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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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Mirror, mirror on the wall

Kovsies’ most beautiful. In the front are the winners, Lizelle and Cameron. At the back, from the left are: Esteon Steyn, first runner-up; Tilda-Mari Lourens, first princess; Lebo Duiker, second runner-up and Marjomalé Kernekamp, second princess.
Photo: Sarel Greyling

Who, secretly, wouldn’t love to be a king or a queen? Two Kovsies were recently awarded exactly these titles. Lizelle Serfontein, a first-year medical student from Soetdoring residence, was chosen as Rag Queen 2014/15. Cameron Maree, a second-year BCom Accounting student and resident of House Karee, now owns the title of Mr Rag.

These two students have triumphed over nine other finalists in their respective competitions and will serve as charity ambassadors for the university. They share prizes to the value of R800 000 with their fellow finalists.

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