REACH Believe As One, Move As One
REACH is a campaign geared to inspire UKZN staff to practice the five core principles of Respect, Excellence, Accountability, Client-orientation and Honesty.
The UKZN Council, management and staff reaffirmed their commitment to the REACH principles at an event on the Howard College campus.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, said staff should strive to live the REACH values. ‘We want to build a community of people, working together.’
Van Jaarsveld, who plans to visit all five campuses to discuss the institutional strategy, said the REACH campaign was key to the new institutional strategy which would kick-off in 2017. ‘At the core of the strategy lies a very important variable, which is the people/culture dimension of the Institution.’
He said personal commitment and introspection were key, using a football analogy to demonstrate the importance of playing the ball (the REACH values) and not the person.
Executive Director of Human Resources, Ms Avril Williamson, said the University’s most important asset was its people. ‘While the University is striving to become the Premier University of African Scholarship, we cannot do this without each other.’
Williamson said an environment where everyone felt included, respected, empowered, while being developed and inspired was the end-goal. ‘Such an environment is created by the way we behave towards each other,’ she said.
She encouraged staff to teach and live these values. ‘So believe as one and live as one.’
The College of Law and Management’s Professor Managay Reddi, representing Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College, Professor John Mubangizi, referred to Section 10 of the Bill of Rights, which says: ‘Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their human dignity respected and protected.
‘Because we are human beings, we are entitled to respect, regardless of our station in life, regardless of our status and regardless of our wealth,’ said Reddi.
‘I want to commit my College to Respect … which I think is the most important of the REACH values as it underpins everything else that we do,’ she said.
Williamson said Excellence was not about perfection, ‘it’s about doing the best in everything that you are required to.
‘We all play a part in the Institution achieving excellence,’ she said.
Executive Director of Student Services’ Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, said Accountability was important, not just at an individual level but at an institutional level. He said this was especially relevant to decision-making, and emphasised that it was important to be accountable, even when no-one was watching.
Speaking about Client-orientation, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Professor Jonathan Blackledge, said the three golden rules were: ‘Rule 1 is the Client or the customer comes first. Rule 2 is the Client or the customer comes first. Rule 3 is the Client or the customer comes first.’
Blackledge said he had always believed that strength came from diversity and emphasised the importance of students for the University to achieve its goals.
Professor Anesh Singh of the Faculty of Law and Management Studies said the principles of REACH were common, basic human values. He urged colleagues to practice all the values of REACH to be ‘good, honest human beings.
‘You have to be honest with yourself before you are honest with others.’
Forensic Services’ Mr Tony Singarum emphasised the importance of ethics, which formed part of Honesty.
During the Q and A session, staff raised concerns about issues affecting them. Van Jaarsveld referred to various structures that employees could use to raise issues and concerns which include whistle blowing, the ombudsman and line managers.
Reach commitment wall panels were signed by all those committed to reaffirming their dedication to the REACH principles.
The REACH re-launch event was Phase 1 of encouraging UKZN employees to live the REACH values. Phase 2 will be rolled out in 2016 and will involve various exciting activities.