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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

Alumnus presents 27th Sophia Gray Memorial Lecture
2015-09-07

 
Anton Roodt
Photo: iFlair

In a packed Civic Theatre in Bloemfontein, Anton Roodt, an alumnus from the UFS Department of Architecture, presented the 27th Sophia Gray Memorial Lecture.
 
Roodt received numerous awards for his work during his career. He also completed three masters degrees at the UFS, all of them cum laude.

The theme for his lecture was: Big dreams in a small city. Places of memory¦Spaces of imagination.
 
In his presentation, he focused mainly on President Brand Street, one of the most beautiful streets in South Africa – a gem waiting to be rediscovered, as well as Waaihoek, where many projects are planned for the future.
 
During his career, Roodt has been involved in various projects in these areas, including the Fourth Raadsaal, for which he received a FSIA Award in 2011. The Mapikela House in Batho is another project he was involved in.
 
He believes universities are small cities with a good deal of ambition. A number of infrastructure projects on the campuses of the UFS were designed by Roodt Architects. On the Bloemfontein Campus, this includes the Student Centre on the Thakaneng Bridge, the Main Gate, the Financial Planning Law Building, and the Computer Centre, as well work done on the Albert Wessels Auditorium. They also designed the dining room and the Main Entrance on the Qwaqwa Campus.
 
Roodt was introduced to the audience by the familiar singer and his university friend, Coenie de Villiers, with the question: “Why architecture?” He replied: “It is one of the best professions to take you to places most people will never be able to visit – sometimes literally to the feet of kings.”
 
Roodt believes that architects are sellers of dreams. “Dreams are the purest form of imagination. Architects dream of places as if people matter,” he said.
 
The Women in Architecture initiative was also launched by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession at the event. Of more than 8 800 professional architects, only 21% are women.

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