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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

UFS academic appointed to prestigious academy (ASSAf)
2014-10-07

Another academic of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Jeanet Conradie, professor in Chemistry, was invited as newly elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).Science and research, by which new concepts are discovered, is her great passion.

Her PhD degree in Chemistry, together with also a strong background in Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, influenced Prof Conradie’s choice of research interest and expertise to develop gradually in the direction of computational chemistry, which is a beautiful combination of chemistry and physics.

Computational chemistry uses quantum physical principles and mathematical methods to solve chemistry problems via high-performance computerised calculations. Results obtained can be used to predict and understand the behaviour of atoms and molecules in the real world. Chemical reactions and phenomena that are impossible or too dangerous to study experimentally, can also be studied by computational chemistry. Her research team also does experimental laboratory work to combine and compare with the computational analysis. Based on these results, new materials with specific properties are developed.

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) aspires to be the apex organisation for science and scholarship in South Africa, recognised and connected both nationally and internationally. Through its membership which represents the collective voice of the most active scholars in all fields of scholarly enquiry, ASSAf aims to generate evidence-based solutions to national problems.

Prof Corli Witthuhn: Vice-Rector: Research at the UFS said: “The UFS is very proud of Prof Conradie, who is also the first female professor in the Department of Chemistry.  Jeanet is a highly productive researcher publishing in high-impact journals.  She has extensive international networks and collaborations, increasing the impact of her work even more.  We are currently awaiting the outcome of her application for NRF rating and believe that she will receive an excellent rating.”


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