Ithink it is safe to say that the NWU is well on its way to becoming a truly unitary and united university.
Therefore we need to take stock of where we are and what lies ahead. I held meetings on all campuses to get first-hand information about where we are. When you read this, you may have already attended one of these meetings on the state of our university.
While issues regarding structures and reporting lines have been largely settled, there may still be some uncertainty and confusion which we must attend to. I want to thank staff sincerely for your engagement in ensuring that we continue to deliver excellent service during this transition. To (perhaps) report to a new manager, move office and face new challenges can be daunting. Please keep on doing the normal day-to-day things that make the NWU special. It is your attitude that is central to keeping this university functioning and the collective effort is appreciated.
Let us continue living our dream of becoming
“an internationally recognised university in Africa, distinguished for engaged scholarship, social responsiveness and an ethic of care.”
What does this mean for each of our staff members and students? How do you experience our social responsiveness and our ethic of care?
One way of making the dream a reality is for all managers to get communication right. Another is to eliminate all forms of bullying and intimidation in the workplace. These activities contradict our ethic of care. We must pull down the walls of silence when behaviour plainly goes against our ethic of care.
We cannot build a supportive, professional workplace if staff are too afraid to raise their voices. This must of course be done in a responsible manner, utilising the normal lines of communication. Don’t be afraid of speaking out. We cannot make progress if staff do not make us aware of problems that can be resolved.
I also want to encourage those of you who experience emotional and psycho-social problems to contact NWUWellness by phoning 0800 213 149 (a 24-hour line active for 365 days of the year). You can also call Bonita Maboeta at extension 99 4280 (or email her) or Kehumile Katametsi in Mahikeng at extension 89 2336. They will gladly assist you. This includes arranging free sessions with psychologists and/or social workers. We encourage employees and their family members to make use of this confidential and non-judgemental service.
NWUWellness also has an annual mental health awareness programme, advises management and organises workshops on stress awareness and management. Keep an eye open for forthcoming workshops.
Let us use every opportunity to create an environment where people want to work and be happy, productive members of staff. It is not an optional extra, but rather a fundamental part of who we as the North-West University want to be.
Message from the