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In what is invariably a significant occasion in the history of SMU, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Peter Mbati hosted a round table discussion with University stakeholders on the Road map to Culture Change at the SMU Sports Hall on 11 August 2021. Representatives from Management, SRC, Labour (Nehawu, APSA/SAPTU) and the Culture Change design team in attendance unequivocally supported the courageous yet strenuous journey that the University has undertaken since 2019 in which a detailed culture survey was undertaken, and which identified critical changes that have to be made with regard to securing the future and soul of SMU as a leading Health Sciences University.

Flowing from the April 2021 Institutional Culture Dialogue, a draft culture compact has now been drafted that will enable excellence in the University’s core academic project and confer respect and dignity for both staff and students. The culture compact commits staff and students to its institutional values of accountability, effective leadership, efficiency, excellence, integrity, respect, student centeredness and, Ubuntu as the foundation of our own distinct institutional culture that would support our vision of transforming health services through excellence and innovation. A signing ceremony of the culture dialogue will be facilitated in the next week, and hereafter the Vice Chancellor will host a University Assembly where the culture compact will be formally adopted by the University community.

Subsequent to the formal signing of the compact agreement by the stakeholders, the project will be geared to encourage university community committing to culture change, using methodology that works and which has the advantage of giving SMU a leading role in higher education.