2014 a “Resounding Success” at the College of Health Sciences
The College of Health Sciences (CHS) ended 2014 on a high note with its Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rob Slotow, lauding academic and professional services staff for working together to make the academic year a resounding success.
Slotow was speaking at the College year-end lunch at which long-serving staff and those retiring were recognised for their sterling contributions to the University.
In addition to the existing long service categories of 15 years and 25 years, this year the College congratulated Mrs Fazila Padayachee, Mr Thiramalai Govender and Professor Julia Hilary Botha for 36 years’ employment at UKZN.
Special recognition went to School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences Technician, Mr Dhanapalan Naicker, for reaching an impressive 40 years’ service at UKZN.
Nominated by colleagues and unanimously voted employees of the year for their respective Schools and the CHS Administration Office were: Mrs Nirashni Badrinaria, Mr Vishnu Govender, Mr Thulani Khumalo and Ms Mavis Moodley.
Slotow reflected on 2014 as busy year that was full of activities with amazing achievement for CHS - ‘a result of a lot of hard work across the board’.
His year-end message captured several milestones reached by the College in 2014 including creating research-led scholarship. Slotow reported that last year the College enrolled 419 PhD students and 75 Postdoctoral fellows, while 48 PhD students had either completed, or were in the process of submitting their theses, including 17 staff members.
An increased number of academic staff submitted papers while College Journal publications were up by 40 percent from 2011, according to a 2013 audit.
The College also signed a significant Memorandum of Understanding with the Provincial Department of Health (DoH), envisaging a transformed curriculum with graduate competencies aligned to needs including community-based approaches.
The MoU lobbies for the creation of a decentralised training platform that makes use of all opportunities for quality clinical student placements, and that cascades quality and equality of care throughout the province. The development of a joint research agenda was listed in the MoU, especially around strengthening health systems and service delivery.
Slotow said: ‘What is outlined in the MOU will guide much of our individual and collective activities over the coming years, and, although it sets a challenging and ambitious agenda, I believe that with the quality and commitment of our staff, we will be able to step up to meet the challenges.
‘A key aspect that emerges from the MOU with the DOH is improving the quality of our teaching and learning, especially in terms of the clinical training our students receive.’
Slotow applauded the implementation of a multifaceted communication strategy within the College, and said while he had emphasised the academic outputs that were being achieved by academic staff, he often also reflected on the excellence that the College was achieving within its professional support staff.
‘We are certainly leading the University, and I would imagine the sector, in how our core business is supported for success,’ he said.