There is a need
for independent development of each faculty together with a
comprehensive and cohesive development policy for the University of Ruhuna. While being constantly mindful of the national status of the
University of Ruhuna and therefore catering to the national human
resource development needs and priorities, I wish to see the
University of Ruhuna serving a very special role in the regional
development of 'Ruhuna'. Therefore, while maintaining its national
stature, I wish to emphasise below, some development activities for
the University of Ruhuna that has a distinct bias towards southern
regional development. The present national leadership is also giving
special focus and emphasis to development of the southern region of
Sri Lanka as seen by the greatly increased development activity in the
south with the proposed southern highway and international airport. I
consider this a 'serendipitous' development for the University of Ruhuna.
I propose to institute an over-arching Planning & Implementation
Committee of specialists and experts in the University of Ruhuna to
activate not only the Corporate Plan in its current formation, but
also work on a proposal for the university to contribute to the
formulation of a regional development plan. This which will include
the establishment of a strong nexus between the University of Ruhuna
and the state agencies involved with southern development as well as
the agriculturists, agribusiness, industrialists, regional health
authorities and the private-sector business community in the region.
This is to enable the University of Ruhuna to be an integral part of
the development process in the South that will go to meet the
economic, social and health needs of the people of the region.
The south is an area that is predominantly agriculture-based.
Therefore, development in agriculture must remain the bedrock of
southern economic development. The University of Ruhuna has to give
leadership in know how in this area. The priorities in this area for
service and research will be established through a special committee
that will include the Dean/Agriculture and senior academics of the
faculty. New initiatives in agri-based investments, agricultural
technology, water management and other areas will be facilitated and
strengthened. To do this effectively, all academic staff must work together as a team
responding to a single call - the call of the nation, the region and the university.
I propose to discuss the priorities of the Engineering faculty with
the Dean and staff of the faculty and encourage the development of
applied research in engineering fields of special significance to the
South. I also propose to facilitate development of programmes by the
engineering faculty staff that would be of direct relevance to the
projected Southern Development Programme as well as in areas that have
been given lesser priority in the traditional Faculties of Engineering
such as marine engineering and environmental engineering.
With the establishment of the new Faculty of Fisheries and Marine
Science & Technology a few months ago, there is a great need to
develop new initiatives in that area. The new faculty has a few
`teething' problems that need to be resolved. Being a coastal
university with several fisheries harbours in the region and the
resources from the sea increasingly taking greater importance of the
future development o Sri Lanka, fisheries and marine sciences will be
of critical importance. This will be the critical area for the
University of Ruhuna to take a lead nationally in its intellectual,
academic and research contribution to national development. The first
priority is to obtain the required funding for the faculty building
project and clearing the path to obtain full ownership of the
The 'Humanities' continue to be an integral part of academic endeavour.
They are important and necessary in the making of a complete human
being. I wish to encourage the development of the 'creative arts' -
particularly those that are of historical and cultural importance to 'Ruhuna'.
The University of Ruhuna must remain the epicentre of a cultural
regeneration that is a necessary concomitant to Southern Development.
The Arts & the Social sciences - languages, philosophy, economics,
sociology, history, anthropology and archaeology need to be developed
with the initiatives to be taken by all sectors of the H&SS faculty
academics. This is particularly important in the context of the recent
upsurge in development activities in the South. The Humanities &
Social Science faculties in Sri Lanka face particular challenges with
regard to the "employability" of their graduates. This has lead to an
increasing tendency to re-orient their courses in response to the
'market forces' that determine 'employability'. While being mindful of
these dimensions in the development of education in a
"knowledge-based" society, I will ensure that the degree programmes in
the humanities that are essential to the sustenance of values and
philosophies which is part of our national heritage are continued and
developed in the University of Ruhuna. These disciplines include
Sinhala, Buddhist and Pali studies, History and Archaeology.
Business Management and Finance play a very significant role in the
context of globalisation. The University of Ruhuna will continue to
expand its contribution to human resource development in this area. I
would take further steps in developing the university-industry and
university-entrepreneur linkages that already exist and strengthen
them. This will encourage the industrial and commercial sectors to
provide in-service training to our students and increasing their
employability. Here too a matter of the highest priority is the
implementation of the building project.
Several steps have already been taken to make the Faculty of Medicine
a centre of excellence in selected fields. Andrology, in-vitro
fertilisation, human reproductive biology, filarial research,
cardiology, bone densitometry and studies on osteoporosis are some
areas that the faculty has taken a national lead. While I wish to
further strengthen this endeavour, we need to develop other areas of
health service and medical research. I propose to further activate the
initiative that has already been taken to develop a proposal for an
ultra-modern regional laboratory catering to the health and medical
needs of the Southern population. I will also support and encourage
all initiatives taken in the direction of curricular reform that
ensures improvements in teaching/learning methodologies and most
importantly, establishment of a behavioural stream in the
undergraduate medical curriculum.
In the Faculty of Science, I shall facilitate the development of
cybernetics and information technology. New areas such as climatology,
research into indigenous herbal products including traditional
medicines and programmes for the protection of fauna and flora in the
region needs to be re-activated together with multi-disciplinary
efforts in environmental research. I will encourage the Faculty of
Science in initiating these new endeavours.
I have taken special interest in staff development and was the Founder
Director of the Staff Development Centre (SDC) of the University of
Ruhuna. I established the Certificate Course in Professional
Development in Higher Education (CCPDHE) in the university which was
approved by the UGC as the accredited qualification that should be
acquired by Probationary Lecturers for confirmation in their posts. I
will take further initiatives to create opportunities for academic,
administrative and non-academic staff to assist them in acquisition of
appropriate skills that are required for career development. The
available human resources in the university will be used to organise
regular `in-house' workshops, seminars and conferences to upgrade
knowledge and skills of all categories of staff - particularly for
administrative staff. This is essential to increase the efficiency of
the university administration.
I will carry to its logical conclusion, the initiative already
undertaken to establish a Faculty of Law at the University of Ruhuna.
It will be established taking into consideration the new developments
in many legal specialties. These include International Law,
Environmental Law, Law of the Sea, Intellectual Property Law, new
dimensions in Land Law and Commercial (e-Commerce) Law, Internet Law,
Fundamental and Human Rights legislation etc.
I will encourage expansion of courses for external degrees in the
university. I have had, and continue to have, certain concerns in the
standards and quality assurance of these programmes. I will take
necessary steps to ensure that the certificate, diploma and degree
courses on offer from the University of Ruhuna will maintain
acceptable quality so that certification from the University of Ruhuna
will be worthy of its name.
At a time when the State Universities are facing fierce competition
from private sector degree awarding institutions and foreign
universities operating "off-shore" educational institutions in Sri
Lanka, and the `free education system' that was established over 60
years ago is facing threats from the education `marketplace', it is
the duty of Heads of state universities to do their utmost to ensure
that the State universities will maintain their leadership in tertiary
education in Sri Lanka. I will take initiatives to face these
challenges and maintain the status of the University of Ruhuna and
further elevate it not only to retain its due place, but also be a
leader in the region.
Having cited some highlights of what I envisage to do in the areas of
institutional and academic development, I wish to reiterate that I
Abide by the eight concepts of `good governance' - (i)
Participation, (ii) Rule of law, (iii) Transparency, (iv) Responsiveness,
(v) Consensus-oriented, (vi) Equity and inclusiveness, (vii) Effectiveness
and (viii) Efficiency and Accountability - in administration of the
Implement a rational and 'user-friendly' procedures for a more efficient
administrative and financial management system;
Establish an environment that engenders academic freedom with
Practice democratic and consensual management and executive practices;
Establish an environment within the University of Ruhuna for the free
expression of diverse opinions without fear or favour or threats and
intimidation - both for university staff and for students.
Finally, I wish to ensure all members of the university community that I
will undertake to offer the University of Ruhuna an honest, accountable,
transparent and non-partisan leadership during my tenure.