The impact of university incorporation on college lecturers
Beukes, Lukas D.; Coetzee, C.; Engelbrecht, Alta; Haupt, Maria Margaretha Catharina (Grietjie); Phatudi, Nkidi Caroline; Swart, Ronel; Van Wyk, Johannes G.U.; Vermeulen, Dorette; De Villiers, J.J.R. (Rian); Rauscher, Willem Johannes; Joubert, J.C.; Becker, L.R.; Botha, A.; Botha, A.C.; Botha, Jan Jakobus; Botha, M.; Cloete, Dina J.; Cloete, Johann L.; De Beer, L.J.; De Bruin, D.J.; De Jager, L.; Du Toit, Cecilia Magdalena; Evans, Rinelle; Heyns, Danielle; Howatt, L.M.; Joubert, A.P.; Niemann, A.C.; Randall, Elize; Rautenbach, W.C.; Scholtz, S.; Schultz, J.C.; Van Aswegen, Hendrika Johanna; Van Heerden, J.C.; Van Vollenhoven, Willem J.; Van Wyk, Elmarie M.; Van der Walt, C.A.; Van der Westhuizen, Carol N.; Vorster, A.
In South Africa, recent government plans to change the institutional landscape of higher education have resulted in mergers of colleges into universities or technikons. The research reported in this article focuses solely on the impact of a "college-into-university" incorporation as manifested in the personal, emotional and career experiences of these college staff members. It traces the changes in their perceptions and emotions during and after the incorporation process. It also identifies recurring themes and issues evident in the personal lives of those affected by this incorporation. A unique research methodology was engaged: The College staff who had been appointed to the university after the merger, identified seven critical themes and then designed and conducted 30 semi-structured interviews among themselves. This article thus documents the impact of incorporation into a university on the individual and collective lives of the researchers themselves. The data suggest that the emotional impact of incorporation was intense and that the uncertainty, especially, led to considerable trauma. The most important concern emanating from this joint research project is that while a certain degree of distress is unavoidable in any institutional merger, inattention to the management of human resources, emotions and aspirations could linger on, possibly having a negative effect on the ambitions for the transformation of the new entity.
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