Overcoming The Failures of Nature: Testing the Untested
My office welcomes our new colleagues the Faculty and you all to the second meeting of the Faculty; thank you are availing yourselves at the one Extraordinary meeting held on 03 April 2013. The life-cycle of this semester will soon be history as we enter the half-yearly assessment period ten days’ time.
Speaking of assessment, I would like to remind Faculty that the following are taboo to those of us who value and respect academic integrity:
Sexual harassment – in whatever form it manifests itself
Xenophobia – we pledge to work with men and women from all walks of life who commit to serve our students with pride, honesty and integrity
Academic crime: Instances of academic crime are many, you just have to look around including in the agenda in front of you. Administering assessment without giving Assessment feedback is unacceptable; conducting lessons for over six weeks without administering any assessment of whatever form is academic crime, etc. These crimes and many others we come across week-in and week-out are dismissible offences, so the Executive Dean advises one and all to avoid being caught on their side. Otherwise, you will be found to be blaming nature!
You will recall that I declared that in 2013 IT WILL BE BUSINESS UNUSUAL. So, what is up?
·For the first time, I had a fruitful meeting with postgraduate students of the Faculty – at which I got first-hand information on challenges they face during their stay in the Faculty.Without touching on any issue that came up, I appeal to Faculty to help my office create an exciting and conducive academic environment for all students.
·For the first time ever, I had a retreat with the leadership of the Faculty Student Representative Council where we came to a common understanding on how we will serve both students and staff of the Faculty with distinction.
·On Saturday 11 MAY 2013, we will all converge at the University sports grounds for a Faculty Sports Day, where our students from the four schools will compete in (male) soccer, (female) netball and (open) chess for a shining floating trophy in each of these sporting codes. OF COURSE THE LEGENDARY GREAT MIDFIELDER, DISTRIBUTOR AND DESTROYER James Chikerema WILL BE ENTERTAINING supporters and fans, alike, WITH DANCING SKILLS AND DRIBBLING SKILLS. Well, well, well, we invite you all.
There are colleagues who continue to brighten my heart by selfless service. I duly acknowledge the sterling work conducted by the Faculty Quality Enhancement Committee (FQEC) during the past quarter – on auditing us on Modules Outline. Over the years I have seen and heard congregants say, “God bless you” to their spiritual leaders without giving them anything – not even a cent. I am not easily influenced by people’s behaviour (not even God-fearing people) BUT: May God bless members of the FQEC. Even “men of God” have been accepting this gesture without complaint: talking of Failures of Nature – if you know what I mean.
Those who continue to supervise unregistered Masters and Doctoral students, do so without University approval, so the students may be refused to re-register at a late stage. Those who have such students, please advise them to come forward.
Inaugural Addresses by (full) Professors: academic colleagues that have reached the highest academic panache of full professorship and have not yet given their Inaugural Addresses to the Faculty (and the University community), you are informed that plans are underway to have these addresses given during the course of this year and in 2014. The Faculty of Management and Law will start and we will follow. Details will be communicated during the month of June 2013. Some of those that have to step forward are: Prof SM Dippenaar, Prof LJ Mampuru, Prof NAG Moyo, Prof CS Dannhauser, Prof JW Ng’ambi and Prof M Mbewe.
Dean’s Blog: In the next few weeks, I hope to be accessible to colleagues through the internet, especially everything that I have communicated or would love to communicate to you as this august Faculty. The internet link will be forwarded to you via your Head of Department in due course.
Faculty Calendar: kindly note the following activities that are scheduled for the period before the next meeting of the Board of Faculty
|Inaugural Faculty Day||11 May 2013||Executive Dean’s Office|
|Faculty Assessment Criteria Workshops||20 – 21 May 2013||Prof Aifheli Gelebe|
|Half-yearly Examinations||27/05 – ???/06/June 2013||Faculty (and students?)|
|Faculty and Student Exchange visit from Kansas State
|27 – 29 May 2013||Prof David Norris|
|University Open Week||22 – 25 July 2013||School Directors and Assistant Registrar|
|International Workshop on Symbiotic Copepoda||30 June – 5 July 2013||Prof Susan Dippenaar|
|National Science Week Launch||27 July 2013||Prof Martin Potgieter|
|Faculty and Postgraduate Research Day||Second semester||Prof Norris and Faculty Higher Degrees Committee|
In his Blog on 10 April 2013, one of the my favourite “business engineering gurus” Terry Jones wrote on a topic “Crossing the Valley of Death!” and argued that “It is very hard to take your company across
Death Valley. But sometimes it is the only way to survive”. Guess what: I agree with him BUT I am not taking you through a death
valley – there are good reasons why we lead in the manner we do. Remember, we can overcome failures of nature!
In the Sunshine
Prof Hlengani Siweya, PhD, Pr. Sci. Nat