13 février 2012

University leadership a balancing act

By Karen MacGregor. Cheryl de la Rey, a professor of psychology, notched up several firsts when she became vice-chancellor of South Africa’s large University of Pretoria in 2009 – the first woman, the first black person and the first English-speaker. It seems the university was ripe for change, as she faced no opposition on any of these fronts.
“From day one the reception was very warm. I never sensed resistance, so I think the institution was ready for somebody different,” De la Rey, who is smart-looking and slim, friendly and thoughtful, told University World News. An encouraging example of post-apartheid transformation, as not that long ago Pretoria was a bastion of white male Afrikanerdom.
“I truly enjoy my job. That doesn’t mean I don’t complain from time to time; it’s human nature. But I’ve come into an institution where the majority of people have commitment and loyalty, and that’s a major asset.”
The University of Pretoria is huge, with nearly 64,000 students including 44,670 contact and 19,110 distance students spread across six main campuses and two cities, Pretoria and Johannesburg. From its apartheid days as a whites-only institution, today 62% of students are black and 59% are female.
It is one of South Africa’s top research institutions, with numerous institutes and centres. Around one in four students are postgraduates, including 14% at the masters and 4% at doctoral level. There are more than 6,400 staff including some 1,900 academics.
How does a vice-chancellor successfully run such an enormous enterprise? University World News spoke to De la Rey about how she came to head the University of Pretoria, her leadership lessons and style, the contextual and day-to-day challenges she faces and how she tackles them.
Background
Cheryl de la Rey grew up in Durban, on South Africa’s east coast. “Academically I was a top performer at school, so from a young age I knew I would go to university. What course I would follow was an open question, and I ended up not really knowing what I wanted to do.”
She enrolled for a BSc at the then University of Natal, but changed to a BA. “My parents were channeling me towards being a doctor, but I didn’t want that. With a general degree, the option became teaching.” This was at the height of apartheid, and for a black woman teaching was one of few career options with job security.
“I did extremely well in psychology, though majoring in psychology wasn't my plan.” The department urged her to study further and she completed a masters. She was offered a contract post as a junior lecturer, but decided instead to go and teach at high school.
“I didn’t want to move from being a student to being a staff member in the same department. It didn’t feel good, and I needed a change,” she recalled. “I enjoyed teaching tremendously.” After a year she got a junior lecturing job at the University of Durban-Westville, which has since merged with Natal to become the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
In 1995 she moved to the University of Cape Town. “By the end of 1999 I had completed a PhD and been promoted through the ranks.” That year, De la Rey was seconded to the National Research Foundation, where she worked as executive director for 18 months.”
She returned to Cape Town as a deputy vice-chancellor, and then got the job as head of the Council on Higher Education. From there she was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Pretoria. “I’ve spent a vast proportion of my working life in universities.”
During this time she published books and several journal articles in psychology. De la Rey has also done extensive work on gender issues, leadership and higher education policy, sits on several national committees, and is a member of the International Council for Science’s strategy and planning committee, among other leadership positions. More...

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31 août 2010

Le management à l'université par Axel Kahn

SOMMAIRE du n°299
• Editorial - Annie BARTOLI et Martine BRASSEUR
(cliquez sur ce lien pour télécharger l'éditorial)
• Entretien avec : Axel KAHN
Le management à l'université  - mené par Pierre LOUART (Cliquez sur ce lien pour visionner la vidéo)
• Comment concilier utilité sociale et maîtrise de la dépense publique? le cas de la Sécurité sociale - Olivier BACHELARD, Marion BOURY et Amandine DESLANDES
• Logistique hospitalière, un outil de management, le cas des hôpitaux français et moldaves - Maria COSTIN
• La négociation collective des métiers: prospective ou repli? le cas de la récente négocation paritaire de la médecine du travail - Arnaud STIMEC
• Point de vue: Sieyès, administrateur et penseur de l'Etat - Jean-Jacques SARFATI
• Point de vue: La démarche qualité dans le service public: un exemple d'application dans l'enseignement supérieur - Athissingh RAMRAJSINGH et Parina HASSANALY.
Contents of No. 299
Editorial - Annie BARTOLI and Martine Brasseur
(click on this link to download the editorial). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:55 - - Permalien [#]