From the 31st of August to the 1st of September 2015, a two-day workshop was held for management, academic and support staff of the University, at the McCarthy Hill Campus.
The central theme for the workshop was "Growth and Expansion in the Promised Land". Being the first staff workshop organized since the University’s relocation to its permanent campus at McCarthy Hill; it provided an opportunity for staff to discuss issues of concern, as well as strategies to enable the University fulfill its mission.
The workshop commenced with a welcome address by Mr. Albert Amonoo, the Senior Vice President of the University. Describing the new academic year as a "year of convergence", he noted that faculty and students would for the first time since the establishment of the University’s former satellite campuses, converge and conduct academic activities at one location.
The Senior Vice-President went on to provide attendants with an update on the on-going development of the McCarthy Hill campus. Mr. Amonoo announced that the Academic Block currently under construction is expected to be completed by October 2015 and the multipurpose block in December this year. He also informed attendants that the on-campus student residence facility would be completed in April 2016.
He expressed optimism that the University's relocation to its permanent campus would help reduce operational cost and promote cohesion among the student body.
Rev. Mawuli Tamakloe and Rev. Josiah Andor of the University's Chaplaincy department both delivered biblically inspired messages on the topic, "Spiritual dynamics of the promise land occupation".
Using the biblical account of the Israelites' journey to the land God promised their forebears as a case study (Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 8); lessons and principles applicable to the University’s context were distilled. The following key points emerged:
Challenges and Opportunities in Higher Education:
The President and Founder, Rev. Prof. Emmanuel K. Larbi, delivered a presentation on the topic: "Growth and Expansion on the Promised land: Challenges and Opportunities".
In his presentation; the President stated that the changing landscape in tertiary education in Ghana, presented various challenges as well as opportunities.
He indicated that the University would remain resolute in pursuing its vision of becoming a cutting-edge, world-class Christian University, committed to raising highly skillful, visionary, ethical and God-fearing leaders to function as change agents.
He stressed that despite the University's pioneering history; it was "not enough to glory in the past." The President added that there was the need to confront existing challenges, and take advantage of opportunities to attain leadership in diverse educational and research programmes.
Building a World-class University:
In order to achieve the University’s vision of becoming a world-class international University of excellence; the following were some of the institutional goals that were outlined for the 2015/2016 academic year: introduction of new, relevant undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, maintaining strong ties with industry and external constituencies, increased effort to recruit additional world class faculty in all subject areas, automation of various services rendered by the University and diversification of sources of funding.
The other goals include organizing capacity building workshops in research writing, the continued support for further training of administrative staff, as well as educational support for academic staff.
Other goals include: the completion of ongoing campus development projects, strengthening of efforts to attract and educate diverse body of students and the improvement of the University's global ranking.
The President urged management staff, departmental heads, and other academic leaders to lead by example by conducting their affairs in a disciplined manner. This, he emphasized would help in creating a University-wide culture of excellence, and would encourage the inculcation of the University's core values by members of the Regent community.
During the two-day workshop; breakout sessions for Support staff were also organized. These sessions were facilitated by Dr. Appianda-Arthur, Head of Business Development. During these sessions, the role of support staff in consolidating gains made by the University was examined and ways in which support service delivery could be improved were also discussed.
Addressing participants of the workshop; the Registrar, Ms. Nancy Ansah, urged support staff to be client-centered in the discharge of their duties, rendering services in a prompt and excellent manner.
Specialized presentations were delivered on other topical issues under the central theme: "Consolidating our Gains: Opportunities, Challenges and Proposed Solutions". Each presentation was followed by a lively discussion on its respective topic.
Regent Learning Resource Centre
Dr. K. Darko-Ampem, the Director of the Regent Learning Resource Centre, delivered a presentation on: "The Role of Regent Learning Resource Centre". His presentation, among other things, sought to help attendants gain a deeper understanding of the workings of the University’s library management system. Dr. Darko-Ampem also informed attendants of some of the mechanisms that have been put in place to ensure the effective running of the centre.
Institutional Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
The Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Quality Assurance, Dr. Stanley Moffatt shared results from University-wide statistical analyses conducted by his office. Student enrollment over the years, academic programmes, faculty strength, among other things, were thoroughly examined. Dr. Moffatt also shared insights on some global benchmarks in higher education.
The Vice-President urged attendants to translate recommendations and ideas that emerge from the workshop into action.
The Role of Academic Staff:
The Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prof. Hymore, examined the role of academic staff in consolidating gains made by the institution.
Prof. Hymore emphasized that although the University’s relocation to its permanent campus is a major milestone; there was the need for continuous work. He stated that academic institutions are assessed in three areas: teaching, research and community impact, thus the need for the institution to seek improvements in the aforementioned areas. Highlighting the importance of the publication of academic research; Prof. Hymore, said that research publications by faculty served as an important basis for the ranking of universities worldwide.
The Use of ICT as a tool for growth and effectiveness:
Mr. Ebenezer Sowah, Director of the Information Technology Department, briefed participants on the various ICT initiatives in operation at the University.
He encouraged staff of the University to adopt ICT in their various duties, as it helps to improve efficiency and productivity. Suggestions were made for improving University operations through ICT. Key tasks were also assigned to various members of staff.
An interactive session on e-learning was later conducted by Dr. Nick Fobih and Mr. Daniel Ahiatrogah of the Information Technology Department.
The Dean of the School of Informatics, Engineering and Technology, Dr. Paul Obeng, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Franklin Glozah as well as other Heads of Department, all contributed to a discussion on the allocation and implementation of courses.
At the end of the workshop, a question and answer session was held.
Getting to Work:
The two-day workshop was both informative and inspiring. The atmosphere was safe, constructive and fun, providing a space for free exchange of ideas.
It is hoped that members of the staff team would each commit to playing their respective roles in helping build a truly world class Christian University.