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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

UFS Rector takes three months sabbatical leave
2008-05-05

The Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Frederick Fourie, has announced that he will be taking three months sabbatical leave as from Thursday, 8 May 2008.

Prof. Fourie recently made the request for sabbatical leave to the Chairperson of the UFS Council, Judge Faan Hancke. The request was approved given the fact that Prof. Fourie has occupied a number of demanding top-management posts for almost nine years, during which time he had to manage a number of major changes at the UFS.

According to Prof. Fourie, he originally wanted to go on sabbatical leave in the second half of 2007 before the start of his second term as rector, but it was not possible at that stage.

He was last on sabbatical in 1996 before he became Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences in 1997 and Vice-Rector: Academic Operations in 1999.

He could not take his next five-yearly leave because in the post of vice-rector he was tasked with leading the financial-turnaround strategy for the UFS from the year 2000 and had to act as rector when the previous rector, Prof. Stef Coetzee, was on sick leave. Since being inaugurated as rector in 2003, there was also no opportunity to take leave as a result of the many key projects and urgent initiatives.

The Vice-Rector: Academic Operations and vice-chairperson of the Senate, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, will be the acting rector. Management processes and decision-making will continue as normal under the leadership of the acting rector together with the Executive Committee of the Executive Management (Exco) and the Executive Management. This applies to the decision about the future of the Reitz Residence as well as the continuing implementation of the policy on diversity in student residences.

According to Judge Hancke it was important that Prof. Fourie took sabbatical leave in the light of the long period he has been at the forefront of very demanding changes. There are many challenges that still lie ahead.

During his leave Prof. Fourie will be involved with the Higher Education South Africa (HESA) investigation into diversity and racism on campuses, with research and a national conference on institutional culture, as well as the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) benchmarking project and its conference in Australia at the end of August 2008.

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