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06 August 2018 Photo Sonia Small
Karen Lazenby WomenofKovsies
Dr Karen Lazenby strives for a stronger, rule-based, and consistent governance structure.

A transformed University of the Free State (UFS) will be one that promotes social justice in everything it does, a university where its diverse people feel a sense of common purpose and engagement. The UFS is developing this through its Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP) introduced in January 2017. 

“The majority of the current systems and processes in student administration at the university are still manual. This lack of automation leads to inconsistencies and service failures,” says Dr Karen Lazenby. As Registrar for Systems and Administration, Dr Lazenby is responsible for ensuring a smooth and efficient student lifecycle across all three campuses. 

With the ITP, the Governance: Systems and Administration work stream strives to have a stronger, rule-based, and consistent governance structure with a single line of accountability in student administration across all faculties and relevant support departments on the three campuses. By ensuring this ease of use and access there will be an integrated student experience and greater empowerment of students.

“Our focus is on automation and self-services for students (such as the time-table, requests for additional and ad hoc exams and appeals), to ensure transparency and accessibility of rules and policies, decisions relating to admission, progression rules, awarding of qualifications and graduation and faculty and general rules,” Dr Lazenby said.  It will also entail the optimisation of PeopleSoftCampus (the Enterprise Resource Planning system).

“Through this automation, I would also like to get the university’s student administration to such a level that academic staff can focus their energy on teaching and research and student administration staff can focus more on quality assurance,” said Dr Lazenby.

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UFS takes a leading role in nuclear medicine and technology
2011-12-06

 
Photo: Dr Glen Taylor

The University of the Free State (UFS) continues to play an active role in the field of Nuclear Medicine and the use of nuclear technology in the biosciences. Dr Glen Taylor, Director of Research Commercialisation and Business Development at the UFS, was recently elected chairperson of the board for the Nuclear Technologies in Medicine and the Biosciences Initiative (NTeMBI).

The UFS is currently one of three centres of excellence in the country identified by the Nuclear Energy Corporation South African (Necsa) to roll out the capacity development programme and increase technology coming from nuclear medicine and technology.
NTeMBI is a national technology platform that is managed by Necsa and supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). It functions as a high-level Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) initiative that will implement new strategic initiatives relating to research and development on nuclear technologies in medicine and the biosciences on a local, regional and international level. 
 
One of the roles Dr Taylor will perform as Chairperson of the board of NTeMBI, is to enhance the exposure of nuclear technology in medicine and the biosciences. Dr Taylor says the aim is to increase the skills base in South Africa. “I realise it is one of the scare skills in the country.” 
 
The UFS already received a significant amount of funding from the grant of R4 million per annum made available from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to implement NTeMBI projects.  

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