Office of Pro-VC (ASA) organises a One-Day Workshop for Deans and Directors

A workshop intended to prepare Deans and Directors to provide effective leadership in their respective units to deliver on the mission of the University, has been organised by the Office of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs (ASA).

The workshop was opened by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, and chaired by Prof. Boateng Onwona–Agyeman, Provost, College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

In her opening remarks, Prof. Nana Aba Amfo noted that the workshop will provide a learning avenue and experience sharing to enable participants to better deliver on the mandate of the University. She mentioned that some schools and departments have a long and successful history of delivering special programmes and short courses as compared to others. Prof. Amfo expressed confidence that the workshop to enhance leadership in the various units would equip them to roll out special programmes and short courses, while driving the University towards its strategic objective on financial performance. “I believe that with some amount of creativity and appropriate branding, every unit should be able to create a niche for itself in this area”, she added.

The Vice-Chancellor further disclosed that the purpose of the workshop falls in line with two of her Key Strategic Objectives, which are to “strengthen traditional revenue streams and expand alternative income” and “to develop technology–driven and robust processes in teaching and learning”. These, according to her, would “allow us to reach even beyond the shores of the country”. She urged all present to consider the use of technology as an option in delivering the programmes/courses. 

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo

The Provost of the College of Humanities, Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori, presented an overview of special programmes lifecycle. He enlightened participants on the stages involved in a special programme and stressed the essence of these stages. Noting that the lifecycle can be very simple yet, complicated, he mentioned that planning, which is also a part of the stages in the special programme lifecycle must be vigorous, but transparent. 

Prof. Joshua Yindenaba Abor, Former Dean, University of Ghana Business School, enlightened all participants on the benefits and challenges of running special programmes. He noted that finance generated from special programmes can help improve teaching infrastructure; undertake other major projects and develop and expand programmes or services. ​He added that it supports research development; incentivises faculty and staff, and achieves financial autonomy.

Prof. Abor addressed certain challenges that come with the running of special programmes and advocated the need to scout the market to find out existing programmes which address industry needs and identify opportunities. He further recommended the need to assess the strength and capacity of other academic units for the purposes of collaboration. “If you are a unit and the programme is not within your area, don’t force to do it. You can collaborate with others”, he stated. Prof. Abor also recommended the need to evaluate existing expertise and the possibility of engaging external experts when necessary.​ 

Concluding his presentation, Prof. Abor mentioned that running of special programmes and short courses is a collective responsibility and the enabling environment being created by the University is certainly in the right direction.

Prof. Lydia Aziato, Dean, School of Nursing and Midwifery, in a brief presentation took participants through the role of the Dean in promoting and facilitating special programmes. Using the School of Nursing and Midwifery as a case study for her presentation, Prof. Aziato to light lessons from special programmes and short courses organised by the School. She was hopeful that the lessons would contribute to addressing the gaps in the running of special programmes by other units.

Dr. Ebenezer Oduro, Department of Computer Science, briefly took participants through developing demand-driven short courses. Dr. Oduro began his lecture by noting that people realise they lack certain skills that they did not get from the regular academic curriculum, hence the need for special programmes or short courses, he explained the strategies deployed to enhance special programmes and short courses at the Department of Computer Science and shared some plans regarding the Department’s short courses.

The workshop saw Prof. Sandow Mark Yidana, Dean, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Prof. Justice Bawole, Dean, University of Ghana Business School; Prof. Kwasi Torpey, Acting Dean, School of Public Health and Dr. Samuel Amponsah, Head, Department of Distance Education giving presentations and leading discussions on concept notes and ongoing special programmes and short courses in various Colleges and Schools. They shared the progress made and the challenges they have faced regarding the running of special programmes and short courses and proposed recommendations to aid in addressing the gaps and challenges. They were optimistic that special programmes and short courses could yield lots of benefits if properly managed.

The workshop ended with group work which afforded participants the opportunity to share ideas on how to collaborate to develop interdisciplinary programmes.

Prof. Gordon Awandare, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs (ASA), in his closing remarks, expressed sincere gratitude to all participants for their presence. Overwhelmed by the outcome of the event, Prof. Awandare expressed appreciation to all participants for their massive contribution and for their constructive and productive discussions. He urged all to contribute their quota to enhancing and establishing short courses and special programmes in the University.  He assured participants that Management will do its best to tackle the issues and concerns raised holistically, so that the purpose of running the programmes and short courses can be met.

Present at the event was Mrs. Emelia Agyei-Mensah, Registrar; Mrs. Bernice Agudu, Director of Finance; selected Heads of Departments; Deans and Directors of the University.

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