Dr Pascal Tauoatsoala, the new Head of the Department of Tourism Management.
Dr Tauoatsoala said in line with the University’s mission to “advance social and economic transformation through relevant curricula, impactful research and engagement, quality learning experiences, dedicated staff and creating an enabling environment”, our department will indeed ensure that the research activities from our academic staff are impactful by addressing the socio-economic needs of the entire society. In addition, we will ensure our curricula is not only relevant but prepares our students to be future-ready to face the world of work and all its ever changing faces (e.g. 4IR, climate change, food security, poverty etc.).
His immediate plan is to re-visit the curricula of most programmes at the department to ensure that they are indeed industry relevant, meet the needs of society and turn students into wholistic citizens. His long-term plan, on the other hand, is to expand and reach out to an international audience where their courses would attract students across the globe.
Expressing the kind of collaboration he expects from his colleagues, Dr Tauoatsoala said: “I am an advocate of justice, fairness and equity. Therefore, I expect that in everything we do or embark on this is done in a just, fair and equitable manner and treating one another with respect.” Sharing words of inspiration and wisdom, he said like Steve Biko, “I’d rather die for an idea that will live, than live for an idea that would die.”
“I want to create an environment where all members of staff always look forward to coming to work. An environment where specific individuals are not treated with golden gloves, but everybody is equal. I don’t aspire to favour some of the colleagues at the expense of others,” said Dr Tauoatsoala.
Dr Tauoatsoala, who describes himself as a humble and peaceful servant of the Angel of God, says God designed him to be a perfectionist. “This is in me and will never change. Those close to me i.e. my parents, family, friends and neighbours, always tell me this is how I have been ever since I was young,” he added.
He said in order to balance workload and family responsibilities, he manages his time effectively and get enough rest and sleep while maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. But most importantly to him is family.
Dr Tauoatsoala holds a Master’s Degree and a PhD, focusing on the sustainable management of nature parks. He has written and contributed to several peer reviewed journals and presented papers at local and international conferences, as well as co-authored chapters in books. Even though his main research focus is on urban nature reserves, he also has interests in topics related to citizen science.