proceedings, and another 15 papers at non-peer-reviewed conferences.
Fourthly, she was a collaborator. She was engaged in several research projects and contract research assignments.
Fifthly she was the sharer/teacher. Except for hundreds of undergraduate students, she also supervised the studies of 22 doctoral and 86 masters’ students.
Lastly we can say that Adeline is a role-model. She received international recognition for her work. In 2015 she received an Academic Achievers Award from the University of Pretoria, in 2014 the SCIP Catalyst Award, in 2009 the Lifetime Achiever Award from the SA Records Management Association, and in 2006 the Researcher of Distinction Award from the Faculty of Management of the University of Johannesburg. Adeline further more served as:
- Editorial board member of a number of local and international journals
- Board member of the International Council for Knowledge Management in Vienna, Austria
- Member of the scientific committee of the Competitive Intelligence and Strategic Management Centre in Morocco
- Advisory Board member of the International Conference on Knowledge, Innovation and Enterprise in London
- Invited member of the New Club of Paris as knowledge developer, and
- Director of the Centre for Information and Knowledge Management at the University of Johannesburg.
In 2013 Adeline moved to the University of Pretoria as Extra-Ordinary Professor in the Department of Information Science. Recently Adeline decided to retire at the end of May, and for this reason we as a Knowledge Management community would like to honour her for a life-long contribution to our subject area.
Adeline, as you move on to the next chapter of your life, know that you will be missed. Today, we take the opportunity to say, “We will miss you as you go on your way.” Know that our very best wishes and thoughts go with you. Come and visit us often, for this is only farewell and not goodbye.