Invitation to make submissions on Institutional Culture and Transformation

Posted on September 16, 2016

You are cordially invited to make submissions on Institutional Culture and Transformation to the Independent Transformation Panel of the University of Pretoria Council.
  1. On 16 March 2016 the Council of the University of Pretoria (UP) created an independent body to advise it on issues relating to transformation, including language policy and institutional culture, by inviting written submissions from internal and external stakeholders. The Independent Transformation Panel (Panel) was thus established.
  1. On 5 March 2016 a 'three work streams' internal consultation process to consider transformation regarding language policy, institutional culture and curriculum reform was established at a lekgotla.
  1. In June 2016 Council considered the reports on language policy of the Panel as well as the internal language work stream.
  1. The Panel's present focus is on transformation and UP's institutional culture. Therefore internal and external UP stakeholders are invited to make written submissions to the Panel by Friday 14 October 2016. Submissions should be succinct and no longer than five pages. Only one submission per person or organisation will be considered. The focus of the panel will be on reasoned substantial comments and proposals, rather than the number of possibly repetitive submissions supporting a particular view.
  1. The Panel is chaired by Justice Johann van der Westhuizen, former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and the North Gauteng High Court and a participant in drafting of South Africa's interim and final Constitutions. The other members are Ms Khanyisile Kweyama, CEO of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Brand South Africa; Dr Danie Langner, MD of the Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurverenigings (FAK), MD of the NP van Wyk Louw Centre for Community Studies and leader of the Voortrekker movement; and Professor Sheila Mmusi, Chairperson of the Setswana Language Commission of the Academy for African Languages (ACALAN) of the African Union, member of the Board of Directors of Plus94Research and Head of Department of Media Communication and Information Studies at the University of Limpopo. Judge Jeremiah Shongwe was a member, but returned to his duties as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal. Professor Adam Small  also served on the Panel, but sadly passed away a few days after the June Council meeting.
  1. The Panel functions independently of the Management of the UP. It will report to the Council at its meeting scheduled for 28 November 2016.
  1. The Panel works separately and independently of the internal university consultation processes on transformation, like the work streams, which should continue with maximum democratic participation by UP students and staff. Their outcomes have to follow the normal path through UP structures up to Council. The streams process is coordinated by Professors Norman Duncan ([email protected]) (curriculum reform) and Anton Kok ([email protected]) (institutional and residence culture).
  1. Groups and individuals who participate in the above processes, or elect not to participate in them, are welcome to submit their views to the Panel. For the purpose of its report to Council, the Panel will also take note of any outcomes or progress in the internal streams process.
  1. Respondents are free to submit views on all aspects of transformation and institutional culture at UP, including residence culture. Curriculum reform is not included in the Panel's investigation, but may of course be addressed if regarded as relevant. Because transformation and institutional culture may be complex and contested concepts, six basic questions are provided for the purpose of this invitation. Respondents are not bound by them.
(a)  What is institutional culture
(b)  What is transformation
(c)  What do you know about the institutional culture of UP and how could it be described? 
(d)  Does it have to be transformed? If so, how? 
(e)  Could long-term visions, objectives and processes be distinguished from needs that require immediate attention and are achievable without delay? If so, mention examples. 
(f)   Please state any other views related to the topic of the investigation.
  1. Background information on student demographics, with regard to, for example, race, gender and financial support, is available in the UP Annual Review 2014. Information on, for example, the names of residences, building and facilities is available on request.  If needed, views of academics and students on the meaning of the concepts at the core of this investigation could be provided on request.
  1. Information on the Panel and its work could be obtained from the chair, via Ms Thanyani Mahanya at [email protected], or Ms Elzanie Slabbert ([email protected]).
  1. The members of the Independent Transformation Panel look forward to receiving your valuable contribution in order to enable UP to play the important role it should play in our constitutional democracy. Section 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa states that we are a democracy founded on the following values:
  1. Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms.
  2. Non-racialism and non-sexism.
  3. Supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law.
  4. Universal adult suffrage, a national common voters roll, regular elections and a multi-party system of democratic government, to ensure accountability responsiveness and openness.



The Independent Transformation Panel
16 September 2016


- Author Independent Transformation Panel

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