Welcome to the Employment Equity webpage

Rhodes University strives to be an outstanding internationally-respected academic institution which proudly affirms its African identity and which is committed to democratic ideals, academic freedom, rigorous scholarship, sound moral values and social responsibility (Vision and Mission Statement, 2000).

The University’s African identity will be affirmed through:  its commitment to the social and economic transformation of South Africa; its acknowledgement of the problems created by the legacy of apartheid; its undertaking to reject all forms of unfair discrimination; its dedication to the implementation of appropriate corrective measures to redress past imbalances; and its success in realising diversity amongst students and staff (adapted from the Vision and Mission Statement, 2000).

The University believes that through affirming its African identity it will be better placed to serve and contribute to South Africa and the international community, now and in the long-term. The institution’s strength will be realized and its reputation secured through its commitment to both equity and quality.

There are three key areas of equity within the University.

  • Employment arena

The Employment Equity Act (of 1997) requires the University to engage in certain employment equity practices with the objectives of eliminating unfair discrimination and implementing positive measures to address the effects of past discrimination against designated groups. This the focus of the EE Office in the HR Division. This office is headed by the IR&EE Specialist.  This webpage and related areas deals with what is happening in this arena.

  • Academic arena

Governed and influenced by changes in the higher education arena (e.g. Higher Education Act of 2000 , 1997 White Paper on Education, National Plan for Higher Education ), Rhodes University is required to address issues of equity within the academic arena. This demands consideration of all aspects of teaching, learning and research, student enrolment, throughput and output, student equity, staff equity and the transformation of the institutional culture.

  • Institutional culture

Students and staff are both affected and affect the institutional culture particularly given the residential nature of the University. The term “institutional culture” refers to the general ethos and the dominant value systems of an institution as embedded and embodied in the structures through which institutional life is pursued such as academic departments and schools, teaching and learning systems and practices, research systems and practices, administrative systems, residences, sport and cultural clubs and associations, governance structures and rules or codes of conduct.

In addressing equity in these three areas, Rhodes University does more than simply recognise the importance of meeting the legal requirements. The University believes that the moral, social and economic imperatives of pursuing an equity agenda are more compelling.

Within the three equity arenas, the University aims to build a representative staff and student body with a strong sense of community, who, in their everyday interactions with each other and the external community, actively promote and demonstrate the shared values of tolerance, understanding, and positive relations.

What is the role of the Director: Equity and Institutional Culture?

Reporting to the Vice-Chancellor, the Director: Equity and Institutional Culture, the purpose of this job is to drive the equity, transformation and institutional culture agenda of the University; helping the institution to promote a culture that is inclusive, which leverages the advantages of diversity, ensuring that the university, its staff and students actively demonstrate a commitment to equity and transformation. Given that the various equity and transformation policies and protocols cover academic/student, employment, and institutional culture arenas, this individual will need to liaise closely with all the various structures of the university notably the Deans and Heads of Departments, the Registrar’s Division CHERTL and Research Office as regards the academic arena, Human Resources, Deans and Heads of Departments and Divisions as regards employment issues and the Deans, Heads of Departments and Dean of Students as regards students.

Who do you see if you have a concern?

Staff with employment equity related concerns are asked to first see the IR&EE Specialist in the HR Division with their concerns.  While the Director: Equity and Institutional Culture has an open door policy, in most instances she is likely to refer staff to the relevant areas for resolution of matters. The Director’s dominant focus is to ensure that the current systems, processes and policies are functionally effectively in order to support employment equity. She is not involved in specific day to day matters in this regard.

Last Modified: Sat, 12 Nov 2011 14:22:45 SAST