Vision of The Provost

VISION OF THE PROVOST

COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES

PROFESSOR SAMUEL AGYEI-MENSAH

INTRODUCTION 

The College of Humanities is made up of six schools, three research institutes, five centres and the University of Ghana Accra City Campus. The College has 23 academic departments, over 20,000 students, 596 support staff, and nearly 450 teaching faculty who have expertise across the Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law.

VISION

The College of Humanities is the largest in terms of student numbers and the most diverse of the Colleges of the University of Ghana. Against this backdrop, my vision as Provost is to provide effective leadership and a collegial environment that will enhance the reputation and stature of the College through excellence in teaching and learning; in scholarship and research; and in service to and engagement with the University and the wider community. My vision falls within the overall framework of the mission and vision of the University of Ghana; to develop world-class human resource to meet global development needs and to attain world class status by 2020.

STRATEGIES FOR ACHIEVING THE VISION: TEN COMMITMENTS

As Provost, I will pursue the following ten commitments to guide the College to achieve its objectives.

1. Increasing the Quantity and Quality of Research Publications As Provost of the College of Humanities, I will put in place various measures to encourage faculty to publish. The following are some of the measures I will introduce to achieve this objective:

  • Introduce an incentive mechanism to reward faculty members who are able to publish in leading journals and international publishing houses;
  • Establish a list of academic journals in each of the disciplines within the College that would guide faculty in submitting research articles; • Create benchmarks for faculty scholarship ; • Introduce a formal system of publication mentorship across the College;
  • Lead the College Research Board to conduct a research/publications quality assessment exercise;
  • Rationalize the teaching load of faculty to allow more time for research and publications;
  • Establish a College Awards Scheme to recognize academic and other achievements;
  • Promote publication writing workshops based on the model of the Carnegie Next Generation of Academics of Africa project at the University of Ghana;
  • Seek the services of international publishing houses to place journals within the College online;
  • Promote the organization and attendance of workshops and conferences; • Introduce an Annual Research Conference for the College of Humanities.

2. Allowing greater flexibility in the Choice of Subjects and Courses Undergraduate subject combinations (bouquets) in the Humanities have characteristically been very restrictive and have not allowed much flexibility in the choice of subjects. It is my aim to see to the revision of the bouquets to allow greater flexibility. In many of the Departments in the College of Humanities, programme requirements leave little room for students to take electives from other Departments.

Students also have difficulty in substituting elective courses from one Department for requirements in another. I will work towards allowing students greater choices in the selection of elective courses across the breadth of the College.

3. Enhancing PhD Work As Provost, I will continue to work with Deans and Heads of Department to build more international partnerships for PhD students. Workshops and seminars will be organized to sharpen their theoretical, analytical and publication skills, and supervisors will be encouraged to write joint papers with their students. I will source for funding to enable doctoral students attend and present papers at local and international conferences.

4. Promoting Interdisciplinary Research As Provost, I will work to make interdisciplinary research a key objective of the College of Humanities. I will put in place structures to encourage faculty and students in the College to undertake collaborative research within the thematic areas identified in the University’s strategic focus. In addition I will introduce thematic research clusters for faculty and students to research on. Under my leadership, the College of Humanities will continue to take purposeful steps to forge networks and research collaborations with universities both within and outside Ghana to enhance research.

The College has already developed networks with the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) which has resulted in funding and research opportunities for faculty members; ongoing discussions with the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Partnership for Africa’s Next Generation of Academics (PANGEA) will expand the collaborative network with leading African universities. Conscious efforts will be made to source funding for interdisciplinary research proposals. The College will organize proposal writing workshops to sharpen the skills of faculty members in grantsmanship 

5. Promoting Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Many faculty in the College of Humanities have expertise that cuts across units of the College. The adoption of the collegiate system should provide the opportunity to harness this advantage for the common good. I will encourage joint appointments within the College. We will also promote the introduction of joint degrees and encourage the introduction of new demand driven programmes.

6. Effective Management of the College The main philosophy of the collegiate system is the decentralization of decision making and ensuring that governance is more efficient. One of my major commitments as Provost will be to ensure the effective management of the various boards and committees established to run the College. I will see to the setting up of the boards and committees of the College, the College Secretariat and building a strong team.

Key priorities will be the development of new academic programmes, and the setting up of structures to promote collaborative work within the College and with other Colleges and institutions. Additionally, as Provost, I will ensure that the College invests in training and development programmes for junior and senior staff, who have a major part to play in meeting the objectives of the College.

7. Promote Internationalization The College of Humanities is the destination of choice for the majority of international students wanting to pursue undergraduate studies at the University of Ghana, and as Provost, I will encourage and facilitate the creation of additional agreements with prestigious foreign universities, that will provide a pathway for international students to study in the College of Humanities.

I will work towards the creation of more opportunities for students of the College to spend part of their study period abroad, and encourage Schools and Departments to avail themselves of the services of Visiting Scholars and Diasporan Fellows, to increase research and teaching capacity within the College.

8. Budgeting and Fundraising As the University moves into the collegiate system, there is the need to continue to improve the process of budgeting to make it more inclusive, transparent and fair. I will ensure greater attention to the budgeting process, and will task the College Finance Officer to place greater emphasis on training in budget development so that there is greater precision in budget presentation and the allocation of funds. Four sources of fundraising will be rigorously pursued:

  • Units will be encouraged to apply for external research grants
  • The College will work with the Office of Institutional Advancement to identify alumni and other potential donors for support
  • Endowment Funds will be established at the College/School levels
  • Self-generated income from teaching of demand driven programmes

9. Public Engagement Public engagement underpins a University’s civic and cultural contribution to society, which in turn helps to shape its research and increase its relevance. I will encourage faculty in the College of Humanities to be proactive in engaging with the public through activities such as delivering public lectures and debates, as well as contributing to media discussions.

Additionally, to improve the curriculum of programmes within the College, I will put in place the structures to constantly engage with industry in the introduction and revision of courses and programmes. This will ensure that courses and programmes are tailored to suit industry requirements. I will spearhead close collaboration between the College and the Counseling and Placement Centre for the coordination of student internships. 

10. Information and Communication Under my leadership, the College will work with the University of Ghana Computing Services to give the College a positive web presence. Work has already started on updating existing information about units within the College. This information will be populated and synchronized, and new dimensions introduced to enhance the visibility of the College.

I will see to the digitization of records of faculty, students and staff within the College, and ensure that the College has an integrated management information system to guide major policy decisions. Phase 2 of the Chinese project can serve as a platform to assist faculty in placing lecture materials and assignments online, and interacting more with their students electronically.

As a way of ensuring effective communication within the College, the Provosts e-news, a bulletin containing news about the College, will be introduced. I will host a College-wide durbar at least once every semester and meet with Deans and Directors once every month.