Follow this blog and enter your email

Saturday, 28 June 2014

UNITECH UPDATE 1 (29 June 2014)

At the appreciation ceremony organised by the SRC on 9 May we presented our new management team to the community, consisting of Dr. Ora Renagi DVC, Dr. Augustine Moshi (PVC Academic), Dr. Kaul Gena (PVC Administration, and myself as Vice-Chancellor. This is an update for all about on what we have been doing in the 7 weeks since.




Dr. Kaul Gena (PVC Administration) Dr. Ora Renagi (DVC) and Dr. Augustine Moshi (PVC Academic)

In the administrative field, we found many neglected issues to deal with. We are streamlining procurement procedures and maintenance contracts, and expect to achieve considerable savings. We have capability now to import materials ourselves and in the coming months we expect to procure consumables and also expect some containers with donations from Australia.

For maintenance, we had an aircon engineering company make an inventory of all our aircon units. The units in the main common spaces and large lecture halls should be up and running soon. We are negotiating an extension of our Wifi services for all academic building, the female dorm, and some of the housing areas with a company with specialised expertise in this area. Finally, all street lights along the foot path from Ramu Drive to Area 5 will be attended by PNG power soon.

We facilitated a massive vaccination campaign and over 3.000 people were vaccinated. Good work Dr. Das and the nurses! We will also recommence anti-mosquito fumigation as soon as the machines have been repaired. For the Rainforest Habitat, we got the people from Naturepark in Port Moresby interested in helping us to manage it, and we are expecting a visit in the coming weeks.

Regarding our internal reorganisation, we are advertising positions for Legal Officer, PR Director, Director of Building and Grounds, and Director Information and Communication Technology, among others. Other key hires expected in the coming months are Librarian, Bursar and Deputy Registrar Human Resources. These hires were approved by Council for the international job market so that UNITECH can get the most competent person no matter what her or his passport. We also appointed new Heads of Department for Business Studies, Mining Engineering, and DODL, and make more changes as a consequence of our policy to rotate the Headship.

For all staff, we are stressing work ethic, insisting all support staff is available for work between 7.45 am and 4.06 pm. We are mapping the organisational structure and will be communicating function descriptions. Most of the committees that were not functioning for many years have been reconstituted and reactivated. Many committees (Housing, Clinic, Security, USDC etc) have held their meetings.

Most importantly, last month we had a successful graduation on 16 May. We are currently having the largest postgraduate program in the country with 122 students enrolled. We advertised all our PG programs again, and several more were included. We also participating in 4 European Union Erasmus Mundus programs, which allow our staff (1 month) and students (up to 4 years) to participate in training and studies abroad. As as result of these programs, we are hosting the first 2 foreign PG students on our campus, and more are to follow.

The #1 academic priority of our management team is to make sure that our best students get an opportunity to do their Masters and PhD's abroad. For the others we offer in-house programs or bi-lateral arrangements, which is a new, third mechanism. The Vice-Chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology, for example, renewed his offer to me to receive two PhD students from UNITECH per year in science and engineering tuition free. Similar arrangements are expected soon with New Zealand Universities.

Nationals with a PhD always have priority in our hiring, and in the coming years we need to create a strong backbone of 5 or more nationals with a PhD in each department for reasons of program and institutional accreditation, but also for reasons of continuity and stability in the departments.

We will receive the institutional audit team in the week of the 28th of July. After the audit we will be eligible for DFAT - AusAid support for higher education. We started the program accreditation for engineering programs according to the Washington Accords, in cooperation with the Institution of Engineers PNG.

Program accreditation is no longer an optional, and will affect all departments. We have a clear instruction from the government to achieve accreditation of our engineering programs within 4 years. It has invested K50 million in this effort for the coming 4 years. It will also involve those departments that teach our engineering students, and support departments. Only DBS is left out of this program, but this department has different international accreditation regime through AMBA or AACSB.

The engineering program accreditation funding is for the upgrading of the laboratories, but most of the work will be done in the departments and consists in updating and better describing our curricula.

Legitimate governance and effective management have been restored at UNITECH, thanks to the united efforts of Chancellor, staff organisations and the SRC. The old Council members are still prolonging the action in court, but the judge has ruled against them. We can only guess as to their motives.

We resumed the monthly Representative Advisory Committee meetings, weekly SEMT meetings for collegiate decision making, and mission reports for all SEMT members, Directors, and academics each and every time they travel outside Lae.

We had a successful Academic Board and Council meeting on 15 May, and we are currently electing the Pro-Chancellor and forming the committees of Council. As Vice-Chancellor I chair the Academic Board, and make sure good working relations between the two bodies in our dual governance structure are maintained.

The membership of the committees of the Academic board will be approved at the next meeting on 11 July. We tried to have a broad representation from all departments and a good mix of new and experienced members, citizens and non-citizens. The decision to appoint the Head of Department position to suitable Faculty in Senior Lecturer position or higher for a period of 2 years plus a maximum of another 2 years, will be formalised by the Academic Board.

At our next Council meeting, we will be following up on the Sevua Reports recommendations, and restructuring the boards of UDC and NATSL, in addition to the normal agenda, which includes the catering contract tender. We will also follow through on the CHE Salary Review report.

We started with a new Council and new Management team, so we sought some external support to guide and help them in the transition from their customary role to roles as Councillors or executives.

In order to get our management team up to speed, we engaged the services of an executive coach and trainer. We had a first workshop on 17 May, and after a second workshop we expect to roll out our vision, mission, values "The Unitech Way", and strategic plan with Key Performance Indicators, in the "I Make UNITECH Fly" campaign on 28 July (for academic staff) and 6 August (for professional, support staff). Watch this space.

Our internal auditor and his team have audited our payroll, and all peripheral operations, such as our 3 colleges, and a sample of DODL centres. We have finished the 2011 accounts, and next week the Auditor General's auditor will be auditing them. In order to increase transparency, we are now implementing the "one person - one account" principle, as advised by Ministry of Finance, and we are no longer doing our employees' private banking through our payroll.

We also made an analysis of all our spending and revenue for 2013. It turns out that the about K5 million savings we achieved in 2012 by cancelling unnecessary or lop sided contracts, we invested in 2013 in the payroll of our academic departments as a result of the hiring campaign of academics (with a PhD) in 2013. This is a good thing, and what our students demand and deserve.

We are currently preparing the budget for 2015, and we are confident the government will give us a generous grant for our operational expenses. We are also hoping our high impact projects (library, mess and university hall) will be granted. We will also select some smaller projects which will support our strategy.

It is clear that UNITECH is facing and turn-around situation, and we have a unique opportunity to rebuild the organisation and put it back on the rails. We thank you all for your continuous support. As Vice-Chancellor, it is my task to lead a winning management team, and allow them to create and lead other high performing teams and committees.

After 7 weeks, ​I am proud of what our management team has achieved. You may not possibly have "seen" all these improvements we made, but we are convinced in the coming months you will become aware of them. ​

1 comment:

  1. Hello, my name is LUMBA RICKY and am from Austria and I was broke because I entered into a wrong business which made me loss all my money but as I was searching through the internet I saw an advert about a loan company named Navaro Loan Company whom can give a loan for as low as 2% interest rate with no collateral or credit card needed. I applied for a loan in the company to my greatest surprise the CEO of the company Julia Navaro approved my loan of 500,000EUR which i used to get myself back to business. I said to myself i need to share this good news to the world so if you need any loan of any type with no collateral or credit card for as low as 2% interest rate I advice you to contact Navaro Loan Company at their email: navaroloancompany@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete