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					                             ANNUAL REPORT 1999

CHAIRPERSON’S OVERVIEW

Early in 1999 it became apparent that the rapidly changing higher educational
environment required FOTIM to re-evaluate its role and its capacity to meet new
challenges. To this end a Vice-Chancellors’ Summit was held on 6 August 1999.
This meeting confirmed the objectives of FOTIM as set out in its Constitution, and
provided a clear direction and additional resources.

The Vice-Chancellors’ Summit initiated a Regional Review Project in response to the
request from the Department of Education that all regional consortia review and
analyse the institutional plans of their members. FOTIM recognised the value of such
a project to its own members as well as to the Department. The report produced by
the project team should be useful as a basis for institutional planning and future
regional co-operation.

The increasing expectations of member institutions, the Department of Education, and
donor organisations made it extremely difficult for members of the Executive to
attend to the day-to-day running of FOTIM in addition to their normal duties. The
Summit thus decided to strengthen the management infrastructure of FOTIM, by the
appointment of a Director. This development had been anticipated when the FOTIM
Constitution was approved some years ago. The appointment process is being
conducted in an open and transparent manner, and the Selection Panel should be in a
position to announce the name of the first Director of FOTIM shortly. At this
juncture it is appropriate to acknowledge the considerable work done by various
members of successive FOTIM Executive Committees and the generosity of their
institutions in making these individuals available to serve the greater cause.

Project ICT2000, which had originated at the Strategic Planning meeting of 1998,
made notable progress during the year under the guidance of Professor Peter van
Eldik. The initial investigation into the sub-project ICT2000: Human Resources was
completed, with a comprehensive report being distributed to member institutions.
ICT2000: National Connectivity involved ongoing negotiations between higher
education institutions, international donors and TELKOM, whilst ICT for Flexible
Learning was split further into three components, covering the establishment of an
electronic Resource Inventory, an analysis of training needs at member institutions,
and an investigation into the feasibility of Telecentres.

GAELIC, FOTIM’s original project, entered its fourth successful year,
under the leadership of Professor Heather Edwards, with the
beginning of Phase 3 of Innopac implementation. GAELIC was
instrumental in forming the Coalition of South African Library
Consortia (COSALC), and made a valuable contribution to the
implementation of the new National Union Catalogue at SABINET
Online.

FOTIM was represented at a number of meetings and conferences held by the
Regional Higher Education Directors (RHEDs) and the Centre for Higher Education
Transformation (CHET) during the course of the year. The Council for Higher
Education (CHE) invited the RHEDs to its first Consultative Forum held at the end of
November 1999. The Chairperson represented FOTIM at this meeting as we had not
yet appointed a Director. Likewise, Professor June Sinclair participated in a
conference on collaboration and consortia in Amherst in the United Stated at the
invitation of the Ford Foundation.

Important foundations were laid during this year, and these will
enable FOTIM to intensify its activities in the pursuit of its objectives
in years to come. The dedication of the Executive and the
administrative staff, together with the support of our members,
made this possible.

      2. ROLE OF FOTIM

At the Strategic Planning Workshop held in 1998, the vision of FOTIM was
formulated as follows:

               FOTIM’s vision to 2005 is to facilitate opportunities for
               the benefit of higher education through collaborative
               projects.

In following this vision, considerable emphasis was placed during the period under
review on clarifying the role of regional consortia in Higher Education, and their
relationship to the Department of Education, SAUVCA and CTP. The possibility of
a major role for the consortia was raised after discussions at RHEDs meetings, which
concentrated on the need for careful analysis of the three-year rolling plans that
institutions had been required to submit to the Department of Education. Concern
was expressed that unless these plans were carefully considered within each
consortium, a lack of coherence for the various regions might result. The Department
of Education wished to engage the consortia on questions of regional inter-
institutional co-operation. Moreover, the Council on Higher Education would need
the input of the consortia in order best to fulfil its responsibility of advising the
Minister in terms of the Higher Education Act. The Department of Education
circulated a document entitled Higher Education Institutional Plans: Guidelines for
the Second Planning Phase – 2000/2002, to all institutions, calling for a review at
regional level of institutional plans. In addition to this, it had become apparent that
FOTIM required a more solid administrative structure if it were to take on additional
projects. The FOTIM Executive Committee proposed that a summit be held to obtain
clear direction from the FOTIM Board.

2.1     FOTIM SUMMIT: 6 August 1999

Vice-Chancellors and FOTIM Representatives attended this meeting, which focussed
on the following four key questions:

  What is the future role of FOTIM?
  What should FOTIM do regarding current and future projects?
  How should the annual regional review of institutional plans be undertaken?
  What capacity and structures are required to enable FOTIM to carry out the above?
 The Summit resulted in unequivocal recommendations that:

  FOTIM’s identity should be more clearly defined and its visibility raised
  FOTIM’s capacity and structure should be strengthened
  FOTIM should continue as a single consortium
  FOTIM should continue to operate on a regional level
  FOTIM’s relationship with other bodies needed to be defined
  FOTIM should participate in reviews of regional plans
  FOTIM member institutions should continue to be committed to current projects


3. ADMINISTRATION

3.1    MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE AND ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT

At the AGM in March 1999, the following office bearers were elected:

  Dr DM Moore        Technikon SA Chairperson
  Prof L Patel         Wits University        Deputy Chairperson
  Prof P van Eldik   Technikon Pretoria Treasurer
  Prof J Sinclair      University of Pretoria Executive Committee
                                     Member

Ms Jenny Taylor was appointed Administrative Officer from 1 May 1999.

3.2    MEMBERSHIP

The University of the North was accepted as a member in May 1999.

3.3    FOTIM FINANCES

The Extract from the Report of the Independent Auditors is
appended.

A Money Market Investment Account was opened up for both
GAELIC and FOTIM and the existing investment accounts closed at
the end of November 1999, in order to attract a higher rate of
interest. As the third signatory on the accounts was no longer
representing his institutions on the FOTIM Board, an alternative
signatory, Professor Patel, was appointed.

In line with the anticipated future role of FOTIM, three Budget
scenarios had been presented at the FOTIM Summit. Institutions
recognised that their current financial contributions would be
inadequate to support the strengthening of FOTIM’s infrastructure.
Scenario 3, specifying a fixed membership fee for 2000 and allowing
for the appointment of a Director and increased operating costs for
the three FOTIM projects, was adopted and the Budget 2000 was
approved at the November Board meeting. The Executive
Committee assured the Board that it was sensitive to maintaining a
balance between utilising funds to the maximum whilst not
spending indiscriminately.

4.   PROJECTS

4.1 GAELIC

PHASE 1: The six Phase 1 Libraries (Technikon Northern Gauteng,
Technikon Pretoria, Technikon SA, Technikon Witwatersrand, Unisa
and the University of the Witwatersrand) have fully implemented
the Innopac system and are familiar with all aspects of its
operation. Users have expressed satisfaction with the system, and
several institutions have increased the number of user licences.
The funds remaining in the Phase 1 grant will be spent during 2000
on additional modules currently being developed by III and
hardware upgrades.

PHASE 2: Phase 2 libraries (MEDUNSA, Potchefstroom University, Rand Afrikaans
University, the University of Pretoria, Vista University and Vaal Triangle Technikon)
had fully implemented Innopac by September 1999. Two Free State institutions
(Technikon Free State and the University of Free State) participated in Phase 2.

PHASE 3: A grant of $678 000 was awarded by the Mellon Foundation in March
1999 to the GAELIC Phase 3 libraries (Technikon North West, University of the
North, the University of North West and the University of Venda). All hardware
platforms were installed, and implementation meetings were held regularly. TestPac
training was held in November. The lack if IT expertise at some sites is cause for
concern, and has been brought to the attention of the FOTIM Board.

THE NATIONAL UNION CATALOGUE

The implementation of the new National Union Catalogue at SABINET Online has
been of great interest to GAELIC as the NUC will form the basis of resource sharing
in the region. GAELIC made a valuable contribution to the process, especially the
drawing up of specifications. The installation and configuration of the hardware and
implementation of the Innopac software took place during 1999. Existing catalogues
were extracted and converted to USMarc. Clean-up and authorisation by OCLC and
LTI was completed in August.

The awarding of a grant by the Mellon Foundation to SABINET Online in December
1999 for the purchase and development of document supply/inter-library lending
software will further advance the objective of GAELIC to share resources in the
region and nationally.

