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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.

News Archive

Robotic telescope at Boyden Observatory
2005-08-17

Technicians from the University College Dublin in Ireland recently   installed the Watcher robotic telescope at the University of the Free State's (UFS) Boyden Observatory. 

The UFS Boyden Observatory was approached by the University College Dublin to accommodate the Watcher robotic telescope because of its good position for modern astronomical observations, its good infrastructure and because of Bloemfontein's cloudless nights
(especially in winter).

The telescope will mainly be used for observing the optical afterglow of gamma ray bursts (awe-inspiring explosions in the universe) and to search for exo planets (planets around other stars). 

The work that will be done with Watcher will closely link to one of the research directions of the UFS astro physics group that is currently observing these phenomenon with the Boyden 1.5-m telescope. 

The telescope will receive its instructions via the internet and is expected to be fully operational by November 2005. 

At the Watcher robotic telescope are from left Mr Victor Litera, electronical technician from the University College Dublin in Ireland and Dr Matie Hoffman from the Physics Department at the UFS.
 

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