Vice Chancellor's foreword PDF  | Print |  E-mail

I sleep, I live, I die WUA. This declaration captures the passion and the drive that I have towards the Women’s University in Africa (WUA).  Here we are, 13 years later and still committed to providing quality tuition, research and service to the community to empower students for leadership and developmental roles.

Taking a leaf from Dr. Myles Monroe where he said, “Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by passion, generated by vision, produced by a conviction, ignited by a purpose.”  Let me reiterate that success comes through visionary leadership.

In my experience the first vision a leader should have is to communicate with the team. Communication results in alignment of goals and objectives. Organisations thrive on information; hence trust is essential in sharing information for departmental planning and conflict resolving.

Do not be a general leader. Be an effective leader. Effective leadership is workforce oriented and it is about caring for those around you. As Team WUA think and develop a new vision.  Get comfort from short-term failure but commit to success.  Have a desire for bigger dreams.  It’s of vital importance for you as a leader to have a vision and communicate that to your team.  It is critical to ensure the team understands the vision, mission and core values.  There is need to then have four monthly reviews and discuss challenges and successes.  It is critical to build a long-term team that sleep WUA and speak WUA.

Critical issues to always have at the back of your mind are trust, effective leadership and cooperation amongst the team.  Trust is fundamental in that:-

    You share information so as to resolve conflicts
    You empower team members to make decisions
    You listen to each other
    You give teams a wide range of roles and functions
    Every member plays different roles
    You respect each other

Leadership is crucial to have progress in whatever you do.  An effective leader pays attention to work and detail.  Excessive power will make your staff lose confidence in you.  Leadership is not accumulation of titles but how you serve the people.  To be leaders with influence it takes humility.  Its central in acceptance as a leader.  The level of which some leaders are accepted is their level of humility.  Good leaders are innovative and they look at better ways of doing things.

An effective leader cares for the people being lead.  You lead with integrity.  Leadership is the capacity to influence through inspiration, motivated by passion which is generated by a vision ignited by a purpose. Enemies of leadership is not growing and training others.  The lack enthusiasm and curiosity.  Great leaders are dreamers.  They do what they are passionate about.  They delegate and give responsibility to others.  However, discipline is core to success and daring to go.

Effective leaders master the psychology of time.  They plan their work and have a to do list in priority order.  They have some principles and morale fibre and are not two-faced.
To get to the top you need to be anchored by other.  You need your health and to be around those who matter in terms of your career advancement.  You need to outthink your problems, outgrow them and outwear them.  Your focus matters bring that imagination and creativity.  Do not apportion blame or play the blame game.

Through University’s understanding of gender issues it uses that expertise to recruit and retain more students. In light of this, new programmes have been introduced in the various faculties and student enrolment has considerably increased.

I applaud Team WUA for raising the University banner and setting the bar high in tertiary education as other institutions are now following the pace set by Women’s University in Africa; that is offering adult tertiary classroom experience by offering flexible learning sessions and lower fees. Let me emphasise this, WUA is committed to excellent service, introducing learning systems and degree programs that are relevant.  

On another note, it has been established worldwide that Universities are ranked by their research output. Holistically Universities need support from the government in order to sustain viable research.  National research policies need to be generated and encouraged with WUA actively leading the endeavours.

Identity is what separates WUA from other institutions. Thus branding is everyone’s responsibility. As a part of Team WUA, one should be able to market the University with the way he or she articulates the vision and through their decorum.  Therefore, I encourage everyone; staff both academic and administrative, current students and alumni to be resource mobilisers, adopt a culture of cost
control; engage in rigorous communication and participation for the greater good of the University.  

For the milestones achieved so far, we have to possess a positive mindset because success takes great discipline and discomfort. WUA has learnt to grow through the storms and be daring.

Team WUA winning is never accidental. Work on your weaknesses and strengthen your opportunities.  Stop complaining and change your mindset.  Put problems into perspective because they will expire.  All things are possible.  Going forth, let us look beyond the immediate and embrace the ultimate.  Professionalism is key.