Integrating our approach to inclusivity and transformation

05 October 2020 | From Kgethi

Dear colleagues

I am writing to inform you that the University of Cape Town (UCT) has taken the important decision to adopt an integrated approach to address the overlapping findings of three critical reports: the 2019 Staff Inclusivity Survey (IS), Professor Bongani Mayosi’s Panel Enquiry (MPE), and the Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC).

We were persuaded of the importance of taking this step, despite the differing scope of these reports, because of the seriousness with which we view the key common points of contention that emerged. These include Bullying, Emotional Wellbeing, Racial and other forms of discrimination and harassment, and Retention, Advancement and Leadership.

As we continue to grapple with the full implications of the contents, let me say that UCT’s chosen approach paves the way to integrate the work of our DVC: Transformation Professor Loretta Feris and Chief Operating Officer, Dr Reno Morar. They will in turn enjoy the support of an Inclusivity Strategy Advisory Group (ISAG), tasked with monitoring our university’s response, and an Inclusivity Strategy Working Group (ISWG) who will have oversight for implementing appropriate interventions.

At the same time, the university leadership recognises that there are also issues that are specific to particular faculties and departments. The complexity and uniqueness of these necessitates a bespoke approach, and members of leadership teams will assume responsibility here. I encourage them to consult the Transformation Benchmarks and their respective Transformation Committees for insight, and to communicate details of any initiatives for change to all staff, in the interests of transparency.

I also encourage them to contact the ISWG through Nina Barnes, our Institutional Culture Specialist with the Office for Inclusivity & Change (OIC) at nina.barnes@uct.ac.za, for clarity on the development of their individual strategies in line with the Template: Individualised Indicators of Success. The deadline for the inclusion plans is set for 30 November 2020, but I am cognisant of the constraints associated with off-campus operations due to the lockdown. If faculties or departments are struggling to complete their inclusion plans, they can contact the OIC at director.oic@uct.ac.za for support. Inclusion plans are to be approved by the Deans or Executive Directors and submitted to the DVC/COO to which the faculty or department reports.

All three reports have served up hard truths and highlighted avoidable mistakes. But they also provided invaluable insights, important lessons, and recommendations for improvement. As such, our intention is to conduct similar surveys to build on this baseline data and to assess our consequent interventions at the end of 2023, unless the COVID-19 situation dictates otherwise.

Sincerely

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
Vice-Chancellor


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Campus communications


Online staff assembly and other updates 15:09, 30 September 2020
Fee adjustments and other updates 15:21, 16 September 2020
Call for proposals: TLC2020 10:15, 26 August 2020
SAULM survey and other updates 15:30, 5 August 2020
COVID-19 cases and other updates 15:26, 5 August 2020
New UCT Council and other updates 15:12, 15 July 2020
Upcoming UCT virtual events 09:30, 15 July 2020
Pre-paid data for UCT students 14:25, 22 April 2020
Update for postgraduate students 12:55, 20 April 2020

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Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19

The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.


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Statements from Government



 
 

In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”

 

We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.

 

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