The Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA) has launched activities to mark its 40th anniversary celebration with a call on both academic and administrative staff to play complementary roles to bring efficiency and harmony to the operations and management of higher educational institutions.
A Registrar at the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences of the University of Cape Coast, Mrs Mildred Asmah, who officially launched activities to mark the anniversary, noted in an address that the academics and the administrators of the various universities were intimately linked, adding that their roles could not be divorced from each other without impairing efficiency.
The event brought together GAUA members from 10 public universities, who converged on the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to also participate in a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) workshop and a mini congress. It was on the theme: "Ghana Association of University Administrators at 40: Prospects and Challenges for the 21st Century University Administrator."
Mrs Asmah noted that the current challenges of the universities were increasingly making the roles of the administrators, more of problem-solving, hence the need to strengthen their working skills as leaders to be able to live up to the task.
Mrs Asmah stated that it seemed that administrators in Ghana’s public universities lacked the change management skills to cope with the rapidly evolving terrain of higher education, and stressed that, “The environment is dynamic, complex and turbulent which obviously affects us in what we do.”
She noted, for instance, that inadequate funding, competition, diversity in student population, increasing internationalisation, high students’ fees and increasing number of students, were major challenges that complicated the work of the university administrators.
She, therefore, urged the administrators to be mindful of aiming at quality education and adopt a learning-based approach to planning and administration, in order to cope with the complexities of higher education.
She also urged them to decentralise roles for efficiency and called for the provision of incentives for innovation and risk taking.
Dealing with challenges
Mrs Asmah further advised administrators to exhibit integrity and uphold ethical principles, stressing that she was certain that GAUA would reflect and redesign the association to surmount its challenges.
The President of GAUA, Mr Kwame Yeboah, said administrators, especially in the universities and higher educational institutions, needed continuous professional development due the contemporary issues and challenging trends confronting educational management and administration in the 21st century.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Professor Dora Edu-Buandoh, in her remarks, said university administrators played key roles in the policy making and decision taking in the universities.
She added that over the years, GAUA had proved to be very supportive in the management and successful running of the universities.
She urged them to learn new things that will positively impact on their institutions, saying she was hopeful that the workshops would help them become more competent in the discharge of their duties and increase their confidence level.