In 2018 the Faculty of Humanities engaged extensively in 4IR public discussion through op-eds, talks, debates and formal research. We made excellent progress towards a single BA in place of the more than 10 current fixed-purpose programmes, and the rationalisation of assessments.
A strategic development in our recruitment and resourcing strategies enabled the hiring of 31 new staff, most with doctorates. We also identified quantified some workplace victimisation problems, prizing a culture built on devolved decision-making, accountability, transparency, openness, courtesy and customer focus.
The main challenge is that regular academic staff produce less than expected per rank; Growth of research package for improving capacity through mentorship, a teaching buyout scheme, language editing and writing support, workshops, boot-camp and writing retreats; Performance concerns may escalate into disciplinary or capacity issues.
Rose to R23m (2017: R21m); Strategic focus on bidding for large external grants, with grant application now part of the performance appraisal process.
Reviewed the curriculum to make changes in curriculum reform, blended learning and assessment practices; Previous challenges included lack of interdisciplinarity, slow response to the new world of work and 4IR, lack of student choice and timetable difficulties; New BA, for 2020 roll-out, features at least two majors, at least one Humanities major, 2/3 Humanities modules, unrestricted elective modules or choice of major – timetable and prerequisites permitting – to allow creative and previously unavailable interdisciplinary combinations.
Embarked on a programme to deepen our understanding and use of blended learning to greatly reduce large-group contact time and replace it with pedagogically superior small-group contact time, offering timetabling flexibility, and better rebound opportunities for students who miss classes.