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New staff are warmly welcomed at Rhodes
New staff are warmly welcomed at Rhodes
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New staff are warmly welcomed at Rhodes

Date Released: Wed, 2 May 2018 11:05 +0200

Rhodes University’s biannual new staff welcome event took place in the Common Room last week.

“In choosing to join this University, to work here, you’ve made an excellent decision,” Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Dr Chrissie Boughey assured new staff. “We may be among the smallest Universities in South Africa, but our size belies what we contribute to this country.”

Rhodes University, she told them, is among a small group of universities that produce the bulk of research and postgraduate outputs.

“But our successes are not only due to academics. The success of this very special institution comes from the efforts of everyone – the cooks in the kitchen, the cleaners, the admin staff, the technicians in the labs, the drivers, the people who look after the grounds and gardens – every single person contributes to the place that is Rhodes University… in no small way. And you are all valued,” she told them.

However, Rhodes University is not without its challenges, she explained. The University still has a long way to go to transform its staff body, particular in more senior positions, although it has had enormous success in changing its student demographics, both in gender and social group.

“Women are very heavily represented in this campus, especially in our student body. We all applauded when, at our recent graduation ceremonies, Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela announced the women graduates outweighed the men,” she said.

Some would say Rhodes University is challenged by its location in a town as small as Grahamstown, beset by poverty and unemployment. “However, I think our location is a benefit. It allows us to turn the strengths that come from us being a place of knowledge to the service of our local community – and to learn from those communities to make our knowledge even stronger,” Boughey continued.

“I wish you all a very, very warm welcome and hope your time with us is so fulfilling and happy that sometime in the future we will see you back in this room to receive a long service award,” Boughey expressed. “In the meantime, please be assured that each and every one of you is important, no matter what you do.”