Department of Microbiology
Vision and Values
The department strives to provide the best possible academically-stimulating environment that enables staff to practice science and students to be trained in science so as to advance scientific knowledge through the medium of Microbiology.
A people-centred approach - staff (academic and non-academic)
The department consists of not primarily of laboratories and equipment but the people who work and study in it and therefore our approach is primarily ‘people-centred’ and not primarily ‘department-centred’.
- Each person should be able to pursue their own career with the minimum of management and control that is commensurate with a collegial and collaborative atmosphere.
- The focus is on the individual to the extent that if the individuals are successful, the department will also be successful (and so will the Faculty and the University).
- Although a complex set of motivators exists and each person is different, a major motivator for academics in the pursuance of scientific knowledge is that they should obtain suitable acknowledgement and recognition for what they achieved. Therefore we will endeavour to ensure that each person obtains full recognition for their own achievements.
- Although the focus is on the individual, we acknowledge our dependency on colleagues. We can achieve most success as individuals, when each of our colleagues is also strong and successful. We therefore seek to strengthen each other as much as possible and use synergy rather than competition as work style.
- To a large extent, we create our own work environment. We therefore continually strive to remove unnecessary impediments, including unnecessary bureaucracy to create as pleasant a working environment as possible.
A people-centred approach - students
Students are a main reason for the existence of a department and the quality of their experience is of utmost importance.
We therefore strive to:
- provide good and effective supervision to post-graduate students
- create a stimulating academic environment through journal clubs, lab meetings, seminars, inter-departmental research discussions
- if possible also provide exposure to the broader scientific world
- encourage social events between students and also students and staff where possible
Undergraduate teaching is the bread-and-butter task of the university and the main reason for government subsidy and student fees. This activity takes priority over all other activities, in that other tasks (such as rendering service to the NRF, local and international travel) have to fit in with undergraduate teaching rather than the reverse. Enthusiastic undergraduate teaching ensures that students are attracted the Honours program. Honours students in turn are the life-blood of a department as they are the major source of Masters and PhD students.