South Africa: Report On UCT Council Meeting of 7 December

Dear members of the campus community

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Council met for the fourth and last time this year on Saturday, 7 December 2019. Below is feedback on some of the key items discussed and key decisions taken at the meeting.

Proposal for a period of remunerated leave between Christmas and New Year's Day

The University Human Resources Committee (UHRC) recommended that Council approve a proposal that the period between Christmas and New Year's Day should be a paid holiday in 2019; and a paid holiday on a permanent basis as a change in conditions of service for all staff.

Council considered a number of factors but did not feel it was ready to confirm the proposal and resolved to ask the UHRC to consider the broader issue of a review of the university's current leave policy, whereafter Council will be better placed to consider any proposal to amend conditions of service.

Council did approve the UHRC's recommendation for an amendment to the staff tuition rate to regulate the benefit for all staff at UCT following the 2019 substantive union agreements.

Selection process for the GSB director

Council noted a report by the vice-chancellor on the progress made on searching for and appointing the next director of the Graduate School of Business (GSB). Council recognised, in addition to each of UCT's faculties, the value of the GSB and what it adds to the academic reputation of UCT. Council acknowledged the major strides made over the past 12 months in making substantive appointments to fill senior leadership vacancies.

Senate reports

Council considered the Social Responsiveness Report and the 2018 Teaching and Learning Report and resolved to adopt each as a record of the significant work that is being done at UCT.

Council also discussed a position statement endorsed by Senate on the acceptance of research funding from organisations whose assets are derived from the production or promotion of the use of tobacco. Council approved, with modification, the following statement:

"UCT and affiliates may not accept funding from any organisation or foundation with known links to entities whose income is directly derived from the production of tobacco products for use in any form of smoking or other activity that can result in nicotine addiction, or in the promotion of any such products. Funding from companies that own shares in tobacco companies as part of their standard investment portfolio is acceptable. UCT staff are not prevented from receiving funding from philanthropic foundations whose funding has historically been derived from the tobacco industry but whose current philanthropy is not connected to the tobacco industry in any way, or to tobacco or nicotine products of any sort."

Report from the University Finance Committee

At this time of year Council considers and takes decisions on, inter alia, the student fees that will apply in the new year. Having considered a range of factors, Council set the fee increases as follows: international student fees (5.3% increase), tuition fees (5.4% increase, excluding the Graduate School of Business), and student housing fees (7.4% increase).

2020 Annual Performance Plan

Council is required to submit an Annual Performance Plan (APP) to the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology. The APP was tabled and approved by Council. Next year, 2020, is the final year of the current (2016-2020) strategic plan.

Appointment of trustees

Council approved the appointment of Mr Mutle Mogase as trustee of the UCT Foundation Trust for a further five years. He was appointed by Council as the Chair with effect from April 2019. His initial five-year appointment expires on 31 December 2019.

Council also approved the appointment of the following trustees of the UCT Retirement Fund: Mr Glenn Hurlow (Director: Systems Division, ICTS), Ms Judith du Toit (Director: Office of the Vice-Chancellor), Dr Reno Morar (Chief Operations Officer), Ms Ropfiwa Sithubi (College of Accounting), Mr Thando Tsotsobe (Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor: Strategic Relations & Engagements), Ms Xolelwa Kakaza (Campus Cleaning) and Ms Yolokazi Quwe (Manager: Student Fees) with Ms Blanche Claasen‐Hoskins (Manager: Organisational Health, Appointments & Benefits) as an alternate member.

Report by the University Audit Committee

The University Audit Committee (UAC) tabled two policies for approval: the Delegated Authority Limits policy and the Purchasing Card policy. Both were deliberated upon and approved.

The proposed amendments to the terms of reference of the UAC were also discussed and approved by Council.

Report by the Naming of Buildings Committee

The report highlighted four buildings proposed for renaming following a call put out by the committee in March 2019. These will be communicated to the campus community at an appropriate time. The Council-approved names will be disclosed after the families concerned have been consulted and have agreed that UCT may assign the names as proposed. Council sees this renaming as very important in the process of UCT's transformation and inclusivity objectives.

Award of tenders

Council approved the tenders for the redevelopment of the Chris Hani Lecture Theatre to address upper campus spatial development, the construction of the new faculty building for the School of Education, and the construction of a new building for the School of Design Thinking (d-school). These new buildings are intended to support UCT's mission as a space for learning, teaching, research and social responsiveness.

With only a few days left before we turn over a new leaf in 2020, Council wishes all staff and students well for the festive season. May you all have a peaceful period of rest and a pleasant time with loved ones so you can come back reinvigorated in the new year!

Sincerely

Mr Sipho M Pityana

Chair of UCT Council

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