COSALC (Coalition of South African Library Consortia)

Inaugurated on 1 July 1999, this group represents the first movement towards real co-
operation amongst all South African library consortia. Its focus at present is the
purchase of expensive electronic full-text journals for the tertiary sector nationally,
and it will pay attention to the establishment of the South African Site Licensing
Initiative (SASLI) during its pilot phase.

FRELICO: A Memorandum of Understanding was drawn up between GAELIC and
FRELICO in such a way that co-operation is formalised without impinging upon the
autonomy of either partner.

GAELIC STRUCTURE

The management of GAELIC was restructured in 1999, with a
Strategic Management Team leading four Focus Area Teams.

  The Strategic Management Team dealt with such matters as the
  structuring and expertise profiles of teams and workgroups, VAT
  exemption, GAELIC’s Budget 2000, the need for business plans
  and communication strategies for teams and projects, inter-
  consortial co-operation and links with overseas consortia, and
  membership issues.

  The Focus Area Teams:
  Business Management

       The Financial Guidelines, compiled by the Finance
       Workgroup, were accepted by the FOTIM Board. A
       document entitled Guidelines on the Selling of Products,
       Services and Expertise of GAELIC was drafted, and the
       Communication and Marketing Plan was revised. The
       Marketing Workgroup initiated the upgrading of the
       GAELIC web page.

       Human Resources
       Three training projects were held for the benefit of
       GAELIC members during the year, viz. Computer
       Literacy, Team Building and Copyright.

       Information Resources
       Negotiations took place with III regarding the additional
       products required by GAELIC Phases 1 and 2. Various
       training sessions were held to assist staff in GAELIC
       institutions.

       Information and Communication Technology
       Although there had been little activity in this team
       during 1999, it will in future investigate server
       requirements at member institutions, as well as the
       effect of electronic projects on local networks.
4.2PROJECT ICT2000

ICT2000: HUMAN RESOURCES

Following the Strategic Planning Workshop of 1998, it had become
evident that an urgent need existed for the identification of critical
skills-shortage areas, sharing of expertise, joint training of staff and
revision of compensation models. The need for the development of
Regional IT Support Centres to ensure an adequate pool of
resources that can provide the necessary back-up support was also
identified. Early in 1999 the FOTIM Board agreed to engage a
consultant to investigate alternative models for regional
collaboration of IT departments of member institutions. Discussions
were held with a delegation of the Northern Universities and
Technikons IT Directors Group (referred to as the IT Directors
Group). A Steering Committee consisting of two members of the IT
Directors Group and two members of the FOTIM Board was formed,
and resolved to use the funds budgeted for the launch of Project
ICT2000 towards the appointment of a consultant. Dr Anthon Botha
of TechnoScene undertook a study to identify current problems and
possible solutions within IT in member institutions, and produced a
report entitled An Assessment and a Business Plan on the
Knowledge Base and Human Resource Requirements in Information
and Communications Technology for FOTIM Members. The report
will be examined at institutions and feedback forwarded to the
Project Steering Committee for discussion at the AGM of March
2000. Both the Executive Committee and the Board expressed
satisfaction at the relevance of the report.

ICT2000: NATIONAL CONNECTIVITY

FOTIM participated in a national connectivity initiative led by Dr
Stuart Saunders and Dr Jim Leatt, which is negotiating broadband
access for higher education at lower tariffs, and international donor
funding. Mr Henry Watermeyer of the University of the
Witwatersrand was requested to represent FOTIM at this initiative.
A needs analysis and business plan was formulated, but the project
has fallen behind schedule due to delays with TELKOM’s technical
proposal. Negotiations are ongoing.

ICT FOR FLEXIBLE LEARNING

This project stems from the key objectives identified at the FOTIM
ICT2000 Workshop of 1998:
 The development of appropriate ICT-based delivery systems for
flexible learning and the sharing of resources.
 The joint training of staff and students as well as joint
courseware development and learner support in order to optimise
benefits and cost-effectiveness.

FOTIM member institutions were invited to nominate a person to
attend a Strategic Planning Workshop on the Utilisation of ICT in
Flexible Learning held on 22 June 1999, at which three sub-projects
emerged:
 Resource Inventory: to establish an electronic inventory of
resources that can be shared by member institutions. The web-
based database had been set up by the end of the year and awaited
data input by member institutions.
 Training Needs Analysis: To investigate training opportunities in
flexible learning. A workshop will be held in 2000 which will focus
on clarifying terminology as well as being a training event itself.
Training has been identified as one of the most pressing needs at all
institutions.
 Telecentres: To investigate the feasibility of establishing
telecentres in rural areas, or of linking with existing ones.

4.3   REGIONAL REVIEW OF INSTITUTIONAL PLANS

This project was precipitated at the FOTIM Summit by the
Department of Education’s request for a Regional Review Report. A
team consisting of Dr Anthon Botha of TechnoScene, Professor Jos
Grobbelaar and Professor Casper Schutte, had been selected from
potential consultants. An Expert Group comprising Mr Adrian
Hultquist of Technikon Southern Africa, Dr Jenny Pretorius of Vaal
Triangle Technikon, Dr Glynn Nicholls of the University of the
Witwatersrand, Mr Tito Khalo of Technikon North West, Professor
Peter van Eldik of FOTIM, and Professor DR Thakhathi of the
University of Venda, would test the ideas of the consultants, provide
additional information and give input and feedback on the report in
progress. TechnoScene would be accountable for the final report.
The project was well under way in November, even though
institutional plans were still awaited from certain institutions which
had been granted extensions by the Department of Education.
FOTIM itself, in turn, had had to request an extension from the
Department to the end of January 2000. MEDUNSA had declined
participation in the project. The FOTIM Chairperson stressed that
even though the report was a requirement of the Department of
Education, it would be primarily for the benefit of individual
institutions, and for FOTIM to identify opportunities for
collaboration. The cost of the project had already been included in
the budget for 1999.

5.    LIAISON WITH OTHER BODIES
5.1      RHEDs (Regional Higher Education Directors)

Professor Sinclair, the Chairperson of FOTIM in 1998, had attended the 2nd FORCE
(Forum for Regional Consortia in Education) Workshop at the end of 1998, where it
was resolved that the directors of the various consortia should meet regularly to share
information relating both to the activities of their consortia and to issues pertaining to
tertiary education in general. The 3rd FORCE workshop held at the Fish River Sun in
October 1999 was attended by Dr Moore and Professor Patel, who participated further
in the discussion on national collaboration in higher education. Three additional
meetings, one of which was a teleconference, were held during 1999. The salient
issues dealt with were the Ford Foundation grant for regional higher education
planning, and the Department of Education Planning Guidelines for 2000-2002, from
which developed the FOTIM Regional Review Project funded by a grant from the
Ford Foundation. Dr DM Moore and Professor JD Sinclair represented FOTIM at the
RHEDS meetings.

5.2     FORD FOUNDATION

At a meeting with the RHEDs and CHET early in June, Dr R Fehnel and Professor D
Ekong of the Ford Foundation invited the RHEDs to submit a funding proposal for an
inter-regional planning grant, and the regional consortia to submit their own proposals
for grants or renewals of grants. FOTIM’s proposal for funding was accepted by the
Ford Foundation and US$150 000 was allocated for the two-year period August 1999
to July 2001. The Ford Foundation also sponsored attendance at two conference in
the United States. Professor Sinclair represented FOTIM at the Amherst Conference
entitled Cultures of Co-operation: The Future Role of Consortia in Higher Education,
organised and hosted by Five Colleges Incorporated.            Advocate Labuschagne,
representing COLISA but reporting back to FOTIM as well, attended the Washington
Conference organised by the Association of Consortia Leadership.

5.3     ERNEST OPPENHEIMER MEMORIAL TRUST

Towards the end of 1999, a letter and discussion document were
received from the Trust, informing FOTIM that the Trustees had
been considering proposals to significantly increase the value of the
awards attached to the University Travelling Fellowships, the WD
Wilson Visiting Fellowships and the GR Bozzoli Senior and Junior
Fellowships to render them more competitive and thereby increase
both the status and prestige attached to these awards. Mr RM
Godsell, Chairman of the Trust, requested time to address the
FOTIM Board early in 2000 about the proposed new configuration of
the Fellowships.

6.    THE YEAR AHEAD

2000 promises to be a busy year. The appointment of a Director
will significantly increase the capacity of FOTIM to participate in and
contribute towards regional and national initiatives, while the
securing of funds from the Ford Foundation will enable current
projects to be developed, and new projects to be conceived.

				
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