SAAIR Newsletter – President’s Desk
As I am writing this first communication as the new President and Chairperson of the SAAIR, unfortunately we are still faced with the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic both locally and globally. This means that all the events of the association will continue to be hosted virtually for this year (2021).
Since the election of the new Executive Committee (Exco) members in the November 2020 AGM held during the 27th Annual Conference of the SAAIR, I am glad to report that a lot background work and planning has been done by the new Exco for this year and the rest of our term in the office. As a way of introducing the new Exco members, let me start by acknowledging the previous Exco members for their outstanding contribution to the association. Most of these members have been in Exco for more than one term, while others have been there for longer. We really appreciate their excellent service to the association and wish them all the best with their future endeavours; we will definitely continue to use their skills going forward where necessary.
Let me take this opportunity to welcome the new Exco members and thank them for their willingness to assist in leading the association for the next two years (2020-2022). In our Strategic Planning meeting held early this year, we decided to rearrange some of the Exco portfolios and responsibilities as follows:
- President & Chairperson – Dr Mxolisi Masango (Wits)
- Deputy President & Incoming President – Ms Liile Lerato Lekena (TUT)
- Treasurer & Exco Member – Ms Allison Mlitwa (SU)
- Conference Chair & Exco Member – Mr Mathole Macwele (UFS)
- Secretary* & Exco Member – Ms Lisa Cloete (UCT)
- Website Manager & Exco Member – Mr Ashton Maherry (DUT)
- Exco Member – Ms Naveena Moodley (UKZN)
- Exco Member (Co-opted) – Ms Elizabeth Booi (UWC)
- SAAIR Coordinator/Office Administrator – Mrs Carin Strydom (SAAIR Employee)
*Exco decided that the Secretary will be responsible for coordination of the following portfolios, since the SAAIR Administrator is mainly responsible for the Secretariat duties of the association:
- Newsletter & Communication
- Social Media
The following online events have been planned for 2021:
- Learner Analytics Workshop – hosted on 27-28 May 2021 by the North-West University (NWU). A special thank you to Mr Jan-Hendrik Viljoen and his team for hosting such a successful workshop!!
- Quality Forum – Scheduled for 19-20 October 2021
- HEMIS Institute – Scheduled for 4-6 August 2021; Hosted by UKZN
- IR Institute – Scheduled for 27-29 September 2021; Hosted by the University of Pretoria (UP)
- SAAIR 2021 Virtual Conference – Scheduled for 2-5 November 2021; Hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS)
Members of the association are encouraged to register for these events as soon as possible (refer to our website for the registration options).
The current Exco has identified the following areas as a priority for the next two years:
- Financial Sustainability – aimed at enhancing the skills and capacity of the association’s members including research development
- Increasing the SAAIR’s Visibility & Impact – within the SADC region and the African continent
Revamp of the SAAIR’s Brand & Image – by improving the website & communication platforms (as part of laying the ground work for the SAAIR 30th Celebrations in 2024)
As I conclude my message, I would like to report that the SARS & UIF registration for the association was finally concluded at the beginning of the year – Special thanks to Mr Herman Visser for ensuring that this process is concluded successfully.
Let us continue to keep ourselves and family members safe from the Covid-19 pandemic by wearing our masks, practicing social distancing and sanitizing our hands.
Dr Mxolisi Masango