The Ghana Association of University Administrators has launched its 40th Anniversary celebration with a call on members to build their capacities and remain relevant to contribute effectively towards addressing the complex issues affecting Higher Education in Ghana.
The launch of the Anniversary was performed as part of the 2019 Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Workshop Series and Mini Congress. The CPD which was hosted by the University of Cape Coast (UCC) was on the theme “Professional Development in the 21st Century University Administration”.
Wide Diversity of Administrative and Professional Organisation Structures
Speaking on the topic “Where have all the Administrators Gone? Our Journey in Re-educating Administrators for Competencies, to Training for Commitment in the Twenty-First Century”, the College Registrar of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences (CANS), UCC, Mrs. Mildred Asmah, noted that the Higher Education landscape was fraught with difficulties as compared to forty years ago. “There is a wide diversity of administrative and professional organisational structures across the higher education sector without any apparent rational why one has to be adopted over the other,” she noted.
Mrs. Asmah indicated that universities were complex entities with decision-making untidily dispersed with many residual uncertainties about the location of powers and the principles on which discretion may be exercised and by whom. “It is also evident that today’s world of management is experiencing a new paradigm shift, the nature of management is caught up in waves of turbulence from which a more responsive, more responsible form of management is emerging”. She further added that “There is a new age of anxiety, but the truth about today’s world of work is that Administrators are needed and they are not going away”.
New Ways of Doing Things
According to Mrs. Asmah, the changing environment has called for new ways of doing things as administrators stressing that “With changes in administration, systems, technology, students and funding, the management of change has become an increasing value of competence”. She, therefore, advised that “Administrators are expected to possess skills, knowledge and competencies which facilitate smooth and efficient operations”. Also, she said they were required to manage people and tasks, in order to ensure the success and survival of their organisations in the face of an increasingly complex technological, socio-economic, cultural and economic environment”.
The College Registrar urged the administrators that “Let us go away from here re-energised, recharged, reinvigorated and refreshed to bring about the needed change in our various institutions and communities. Take back your career, Great Achievers Uniting to Advance”.
Take Charge as Managers of Your Office
A former Registrar of UCC, Mr. Samuel Kofi Ohene, entreated the administrators to take charge as managers of their respective offices. He asked them to be confident so that others would recognise their role as key higher administrative management members “If you build confidence for yourself and you have the knowledge and skills, know the rules and regulations of the job, give advice and strategic directions, then you can gain respect from the people you work with”.
Develop Your Competencies as an Administrator
He advised them to develop their competencies and demonstrate that they were up to the task. “The people you work with should be able to attest to your competence in your job, good interpersonal and communication skills, human relations among others” he stated. He commended GAUA National executives for organising the CPD and urged members to take advantage of these opportunities to build their competencies as University Administrators.
Mr. Ohene called on GAUA to extend its tentacles to other tertiary institutions both public and private especially the Technical and Private Universities in order to build a formidable professional force. He said such a move would help the association to gain more recognition as key stakeholders in the tertiary education enterprise.
Administrators Play Crucial Role in Universities
In her remarks at the opening of the CPD Workshop, the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dora F. Edu-Buandoh acknowledged the fact that University Administrators play key roles in the policy making and decision taking in universities. “Over the years members of GAUA have proved to be very supportive in the management and successful running of the affairs of our universities. They stand as pillars of support for us academics who have turned administrators and are occupying leadership positions; they have served as custodians of the histories and cultures of universities,” she explained.
She added that “In fact, successful Vice-Chancellors always remember how good their Registrars were. Together, we have positioned our universities in national and international spaces”.
CPD is a Panacea for 21st Century Challenges of Universities
The Pro Vice-Chancellor commended GAUA for incorporating the CPD in their programme of activities for the meeting. “I find it very refreshing that you have organised the three-in-one meeting, not only for the congress to happen or to launch the GAUA at 40 programmes but more importantly, for the CPD Workshop.”
She stated that the 21st century had come with many innovations in all spheres of life explaining that “CPD is one of them that targets professionals and offers them the opportunity to develop their capabilities, enrich their skills in resolving 21st century challenges, regularly focus on how they can become more competent and effective in the discharge of their duties as well as increase their confidence in being proactive and innovative in what they do.
The National President of GAUA, Mr. Kwame Yeboah Jnr, noted that administrators of all shades, especially in universities and other Institutions of Higher Learning needed CPD seminars and workshops due to contemporary issues and challenging trends confronting Educational Management and Administration in the 21st century. He said the meeting was a useful platform that would be beneficial for continuous social networking as a group with partners and stakeholders and also showcase the vital role GAUA plays in the national development.
Other speakers for programme were the Chief Executive Officer of Chartered Institute of Administrators and Management Consultants, -Ghana, Mr. Samuel Mawusi Asafo and a representative of the Institute of Public Relations Ghana.
Delegates of the function
The programme was attended by members of GAUA the University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Ghana, University of Education, Winneba and the University for Professional Studies, Accra. Others were the University of Energy and Natural Sciences, University for Health and Allied Sciences, University of Mines and Technology and University for Development Studies.