One might think it unusual for a Zoology academic to move into academic administration. Tabile Loqo, the Law Faculty’s new Faculty Manager responsible for academic administration at the UCT Law School, did just that. Says Ms Loqo, “I was an academic for five years lecturing genetics to first year students while also serving in the faculty as a programme co-ordinator for first year students. This experience opened me up to the world of academic administration, developing in me a newfound appreciation of the importance of academic administration to daily teaching and learning activities, and the importance of the links especially from the students’ and lecturers’ perspectives.”
It seems the bug bit. Tabile then became a manager for first-year student support and further served as an academic planner, positions which provided her with a more in-depth understanding of the multiple facets of higher education institutions and the importance of sound academic administration. Before working as the planning manager in UCT’s Humanities Faculty, Tabile was the director for institutional planning at another university. That university’s loss is UCT’s gain.
“I am excited by the opportunity to work with the calibre of people at the faculty office and by the prospect of greatly improving our administrative systems and services”, says Tabile.
When asked about the main challenges currently in the Law Faculty, and about what change she would like to see, Tabile reserved judgement, having only been in her post for a couple of weeks from beginning March 2019. Tabile did note her aspiration, however, to see the Law Faculty Office as one that:
offers efficient administrative processes to both students and staff
attends to student queries and questions in a professional manner, and expeditiously
acts as an information provider on the relevant university-wide rules, procedures and policies, and
provides appropriate administrative and support services to enable the Faculty to meet its teaching and learning as well as equity commitments.
“In Science,” comments Tabile, “we believe that evolution is brought about by differences in characteristics and/or traits such that when the environment is disturbed in any way it is the strong traits that survive that change. The more diverse an ecosystem is the more differences there are in the available traits in that system-- this is key for evolution.” Tabile brings this perspective directly to her work at UCT, believing that diversity at UCT is the best treasure we have.
“UCT has a diverse array of intellectuals, students, cultures and professionals at a time when the higher education environment nationally is going through a major change. It is by tapping into those differences that we will discern our strongest evolutionary traits/characteristics as a university,” says Tabile.
So what is Tabile reading at the moment? “Currently I am reading Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking fast and slow" for the umpteenth time -- This is a book I always revert to especially when I am about to venture into new terrain as it has very good lessons on how to train your mind to process and react to daily occurrences to ensure that all your actions are intended (thinking slow) rather than spur of the moment (thinking fast).”