Informative and Enlightening “Onboarding” Session
UKZN’s Human Resources (HR) Division runs a two-day “onboarding” programme at the beginning of each quarter to familiarise new employees with the policies and procedures of the University.
At the first session for this year, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Nana Poku welcomed employees to a ‘transformative, research-intensive Institution,’ highlighting UKZN’s position in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020 and encouraging employees to contribute towards the Institution’s global recognition.
Poku focused on the future of UKZN and explained initiatives that would be run over the next three to five years, including investments in virtual and interactive lectures and establishing a “University City” that forms partnerships with businesses and communities within a kilometre radius of each campus. ‘I’m giving you a vision of a University that is not remotely timid,’ said Poku. ‘We are ambitious and we want to play a very important role in the community because there’s a moral and ethical obligation to solve real problems in the world we live in,’ Poku said.
Executive Director: Human Resources, Dr Siphelele Zulu discussed his Division’s role in adding value to the Institution and its responsibility in supporting the University’s academic project. Zulu stressed the Division’s mission of attracting, retaining and developing the best talent and referred to a new performance management system - the Line of Sight - aimed at improving services. Zulu also spoke about the new employee wellness programme which offers 24-hour free and confidential, personal and life management support telephonically in all South Africa’s official languages.
Acting Registrar: Dr Kathy Cleland’s presentation examined the College module and the organisational structure of the University following the merger in 2004 as well as the importance of the Central Applications Office (CAO) for undergraduate applications.
Director for Teaching and Learning, Dr Tilly Moodley spoke on the doctoral review project being undertaken at a national level.
Dean of Research Professor Urmilla Bob concentrated on Goal 2 of the University’s Strategic Plan (2017-2021) of achieving excellent high impact research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Bob listed InQubate as an office that promotes student entrepreneurship, saying: ‘We want to drive entrepreneurship because we have a world that is collapsing economically. We cannot train job seekers we have to start training job creators and that’s what we want to do as a University.’
Words: Hlengiwe Khwela
Photograph: Albert Hirasen