HR In HE Conference

HR in HE responding to the COVID-19 crisis

HR professionals from universities across the Commonwealth will discuss their experiences and share good practice on supporting universities through the current global pandemic in this free webinar.

27 May 2020
12:00 pm BST

How have HR professionals at universities been coping with COVID-19? COVID-19 has disrupted life globally, and the Higher Education sector is no exception. HR professionals from universities across the Commonwealth will come together to share good practice on supporting universities through the current global pandemic in this free webinar.

The ACU’s HR in HE Community is delighted to provide this webinar. A panel discussion on HR’s leadership role in supporting universities, leaders, staff, students to cope with the crisis. The discussion will also explore remote working as well as supporting the mental health and wellbeing of staff. Speakers will also discuss how the current crisis might impact future approaches in HR.




Elizabeth Baré, Senior Fellow, LH Martin Institute, University of Melbourne, Australia

Liz has headed the HR function in three different organisations. Her longest appointment was as Vice-Principal (Human Resources) at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where she and her colleagues developed the function from a personnel function to a well-regarded HR division. Later, she became Head of Administration, where she was responsible for service delivery of IT, HR, marketing, property and grounds, as well as overseeing a major restructure of administrative service delivery. Liz is advisor to the ACU HR in HE Community Steering Committee.



Navroz Surani, Director of Human Resources – Talent Development, Aga Khan University, Canada

Navroz oversees Aga Khan University’s recruitment/outreach office for North America, in Toronto, Canada. As a Certified Human Resource Executive (CHRE-Ontario), Navroz holds a Master’s in human resources and industrial relations from Queen's University Canada. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Toronto, which focuses on issues of brain drain and capacity building with special reference to developing countries. Navroz is Regional Representative for the ACU HR in HE Community Steering Committee.

Ian Wright, FCIPD, Interim Director of Human Resources, the University of Sheffield, UK

Ian’s career in HR spans more than 25 years and, prior to joining the University of Sheffield, he worked across range of sectors including software industry, a local authority, professional services and retail/catering organisations. Following 3 years as Deputy Director, in May 2020 Ian has taken up the post of Interim Director of HR with leadership responsibility across our three key teams; HR Services, Organisational Development and Reward. Ian also leads the University’s Business Continuity Management Team.

Kgomotso Kasonkola, Senior Director: HR, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, South Africa

Kgomotso Kasonkola obtained a PhD in Organisational Behaviour from the University of Pretoria with a dissertation entitled “Criteria for workplace-effective mobility of employees with disabilities in South Africa”. He is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as an Industrial Psychologist and has 18 years HR executive experience in the South African Higher Education sector. He is currently the Senior Director at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Chairperson of the HR Directors’ Forum and Regional Representative on the ACU HR in HE Community’s Steering Committee. He is on a team advising the Committee of Vice-Chancellors (Universities South Africa) on HR implications of COVID-19.

How to join an ACU webinar

You will need to register online. Once registered, you will receive a Zoom invitation with instructions on how to join the webinar. You can join by PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device. Find out further information on how to join. 

The webinar will be recorded and sent to participants and the ACU HR in HE Community.


Time zones

Toronto, Canada 07:00 -  08:00
London, UK 12:00 - 13:00
Johannesburg, South Africa 13:00 - 14:00
Mumbai, India 16:30 - 17:30
Sydney, Australia 21:00 - 22:00


Contact us if you have questions.

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