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AR Department Refresher Seminar Builds Teamwork and Social Cohesion for Improved Service Delivery

  • In General
  • 18 Mar 2019 - 7:40pm
  • By Proscovia Nabatte
  • 808
Members of Staff from the Academic Registrar's Deparment during the refreshers Seminar at Hotel Africana.

Members of Staff from the Department of the Academic Registrar (AR) at Makerere University have been urged to build strong teamwork with social cohesion in order to improve on service delivery. This was at the Departmental Refresher Seminar held on 14th and 15th March 2019 at Hotel Africana; to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of roles and responsibilities as well as aligning the Department to suit the Collegiate system.

The two-day Seminar was officially opened by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba under the theme: Institutional Cohesion and team work for improved service delivery.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba addressing participants at Hotel Africana.

According to the Deputy Registrar (Undergraduate Admissions and Records Division) Mr. Charles Ssentongo, the Seminar was geared towards helping staff appreciate the theme through;

  •  Harmonizing Departmental operations under the Collegiate system
  •  Enhancing the working relationship between Departmental staff and other members of staff (Academic, Administrative and Support) in the university
  • Re-orienting staff who were appointed to act as College Registrars into the roles and responsibilities of the Department of the Academic Registrar

Dr. Umar Kakumba applauded the leadership of the Academic Registrar’s Department for the thoughtful decision to bring the team together to discuss and reflect on their Unit specific and departmental responsibilities as well as their allegiance to the university.

Participants posing for a group photo with the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba

Re-echoing the seminar theme, Dr. Kakumba said that team building and social cohesion are important factors in driving the institution’s goal and objectives. “As a scholar of organizational behavior, I am happy to mention that the theme blends harmoniously well with the pertinent factors of institutionalizing the university,” he said.

According to Dr. Kakumba, organizations are built on four (4) core blocks of; Vision, mission, goal and people. Institutions work towards achieving their goals and aspirations. To achieve this, they develop a vision with achievable objectives; a mission that captures the institution’s identity; and a goal that provides an explanation for the institution’s existence.

“Institutions are built on human systems, not on walls, or blocks. Without the human side enterprise, you cannot go anywhere. The people you employ must be nourished like babies. Seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, are very critical in feeding the human enterprise,” he stated.

Members of staff from Certificate and Ceremonies Division posing for a photo with the Academic Registrar.

The Academic Registrar, Mr. Alfred Namoah Masikye thanked members of staff for the great work they are doing for the university and the Department. He encouraged them to always exercise the highest level of integrity when performing their daily duties. In the Same spirit, he applauded the team that developed the Departmental Strategic plan of 2020-230

He described the Department of Academic Registrar as a sensitive place dealing with student academic records. He therefore urged staff to perform their work diligently to the satisfaction of both the employer (government, university) and the client (students, parents, sponsors and investors).

“As the Department, we have registered success in the mandate that we are supposed to perform because of your hard work. I appreciate your commitment to your roles and obligations. I believe that we can do better. We are holding this Refresher Seminar to improve further,” he said.

The Facilitator, Mrs Alice Mubiru emphasizing her points

He advised staff to love and appreciate their jobs when he said, “Makerere University has nurtured us.  We have been able to educate our children and care for our wellbeing. Let us value the jobs that we have and perform to our best.”

The Facilitator, Mrs Alice Mubiru advised participants to always focus on applying for jobs that suit their interests and abilities. “If you want to excel at your work, it is important to do a job in line with your interest and ability.”

The Refresher Seminar was an interactive session with participants sharing knowledge, professional experiences and enhancing individual capacity development.  

Participants were able to reflect on the importance of the various policies that are critical in the execution of the mandate of the Department of the Academic Registrar.

Mrs. Patience Rubabinda Mushengyezi discussing the various policies in the Academic Registra's Department.

In a presentation, the Deputy Registrar (Senate Division), Mrs. Patience Rubabinda Mushengyezi encouraged members of staff to read and understand the University policies that govern their respective roles.

“The Department has a policy on admissions, registration, students’ loads, policies on withdrawal and policies on retakes. Since we are dealing with students, we need to be familiar with these policies to avoid mistakes. These policies help us to interpret the University mandate, goals and objectives. The policies help us to enforce university rules,” she emphasized.

Discussing the role of the Department of Academic Registrar in enhancing public relations at Makerere University; the Principal Public Relations Officer Ms. Ritah Namisango urged staff to always have a sense of belonging to Makerere University.

The Deputy Registrar (Undergraduate Admissions and Records Division) Mr. Charles Ssentongo with some of the participants.

She asked staff to guard against actions that tarnish the university image and reputation and advised them on the proper and professional use of communication platforms while sending a formal communication on behalf of the University.

“Poor customer care, missing marks, not responding to complaints in time, students and staff strikes, students who have satisfied requirements missing on the Graduation list, are some of the actions that have negatively impact the University’s reputation among its publics,” she mentioned.

In a presentation on Customer care, Ms. Namisango highlighted the need to train University staff on customer care. According to her, customer care is a vital element of institution-client relationship and can strongly impact the operations of the institution and its image.

The Principal Public Relations Officer Ms. Ritah Namisango  highlighting the need to train staff on customer care.

“We should serve our clients (students, fellow staff, partners, investors, parents) with a positive attitude and humility. The way we handle them either strengthens or weakens our reputation, builds or destroys our image and promotes or negatively affects the Makerere University brand,” she said.

“Remember that our actions; whether individual or departmental, will impact the university. Excellent customer care service leads to a wonderful Public Relations Strategy. Always remember to treat people well. Be kind to your customers so that they appreciate your services,” she added.

Ms. Ruth Iteu, presenting  the expectations of  department on the ICT Systems.

To develop a deep understanding and appreciation of the mandate of the Academic Registrar, the participants listened to unit specific presentations from the following Divisions/Sections:  

  • Undergraduate Admissions and Records by  Deputy Registrar, Mr. Charles Ssentong
  • Examinations and Transcripts by Deputy Registrar, Mr. Tom. L. Otim
  • Certificates, Ceremonies and Publications, Ms. Dorothy Kabanda
  • Experiences, Work Load and Expectations at the College level, Dr. Alfred Tingo
  • Application avenues, processes and requirements for application, Ms. Hellen Ssali
  • The Role of the Central Office by Mr. Thomas Baguma
  • Available Systems in the ICT Division and demonstrations of AIMS, Ms. Ruth Iteu
  • Budgeting and accounts procedures in Accounts Division, Ms. Maria N. Kigonvu

In the wrap up session, the members emphasized the need to review the Structure of the Department of the Academic Registrar; recruit Registrars at the School level for enhanced delivery at the College level; lobby for increased financial resources allotted to the Department; hold a Training in Public Relations and Customer Care; budget for Annual Capacity building programmes among other proposals.

Article by: Proscovia Nabatte, Mak Public Relations office

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