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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

A PhD in full colour!
2014-10-28

In October 2014, Cindé Greyling presented a PhD paper at the second biennial conference of the Southern Africa Society for Disaster Reduction (SASDiR) in Windhoek, Namibia. Titled “A narrative communication approach towards drought resilience for foundation phase children”, she explored innovative ways to encourage drought resilience. “It was a fascinating journey that is nearing its end,” Greyling says about her disaster management studies at DiMTEC.

The study comprised adapting a communication model to address the specific preferences of foundation-phase children. This was used as a guide to code essential drought risk-reduction information into a comprehensible format for the chosen target audience. “Whereas I’m proficient in writing, drawing was altogether new – which you can clearly tell!” During the course of her research, Greyling roamed through drought data, curriculums, bestselling entertainment products, global children’s culture and an array of language and communication avenues. “What a pleasure it was to revisit familiar bodies of knowledge, and navigate unfamiliar territory!” Under guidance of study leader, Dr Lydie Terblanche, and co-study leader, Dr Andries Jordaan, Greyling believes that an important contribution to resilience is probable, as well as creating opportunities for further research.

“Not many people can say they created a picture book for their PhD... How lucky I am!” Greyling concludes.

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