Vice-Chancellor’s Circular No. 2 – Clarification on the Strategy to Attract 30 New A-Rated Researchers (Or Equivalent)

Dear Colleagues

It has come to my attention that some members of the academic staff have asked for clarification about the University’s programme to recruit 30 new A-rated researchers (or equivalent) in the near future.

This is a key component of Wits’ priority strategy in relation to research performance, and I would like to clarify the following matters:

  • The University will not employ the new scholars at the expense of the current dedicated academic body. Rather, the intention is for the new researchers to contribute towards enhancing the overall research strength and output of the University, which will benefit all staff and students.
  • The 30 new senior appointments will be made in line with the University’s policies and procedures for normal and head-hunted senior professorial appointments. In fact, Faculties are encouraged to make nominations of individuals outside the University for these posts, and these will be screened by a formally constituted committee that will include the VC, and the relevant DVCs and Deans. The University’s transformation agenda will be considered when these appointments are made, as is the case with all other University appointments.
  • The new incumbents will be expected to undertake the normal mix of academic responsibilities (including teaching, research and administration), although the precise determination of the workload profile and remuneration will be negotiated on a case by case basis, as usual, with the respective Head of School.

This is just one of several initiatives that the University is inaugurating with the intention of deepening its research-intensive character and raising its research output. It is certainly not the intention (as I believe some may have feared) to create a ‘two tier system’ within the University, but rather to contribute to the existing vitality and energy of Wits.

You are invited to read more about our current strategic priorities here and to view the recent presentation made to Senate.

I am available to discuss this strategy with any member of staff. Please contact me if you have any questions about this recruitment drive.

Yours sincerely

Professor Adam Habib

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

16 August 2013

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