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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

Short course in Applied Conservation Genetics developed at UFS
2014-08-22

 

Photo: en.wikipedia.org

During discussions with stakeholders in Kenya in 2013, a need was identified for training in conservation genetics with an African emphasis. In answer, Prof Paul Grobler from the Department of Genetics developed a short course in Applied Conservation Genetics.

Some of the phenomena studied in this field include:
• hybridisation between species such as blue wildebeest and black wildebeest,
• wildlife poaching and
• potential inbreeding in small game-farm populations.

From the onset, the course has been developed as an international venture. To this end, Dr Frank Zachos from the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria, committed himself to the project. Dr Jamie Roberts from the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech University in the USA also came on board. Both pledged their time and expertise to the course – without any financial gain.

Subsequently, our Department of Genetics presented this short course at the National Zoological Gardens (NZG) in Pretoria earlier this year. The team of presenters included Prof Grobler, Dr Zachos and Dr Roberts. They were joined by Dr Desire Dalton from the Research Division of the NZG, who added valuable practical experience to the presentations.

The course assumes a degree of prior knowledge of population and molecular genetics. A strong emphasis is placed on practical applications. The programme includes a strong component of statistics and hands-on training in the many approaches and software used in population genetics.

The group that attended the course included a contingent from the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Dutch postgraduate students currently working at the University of Johannesburg and delegates from across South Africa.

This successful meeting followed an experimental first round of the course presented in Nairobi during 2013, attended by representatives from Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Mexico and Belgium.


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