School of Health Sciences Dean in dialogue with his staff
School of Health Sciences academic and professional services staff enjoyed yet another opportunity to engage in an open discussion with their Dean and Head of School, Professor Mahmoud Soliman.
The Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences continues to make great strides towards positioning the School as a leader in health sciences education and improving communication within the School. He held an open forum with all staff in the School shortly after his new appointment to the deanship in January.
Soliman has kicked off the second semester with an open discussion inviting all staff to share thoughts and vision on the critical topic: “Staff accountability and professionalism and creating a healthy and positive working environment: challenges and solutions”.
Soliman said: ‘The main objective of the open discussion is to emphasize the importance of creating a transparent and efficient communication framework among staff members in the School and how this significantly impacts on progression in achieving the School’s goals, vision and mission.’
‘There is no shade of doubt that the work environment must be based on the values of mutual-respect, mutual-understanding, trust, accountability and responsibility,’ said Soliman. ‘Good communication is the key to the success for any institution. This is the essence of REACH values (Respect, Excellence, Accountability, Client-orientation and Honesty) and the transformation strategy in the University.’
The open discussion began with attendees acknowledging that the University is an ever-changing environment that requires all staff members to embrace its rich diversity of cultures and historical background. Attendees contributed and shared their thoughts about the day’s topic.
Matters arising focussed on ways in which the School’s administration, research, teaching and learning could be enhanced further. While admittedly the work environment had many challenges and frustrations, it was clear that the common goal was the pursuit of excellence at all times.
‘There’ll always be a need for robust, healthy academic debate,’ said prolific research professor and senior lecturer, Gert Kruger, who encouraged research excellence amongst colleagues.
While Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences Academic Leader, Professor Johan van Heerden, promoted working in synergy at all times, Dentistry Academic Leader, Dr Shenuka Singh said respect and effective communication was key.
Staff said they appreciated being given a chance to voice the challenges they faced in the workplace and to make suggestions where applicable. It was agreed that mutual-respect, support and effective communication would drive the School towards achieving its main objectives in line with the College of Health Sciences and the wider university community.