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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

Investigations into incidents on the Bloemfontein Campus: 22-26 February 2016
2016-03-16

Investigations underway into incidents relating to the Varsity Cup rugby match at Xerox Shimla Park and all other criminal acts occurring during protest action

The senior leadership of the University of the Free State (UFS) commissioned a number of investigations into incidents relating to the Varsity Cup rugby match at Xerox Shimla Park on 22 February 2016, as well as into acts of criminal conduct occurring throughout the protest action in the week of 22 to 26 February 2016.

These investigations include:

1. An independent commission led by senior officials in the judiciary. The enquiry will establish the events before and leading up to the match, the tragedy on the field itself, and events immediately afterwards as the crisis spread around the campus, including the incident at Vishuis Men’s Residence the same night.
2. An inquiry about disciplinary and criminal responsibility. This includes the responsibility of students, staff where applicable, and outsiders on campus before, during and after the match, and during the protest action in the week of 22 to 26 February 2016. This will enable the university to take action for disciplinary purposes and to enable the laying of charges with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in criminal cases.
3. Led by the core team of 2006 auditors who did the first study on the transformation of the UFS, an empirical account will be provided on how far, or not, the university has come since the first comprehensive study on the subject. This report in part addresses the charge from some students or student leaders that nothing has changed or that transformation has not happened at the UFS.

The UFS Council endorsed and gave its full support to the investigations during its quarterly meeting on 11 March 2016.

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