Following the earlier series of six Town Hall engagements, the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu together with some members of the Strategic Planning Working Group (SPWG) engaged with staff on the draft Strategic Map at the final Strategic Plan Town Hall Engagement, held last Thursday, 24 October 2019 at the Mansfield Hall, Ritson Campus.
The SPWG team in attendance included the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu, Director: Planning, Policy and Projects, Nicky Muller, Associate Professor Ashley, Ross-Specialist – Strategy and Operational Planning: Institutional Planning Unit, Director of the International Education and Partnerships Office, Dr Lavern Samuels, and DUT’s Kavita Bheemson.
Director: Planning, Policy and Projects, Nicky Muller who heads the SPWG, said the one-pager draft Strategic Map is a product of extensive work by the SPWG and it includes feedback from the wider DUT community that was obtained during the first meetings earlier in the year.
She used the analogy of an orchestra which in order to play harmonising music, each band member must know which instrument to use and the notes to play. Muller stressed that every person at DUT must know their particular place and role.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu spoke on what the DUT community can expect in terms of innovative projects pertaining to infrastructure developments, such as more classrooms at the Engineering Department at the Indumiso Campus as well as a new, exciting student centre at Gate 5, Steve Biko Campus.
Explaining further on the draft Strategic Map Professor Ashley Ross, spoke on the new proposed DNA strands which are People-Centred and Engaged and Innovation and Entrepreneurial, adding that this is the DNA that the team hopes to build in the strategic plan in the next decade. “We SPWG feel strongly that these values and principles that we are making on our DNA needs to be lived values. We came across what is the living values education methodology, and the many higher education institutions that have subscribed to the living values education methodology, so now it’s how we can gauge the DUT community on these values, going forward,” he said.
Dr Samuels highlighted on the financial stable framework which forms part of the draft Strategic Map and the need for creating a sustainable efficient business model, whilst Bheemson elaborated on the systems and processes, adding that the aim is to build an enabling environment with co-ordinated and inter-dependent systems and processes.
Prof Mthembu further added that this engagement with staff on the draft Strategic Map is all being done as an action plan to increase DUT’s impact and footprint in creating a conducive account in the world as a whole.
Muller concluded that that once they have consolidated feedback from these engagements they will submit the draft Strategic Plan (2020 – 2030) to the relevant internal forums for approval, and ultimately to the Council for final approval.
Pictured: Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu.