South Africa

(Some of the following work has been reported in other sections but is included here for ease of use by readers interested in my work in South Africa.)

Core Faculty Member, MSU African Studies Center, election in 1999.

Consulting Faculty Member, MSU Women and International Development Program, election in 1999.

Member, MSU South Africa Implementation Committee, appointment in 1999 — on-going.

Visiting Scholar, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). Led a team of MSU faculty and doctoral students to work collaboratively with NMMU colleagues on strengthening student learning and faculty teaching. July-August, 2008.

Visiting Scholar, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), South Africa. Two weeks (July-August, 2007) working with senior institutional leaders and faculty members at NMMU on organizational change strategies that enhance the learning environment in the highly diverse university context, including the development of the institution’s “Teaching and Learning Policy.” Additionally provided seminars on the following topics:

  • “Transformation and Change in American Higher Education”
  • “Helping New Academic Staff Succeed: Challenges and Strategies”
  • “Developing a Culture of Excellence in Teaching and Learning”
  • “Academic Staff Development: Issues and Approaches”
  • Two-day seminar on “Developing Research Proposals”

1998 Fulbright Fellow, Centre for Organisational and Academic Development, University of Port Elizabeth.

Contributed to the conceptualization and expansion of the academic staff development program. Presented seminars and workshops on teaching and learning issues, and organizational change issues for the University Council, Executive Management, New Faculty Induction Course, All-University Seminar Series, and numerous faculties and departments (Arts, Biochemistry, Continuing Education, Computer Science, Extended Curriculum Programme, Health Sciences, Industrial and Organisational. Psychology, Law, Music, Nursing, Pharmacy, Psychology, Social Work, Supplemental Instruction Programme, Academic Development Group, Advancement Programme, Counseling, University Preparation Programme). Collaborated to start an Action Research Project on Teaching and Learning Issues. Started a Peer Partnership Programme.  Consulted with individual academic and administrative staff. Presented seminars on the following topics:

  • “Research-Based Principles for Improving Teaching and Learning”
  • What’s Our Guiding Principle: Teaching or Learning?”
  • “Teaching for Understanding: Strategies for Encouraging Active Learning in Large Classes”
  • “Using Small Groups to Enhance Learning”
  • On-Going Assessment of Student Learning”
  • Active Learning Strategies for Large Classes”
  • Monitoring Student Learning: Classroom Assessment Strategies”
  • A Conceptual Approach to Curriculum Planning and Development:
  • Writing as a Way to Learn”
  • “Change and Transformation in Higher Education in the United States: Trends, Factors, and Challenges”
  • “A Systems Approach to Institutional Change and Transformation in Higher Education”
  • Academic Writing: Strategies for Effective Practice”
  • “How We Can Evaluate and Improve Our Teaching: Three Approaches to Staff     Evaluation”
  • “Programme Leaders and Department Heads: Challenges and Opportunities”
  • Using Writing to Improve Learning”

Visiting Faculty Member, University of Durban-Westville, October, 2000

Co-taught a Master’s level module on Teaching in Higher Education. Consulted with doctoral students working on dissertations. Presented seminars to academic staff.

Visits and Work at Other South African Tertiary Institutions

During 1998, in addition to my primary work at the University of Port Elizabeth, I visited other South African Higher Education Institutions to meet leaders and academic staff, to present seminars, and to conduct research on institutional transformation in higher education. Specific seminars presented were:

Eastern Cape Technikon: Presented seminar on “Change and Transformation in Higher Education: Strategies and Challenges.” November, 1998.

Medunsa University: Presented several seminars throughout a three-day visit: “A Systems Approach to Organizational Change and Transformation,” “Helping Students Become More Effective Learners,” “Teaching for Understanding: Encouraging Active Learning,” “Using Small Groups in Teaching,” “Approaches to Staff Development.” October, 1998.

Port Elizabeth Technikon: Presented several seminars and workshops: “Encouraging Active Learning,” “Helping Students Become More Effective Learners,” “Strategies for Evaluating Teachers,” “Teaching Portfolios and Other Methods,” “Action Research: Rationale and Strategies,” “Using Small Groups in Teaching,” “Approaches to Staff Development.” August-December, 1998.

ML Sultan Technikon: Presented a seminar on “Collegial Conversation to Foster Staff Development.” November, 1998.

Stellenbosch University: Met with academic development staff to discuss approaches and strategies for staff development. December, 1998.

Technikon Pretoria: Invited to participate in a one-day meeting concerning approaches to staff development.

University of Cape Town: Presented a seminar to the Academic Development Staff on “Approaches to Faculty Development Used in the United States.” April and July, 1998.

University of Durban-Westville: Presented a seminar entitled “Teaching for Understanding: Strategies for Encouraging Active Learning.” February, 1998.

University of the Orange Free State: During an invited one-week visit, presented several seminars: “Change and Transformation in Higher Education in the United States: Issues, Challenges, and Trends,” “A Systems Approach to Institutional Change and Transformation: Effective Strategies Identified in American Universities,” “Encouraging Active Learning in Large Classes.” August, 1998.

University of the Western Cape: Presented an invited seminar at the Gender Studies Unit entitled “Perspectives on Teaching Informed by Feminist Pedagogy.” April, 1998.

Other Presentations in South Africa

Ed-U College, Port Elizabeth. Invited presentation to the parents of a Saturday School for disadvantaged young people. “How to Help Students to Be Effective Leaders.” May, 1998.

Pearson High School, Port Elizabeth. Invited presentation to the teachers on the topic “Encouraging Students to be More Active Learners.” July, 1998.

Conferences Attended

During 1998, I attended and participated in several conferences held in South Africa:

Conference concerning Women-in-Research, sponsored by the Centre for Science Development. Held at Vista University, Port Elizabeth, February, 1998.

Conference on Campus Diversity and Unity, sponsored by the Ford Foundation and the South African Centre for Higher Education Transformation (CHET). Held at Fort Hare University, March, 1998.

Conference of the World Congress of Comparative Education Societies. Presented a paper entitled “A Systems Approach to Institutional Change and Transformation: Strategies and Lessons from American and South African Universities.” Cape Town, July, 1998.

Annual Conference of the South African Association for Academic Development (SAAAD). Presented a paper entitled “Collegial Conversation as Metaphor and Strategy for Academic Staff Development.” Bloemfontein, September, 1998.

Annual Conference of the South African Association for Research and Development in Higher Education (SAARDHE). Presented a paper entitled “The Role of Senior Leaders, Deans and Department Heads, and Academic Staff in Institutional Transformation.” Bloemfontein, September, 1998.

Conference on Regional Collaboration among Higher Education Institutions in South Africa, sponsored by the South African Centre for Higher Education Transformation (CHET) and the Ford Foundation. Invited to participate in the discussions. Durban, November, 1998.

Other Publications and Presentations pertaining to South Africa

Chapman, D.W., & Austin, A. E., (Eds.). (2002).  Higher education in the developing world: Changing contexts and institutional responses. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Austin, A. E. (2001). Transformation through negotiation: The University of Port Elizabeth’s experiences, challenges, and processes.”  In Mabokela, R. O. and King, K. L. (Eds.), Apartheid no more: Cases Studies of Southern African universities in the process of transformation (pp. 1-36). Greenwood Press.

Austin, A. E.  (1998). Collegial conversation as metaphor and strategy for staff development. South African Journal of Higher Education, 12 (3), 12-18.

Austin, A. E. (February, 1999). “Transformation in Higher Education in South Africa: Issues, Challenges, and Changes.”  Presentation for the African Studies Center Lunch Series, Michigan State University, February, 1999.

Austin, A. E.  (October, 1998). “International Partnerships for Professional Development: Questions, Considerations, and Approaches.”  Paper presented at the Conference on Academic Partnerships with South Africans for Mutual Capacity Building, East Lansing, Michigan.

Editorial Boards for South African Journals

Member, Board of Advisors, South African Journal of Higher Education, 1998-2002.