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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Kick-Off “I make UNITECH Fly” Campaign

Kick-Off “I make UNITECH Fly” Campaign
Monday 28 July, 12 pm – 1 pm, Duncanson Hall, UNITECH
(Check against delivery)


Today, we roll out the campaign “I make UNITECH Fly” which is intended to restore a sense of direction, and motivation in all staff. It is the beginning of the new beginning.

Heads of Departments with Vision, Mission, Values statement

We invited all Faculty, who at the end of our speeches will receive one T-shirt per employee. The Heads of Department will get a framed version of our values, vision and mission statements to hang in their departments. Next week, we will invite all support staff. Regrettably, we can not offer you lunch, but we trust you can find a sandwich or some fruit.

First, I wish to thank our Executive Assistant Lemuel Dom, and our Secretary Bessie Mina who managed to get everything done on time. Benjamin Kaul and his crew for printing the T-shirt, and all others who helped.

The title of the campaign “I make UNITECH Fly” is inspired by a story of US President John F. Kennedy visiting NASA's Cape Canaveral site, where the spaceship for the first moon landing was due to be launched. In 1961 President Kennedy had announced that the United States would put the first man on the moon before the end of the decade, which in fact they did. It seemed absolutely impossible at the time.

When Kennedy visited Cape Canaveral he ran into a gardener, and in casual conversation he ask him what he was doing. The gardener answered: “I am helping put the first men on the moon”.

This story illustrates how much can be accomplished when everybody in an organisation is contributing to the mission. With a committed leadership team, a focus on the mission, and sufficient investment, what seems impossible, will become possible.

UNITECH Finances

Let's start first with the bad news. On 26 July the government gave us our new spending ceiling for operational expenses, which is 8% lower than what we got in 2012. Last year, we ran a deficit of 14 Million Kina, and next year this is expected to be higher despite further rationalisation in spending and some deep cuts.

This is the stark reality we are faced with. Frankly, I did not expect much generosity from the state despite the new LNG revenue. I am not revealing secrets here, we are a public institution and the numbers are known to parliament and public.

UNITECH is finally more transparent and accountable with the 2012 external audit well under way. We are and continue to be largely financed by the state, and must account for what we do with taxpayers money.

Fortunately, we have many other stakeholders ready to help, and we will need their help in this difficult year. We have active collaboration with other Lae based research and educational institutions such as the Forestry Research Institute, National Agrictulural Research Institute, and the National Politecnic. We are members of the Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Mining. We have active collaboration with Australian universities (Charles Sturt, University of Western Australia, James Cook University, Queensland University of Technology), Japanese (Akita University) and New Zealand (University of Canterbury and Lincoln University upcoming).

Despite our dire financial situation our inadequate budget and unsustainable debt at UNITECH, I am optimistic. We will however achieve so many good things, and get so many good stories out this year, that we will shame the government into fully covering our expenses.

UNITECH has a powerful story to tell. For almost 4 decades, like other PNG universities we have had a history of political infighting, staff strikes, and violent student boycotts. Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.

This year, under the leadership of the Chancellor, the united staff organisations, and the Student Representative Council we finally managed to restore legitimate governance, and effective management to the University. The SRC firmly committed to non-violence, and for the first time was successful in convincing the government of their viewpoints.

We must now leverage this story in order to make a new start, and change our history. We deserve a better future – which is where we will spend most of the rest of our lives -, and we will make it happen. After all: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” (Peter Drucker).

Vision, Mission, Values and Key Performance Indicators

I will now take you through our vision, mission and values.

It takes a bold vision to make UNITECH fly: “The Papua New Guinea University of Technology will be the leading innovative, entrepreneurial, and student-centred University, contributing to a knowledge based society in PNG and the South Pacific.”

Innovative means we will increase our research activities in order to produce new knowledge. We are already running the largest Post Graduate program in the country. We will continue to hire independent academics with a PhD who can lead our research efforts.

Entrepreneurial means we will create highly employable graduates, who are accountable self-starters, and show necessary problem-solving skills and confidence to add tremendous value to any organisation.

Student-centred means we will focus on delivering teaching and services to our students, which they rightfully expect. After all, we are here to serve the students, not ourselves.

