Message from the Dean
At the end of the first year of my term
as Dean, I would like to thank each and every one of you in the Faculty
for your incredible support. Particular thanks to the Faculty's
Vice-deans, the Chairpersons of departments and the Chairpersons of the
standing committees for all your unbelievably hard work to enable the
affairs of the Faculty to run so smoothly.
I would specifically
like to mention Mr Pieter Janse van Rensburg, Dr Cindy-Lee Steenekamp,
and Mss Antoinette Kritzinger, Nicky Steenstra, Lynne Rippenaar-Moses,
Carin de la Querra and Tanja Malan, who put in many long hours in the
Office of the Dean to do everything that had to be done.
started the year on a high note with a record number of PhD students
from the 2012 academic year graduating in March and we end with the
expectation of coming very close to this number again in 2013. The
weighted research output in our Faculty also shot up in 2012, placing us
at the top of the list of faculties in terms of research output at the
University. Given the work that we did on the research front and the
delivery of postgraduate students in the course of 2013, we can look
forward once again to performing well in this area.
We have also
made great strides in interesting and important ways in the Faculty as
far as teaching and community interaction are concerned. Dr Elmarie
Costandius of Visual Arts, for example, was given national recognition
for the way in which she combines innovative and transformative teaching
with community interaction, while several other departments have also
started strongly coming to the fore with the planning of new, innovative
programmes and short courses.
All of this has placed the Faculty
in a particularly favourable position in the University's new budgeting
process and model launched during 2013 compared with other faculties.
The portion "retained" by the Faculty from its earnings from teaching
and research, for example, increased from about 43% to about 47% if we
compare this year's budget allocation with last year's.
University's budgeting process and model are not yet finalised and will
have to be further developed during 2014 to iron out some sticking
points. The biggest challenge for our Faculty is to ensure that our core
business, particularly in teaching and research, is not seriously
disrupted by cuts to ad hoc appointments in the midst of widely
differentiated remuneration adjustments allocated to top performers from
2014 and the elimination of remuneration backlogs.
require hard work and creative thinking from us all as we tackle the
process of programme evaluation in the first semester of 2014, however, I
look forward to working with you in this regard to strengthen the
Faculty even further as an exciting place for the discovery, transfer
and sharing of knowledge.
The adjustments in respect of building
services are also a matter that we will have to manage with great
prudence to promote the well-being and work satisfaction of, in
particular, our support staff in the Faculty.
But, before we tackle these and other matters, we first have to see out the year and get some rest.
I wish you all the best for the festive days to come.
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