Dear students and colleagues
This campus announcement aims to inform members of the University of Cape Town community about:
1. Vice-Chancellor’s student farewell event
All students are invited to a farewell event for Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price on Monday, 21 May from 13:00 to 15:00 in the Memorial Hall. Students are invited to send their video, text, voice or picture messages to the VC as his term of office draws to a close.
2. Acting Dean – Faculty of Commerce
After consultation with the Dean’s Advisory and Faculty Transformation Committees, Associate Professor Kanshukan Rajaratnam has agreed to continue as acting dean until a substantive dean is appointed.
3. Coordinating social responsiveness at UCT
UCT has had a social responsiveness (SR) policy framework since 2008. SR is formally recognised through the annual SR Award and the work is documented in annual or biannual SR reports. However, UCT has never had a director of SR – it was part of the role of the director of the Institutional Planning Department (IPD) while Judy Favish held the position, but the post is no longer linked to IPD. SR staff involved in this work – Sonwabo Ngcelwane (coordinator: Research Development) and Barbara Schmid (manager: Knowledge Co-op) – have moved to the Research Office.
The university’s new strategic planning framework (2016–2020) gives visibility to engaged scholarship, in particular, as one form of SR – through Goal 5 of the plan. SR is an important area of work for UCT and needs a plan for coordination and sustainability. In the current context of fiscal austerity, there are no new funds for a post of SR director or manager. As a way forward, the university executive has requested Associate Professor Janice McMillan, based in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), to include the role of SR coordinator as part of her current position as director of the UCT Global Citizenship Programme (GCP).
Professor McMillan has been active in SR work on campus for the past 15 years, working on the original SR survey with Ms Favish in 2003, and on the SR report for several years. She will carry out this role in close collaboration with Mr Ngcelwane and Ms Schmidt, as well as the faculties, working to increase visibility and ensure sustainability of the SR project at UCT. A vital part of Professor McMillan’s role is to scope out a long-term plan and resource base for SR, including the possibility of a senior SR post, funding permitting. In this role, she reports directly to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Research and Internationalisation, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng.
Professor Phakeng is asking the university community to support this decision, which she believes is the best way forward to ensure the sustainability of UCT’s SR work.
4. Update on the IRTC process
The Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) Steering Committee met with the IRTC on 4 May 2018 after receiving the IRTC’s initial set of recommendations from phase one, in which the commission considered whether students who were granted clemency for incidents stemming from the Shackville incident of February 2016 should be granted amnesty. These recommendations will be considered by UCT Council after the steering committee has discussed them.
5. Deferred exams – guidelines for students
If a student intends to apply for a deferred exam (DE) they must read the guidelines carefully and follow the application instructions. These guidelines must be read in conjunction with the Senate rules on deferred exams (Handbook 3, G27 and 28). For advice about the DE rules or process, students must write to firstname.lastname@example.org or inquire at the Student Records Office in Masingene or call 021 650 3595.
6. Notice about graduation 2018 and onwards
Previously UCT’s main graduation season was held in December, followed by a smaller season in June of the following year. This has now changed. From 2018 onwards, the main graduation season will fall in April, and a smaller season in December of the same year. As from 2019, there will be a PhD-only ceremony in July.
7. Switching off heaters in residences and offices
Safety and security is of paramount importance and a priority at UCT. Fire prevention is critical in a large community environment such as a university. As we enter the winter season, the use of heaters becomes increasingly common. Staff and students are urged to exercise caution by making sure that heaters are switched off when not in use. Taking responsibility for spaces such as residences and offices is critical because many lives can be endangered by accidents or careless actions.
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