Transforming to meet the needs of the Community we Serve

College of Health Sciences

Transforming to meet the needs of the Community we Serve

Approved at College Transformation Committee, 23 October 2013

Approved at College Management Committee, 12 November 2013


The College, as does the University, faces a challenge in the transformation of the staff within the Academic component to match more closely the demographics of the population, and therefore provide appropriate role models, diversity and cultural sensitivity for our teaching and research mandates. The challenge of attracting staff from the target categories is further exacerbated within the College because of the competition for a limited pool of candidates, both within the Higher Education sector, but also with positions in health care practice, which are well remunerated.

In addition to transformation of the academic staff complement, we also face a challenge in terms of succession planning to ensure effective leadership across the College. Leadership attributes need to be developed, and this requires firstly that staff are provided with the opportunity to develop personally in this regard, but also that appropriate training and support are provided to ensure success. While there is a shortage of staff with experience in leadership across the College, this is especially so for designated groups in terms of transforming the staffing within the College.

Therefore, the College of Health Sciences has developed a strategy with a few, key interventions with a view to building a  College staff establishment that reflects the society to which we are accountable, and which has strong leadership capacity on which to draw for effective and efficient delivery on our mandates of Teaching and Learning to develop the next cadre of trained Health Professionals, and of Research to generate new knowledge, improve evidence-based best- practice in Health Care Provisioning and advance research-led teaching.

These strategies have to be agreed and integrated into the Staff Establishment Planning, including the Equity and Transformation Plan.

1. Recruitment of High Potential South African, African graduates through a targeted career development programme (Developmental Lecturers).

This is as per the existing framework, where high performing potential staff are recruited as permanent staff, but given time and support to complete a PhD within the first 3 years, and commence on a  research trajectory in the form of publications, postgraduate supervision and conference presentations followed by grantsmanship. They are then on a fast-track for promotion. See point 5 for additional information on development strategy. CMC to approve release of 10 posts for 2014. Additional posts to be released as per the transformation plan.

2. Accelerated Academic Development of mid-career South African, African academics.

This is to attract, and fast-track for research-related success, and therefore promotion, mid-career South African African academics with demonstrated high performance potential. They will be provided with 3 years without contact teaching to focus on achievement in terms of research including but not limited, publications, postgraduate supervision, conference presentations, grantsmanship followed by NRF rating and will be in line for rapid promotion to Associate Professor. There will only be MINIMAL contact teaching, at higher levels, to provide opportunity for exposure of these staff to students who can then be recruited to postgraduate studies under their supervision. These staff will be line-managed by the DHOS, and there will be structured support for them through an institutional/cohort approach. They will develop a Professional Development Plan for promotion, and this will be monitored through the Performance Management system. The proposed advert for this is attached. CMC to approve release of 5 posts for 2014. Additional posts will be released as per the transformation plan.

3. Pipelining High Potential South African, African undergraduates into very scarce skill disciplines.

We cannot retain students in some disciplines into Postgraduate studies, and they are therefore not eligible to apply for Lecturer as they do not have a Masters qualification. This programme will provide a bursary large enough to retain them at University post Bachelors (R250 000 p.a.), and we will focus on supporting them for completion of their Masters degrees within 1 year if possible (fast-track Ethics approval). Once achieving the Masters, they will enter the permanent staff as Developmental Lecturers. DHOS to identify a small number of key areas in which to implement this, and motivate to CMC for posts” in these areas. There will be a coordinated and structured programme for this at College level, under the College Dean of Research, and they will be supported as an integrated cohort in a structured manner. These should be advertised so that we can identify students from the students graduating this year.


4. Student enrichment programme.

This will be aimed at attracting and supporting Honours/Honours-equivalent students into PG studies, with a view to integrating them into the staff establishment. Academically proficient students and/or students with research aptitude will be identified, and given specific opportunities to participate in research laboratories, with focused mentoring by academic staff within the College in tandem with taking Masters modules for non-degree purposes where possible. This strategy has been approved in principle at CAAB, and will now need to be implemented. A College wide implementation plan will be generated by the College Dean of Teaching and Learning, in consultation with the College Dean of Research anDHOSs, as well as with the Academic staff within the College. This implementation plan will be tabled for approval at CMC by March 2014.

. Staff development programme for South African, African staff.

All South African, African staff who are currently in the system will be identified, and divided into three categories:

Those who are PhD credentialed, those that are credentialing, and Developmental Lecturers (dealt with above as well). For the staff that are PhD credentialed (see table below with 9 staff), the DVC will meet with each staff member to discuss their aspirations, personal development plan, and any constraints to fast-track career-pathing and upward mobility. Strategies will be put in place to achieve personal promotion, with a target date set for personal promotion. For PhD credentialing staff (see table below with 18 staff), and for Developmental Lecturers (see table below with 10 staff) the relevant DHOS will meet individually with these staff to discuss their personal development plan, and strategy for successful credentialing. Any barriers to progress must be identified and interventions put in place to mitigate these. The College Dean of Research will put in place a cohort strategy for these staff, with structured support for staff at different stages of their credentialing process, and timelines for each staff member with a College level reporting system for accountability. There will be quarterly reports produced by the Dean of Research, and tabled at CMC meetings in December 2013, February 2014, May 2014, August 2014, and November 2014. Each of these reports should speak t o progress to date, as well as the plan for each staff member for the following quarter and the balance of the year. Special attention should be paid to rapid completion of BREC approval for those staff without approval. The DVC, Dean of Research and DHOS will meet collectively with these staff twice per year to discuss strategies. If necessary, the DVC will meet individually with particular staff members to promote success. Developmental Lecturers will, in addition, be line managed by the DHOS. The DVC, DHOS, College Dean of Research will include a specific KPA that deals with this staff development as part of their 2014 performance agreement. This KPA will be agreed at CMC.


6. Leadership Development Programme.

In addition to personal academic development for South African, African staff, the College will generate an individual specific strategy for leadership skills and experience for these staff. This will take into account the need to protect staff from too many commitments, which could potentially impact their personal academic development. The DVC will develop the College-wide plan, based on individual meetings with staff members in all three categories, prioritizing the PhD credentialed staff initially. This plan will be tabled at CMC in March 2014 for approval, and will then be implemented.

. Structured and Co-ordinated communications strategy

In order to create broad support and buy-in for the strategies across the College, we will develop a structured and co-ordinated communication strategy explaining the approach being taken, why the interventions are necessary, and to emphasise that there is also an overall programme for personal development of all staff in the College, and that there are strategic interventions to support success which are accessible to all staff. This is to prevent any negativity to the transformation strategy and to staff who are part of the implementation of the strategy.

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