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VC asks staff to turn challenges into opportunities

VC asks staff to turn challenges into opportunities

Dated : 25.01.2018

The Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, has impressed upon the University of Botswana community the need to turn challenges into opportunities to enhance the image of the University as a premier institution of higher learning.
 
Professor Norris threw down the gauntlet when he met the faculties of Social Sciences and Humanities staff as part of his orientation programme at the University on January 24, 2018.
 
The programme kicked off on December 4, 2017, three days after he assumed his role as UB’s sixth Vice Chancellor from the Botswana International University of Science and Technology where he was Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.
 
After meeting with executive management as his first port of call, Professor Norris embarked on a tour of UB facilities and met with staff during which he was briefed on the achievements and challenges the University was facing.
 
The challenges mentioned included the shortage of staff, equipment and other operational issues which the staff regretted led to poor service delivery at times.
 
However, Professor Norris said instead of challenges, they must see them as opportunities for innovation given that UB boasted some of the best brains that have played a major role in the country’s development.
 
He urged the members of staff to take advantage of the opportunities and goodwill in the industry to make UB an institution of choice in community service and the development of the country.
 
The Vice Chancellor emphasised the importance of research as underpinning innovation in any development process and argued that UB must constantly engage the community and industry to influence national policy and address national challenges.
 
“Let us take UB back to its glory days. We have far much greater opportunities than challenges that we can use to influence policy and create greater societal impact,” pleaded Professor Norris.
 
However, the Vice Chancellor regretted that even though there were good things the University was doing they were not publicised and wondered whether it was an issue of modesty or lack of communication within and outside the University. Consequently, he pleaded that UB must make itself visible and reclaim its yesteryear glory as the must-go-to institution of higher learning.
 
A UB alumnus himself, Professor Norris said he was proud to have studied at UB. He described his stay as the best years of his student life, during which he was active in sport and also participated in school governance.
 
Meanwhile, the staff expressed optimism that fortunes will combine to usher in a new era, particularly that the University has new brooms in the UB Chancellor, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi (presently the Vice President of Botswana), who is taking over as Head of State next April and Professor Norris who is two months into his Vice Chancellorship. They said apart from routine activities and intermittent hiccups, the faculties were doing well in terms of research and aligning programmes with Botswana Qualification Authority standards.
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