The satisfaction and momentary feeling of happiness over, I assumed duty on 24th April 2017 and on the very first day itself, I could feel the responsibility and stress linked to this position. Too late now, its now to be or not to be…Three years, that’s a short time frame to turnaround the difficulties faced by this grand but complex institution. Three years, that’s a very long time in the career of an academic to move into management. I can understand now why all my colleagues who are Deans of Faculties often would be relieved when the end of the Deanship is near….
But I have accepted a challenge, and that is the main thing. The first week was mainly devoted to getting to understand the big picture, and the details of the modus operandi of the office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Planning & Resources). Everybody has expectations on this office to turn-around the financial situation of this University. I have said it to one newspaper, that maybe, there are some exaggerations in the form of the expectation. First, because this University is a public organization and operates in a quite rigid governance framework. This is why my vision, that I presented to the selection panel was that of a future where the teaching and learning model of the University is redefined.
So coming back to the first week, I have been able to establish some key priorities to deal with in the first instance. The first one is a revision of our marketing strategy and the way we advertise our programmes in the press, and through other networks. The Vice-Chancellor and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academia) and many other colleagues are fully agreeable to this. One way to generate more funds at the University is through internationalization, and the capacity to attract international students and international faculty. We want to streamline the process of online application and payment for international students, so as to improve their experiences right at the start. In so doing we will also improve our admission system for local students.