Our mission, which is what we do has two parts. Our general which we have in common with all universities is “to develop and offer teaching, research, and outreach activities of high quality.” Our specific mission is “to stimulate critical evaluation of scientific and technological knowledge.” In the past we have not lived up to the promise contained in this mission. We need to focus on our mission now, and make a new start with UNITECH.

By doing our mission, we can achieve our vision, if we embody the right type of values. After all, values drive all our behaviour.

As members of the learning community of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology we live by our values, and by the rules of the university, always. We will not tolerate the following values to be violated:

1- High Ethical Standards

We follow high ethical standards regarding integrity, honesty, loyalty, spirit of service to others, tolerance, accountability and transparency. We act in a spirit of service, serving the interest of the University, and not just ourselves.

2- Professionalism.

We behave like professional and in all our behaviours show orderliness, neatness, efficiency and effectiveness. We believe in "Hardwork, network, and teamwork".

We commit to working a full work day, treat each other with respect, communicate clearly, and work effectively in teams with each other.

We communicate clearly and transparently about all our actions. We take ownership and responsibility for all our actions and communication.

We uphold our values actively. We hold ourselves and others accountable for results.

3- Excellence

We aspire to be better always. We do not tolerate mediocrity in ourselves and others. We also show a willingness to improve and accept honest feedback. We are active in soliciting feedback and use it to improve our performance.

4- Innovation & initiative

We do not stop by talking about problems. We take the initiative, we are pro-active. We take up challenges, we set our learning objectives, and we engage in effective solution seeking.

We use the results of scientific and technological knowledge to improve people's lives. We do not dwell on problems.

We analyse challenges, then we engage in effective solution seeking.

We use the results of scientific and technological knowledge to address challenges in innovative ways, and ultimately improve people's lives.

5- Pride & passion

We care deeply about what we do. We take pride in our university, and we hold those not living by our values accountable. We are loyal to our employer. We do not tolerate indifference. We are passionate about living up to the promise of our mission, and our positive contribution to the wider community.

Key Performance Indicators

The weekend of 20 July we had an intensive 3 day executive workshop where we produced a detailed planning for our management team for the short-, medium and long-term in order to achieve our objectives. Soon we will share this with all Heads of Departments and ask them to prepare matching departmental planning.

During this intensive workshop it became clear again that we have a winning leadership team, which will turn around UNITECH, put it back on track and make it fly.

Here are some of the Key Performance Indicators to which we will hold ourselves accountable:
  • Operation: 10% reduction on overheads, 25% reduction on power and water utilities 
  • Staff recruiting: from letter of application to offer 2 months 
  • Staff quality: at least 80% support staff with grade 12 and specialised training 
  • Faculty retention: Faculty with PhD stay at least 2 contracts or 6 years 
  • Faculty quality: at least 80% Faculty with PhD. 
  • Students selection: 100% students from top 5% 
  • Students performance: 95% of student obtain Bachelor degree within 4 years 
  • Programs: 20% of curriculum renewed per year
  • Research & Innovation: 5 peer-reviewed publications per department per year.
  • Entrepreneurship & Business Incubator: 3 successful new entreprises per year.
  • Accreditation: in 4 years 4 engineering programs accredited according to the Washington Accords.
  • Industry engagement: 3 annual meetings with at least 6 different industry representatives in each department 
  • Students: 80% students employed within 6 months of graduation. 
  • UNITECH ranked #1 in PNG in Webometrics University ranking.
The entrepreneurship program I promised as a candidate, will be rolled out across all departments. Teams of students will draw up business plans, and the best plans will compete for a place in the business incubator.

All this in included in a detailed high-level work plan, the full and timely execution of which is a firm commitment for each member of the senior management.

Let me end with another quote by John F. Kennedy: "History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

There is nothing we can not achieve with a good team, a good strategy, plus adequate financing and investment. This last part is still missing, but I am confident we can obtain it. If each of us do our part, together we can make UNITECH fly.

I will now ask Dr. Ora Renagi, Dr. Augustine Moshi, Dr. Kaul Gena and Mrs. Veronica Thomas to present one key result they wish to achieve next year.

1 comment:

  1. The "I Make Unitech Fly" Campaign is a wonderful initiative Dr. Schram! Makes me proud to have been a Unitech graduate. Bravo!


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