Operations and Finance
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SU celebrates International Earth Day all week longhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8219SU celebrates International Earth Day all week longFacilities Management<p>​<br><br></p><p>Stellenbosch University celebrated Earth Day (22 April 2021) for the first time with a week-long programme of activities on the Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses to raise awareness for sustainability. From new vegetable gardens at residences, a webinar on restoring the earth, tree planting at the Ou Hoofgebou, to climbing on the roof of Die Neelsie for a glimpse into the first of its size photovoltaic plant on campus were items on the programme for the week of 19 to 23 April 2021.</p><p>Students also organised various engagement sessions, such as giving away Spekbome on campus, conducting critical discussions, watching documentaries, beach cleanups and online awareness campaigns.</p><p>John de Wet, SU's environmental sustainability manager at Facilities Management, and project coordinator Christine Groenewald, played host during the week to inform students and other guests about the projects already in place to help make SU an environmentally sustainable university.</p><p>This year's Earth Day theme is “Restore our Earth", covering natural processes, merging green technologies, and innovations to restore the world's ecosystems.</p><p>In a webinar, John, Christine and colleagues Dannica Pedro and Taariq Fakier raised awareness around the health of planet earth and made people aware of significant projects underway to reduce SU's carbon footprint. “SU is committed to reducing the impact caused by its business and operations on the environment and its natural resources. We also provide our graduates with the necessary skills and tools to contribute to an environmentally sustainable world through knowledge and research," said John.</p><p>SU's new Environmental Sustainability Plan for the next five years will guide the University into the future to ensure that our campuses become environmental and ecologically sustainable.</p><p>Says John: “The plan guide and prioritise the environmental projects for investigation and implementation. This will result in more resilient greener campuses, reduced operational costs and a reduction in emissions and our carbon footprint."</p><p>Currently, there are a few practical projects and interventions underway at Facilities Management as part of the journey to decarbonise our operations, such as the newly installed photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Neelsie Student Centre. Similar installations of PV panels will be completed within the next five years on our campuses.</p><p>John also mentioned the successful installation of a greywater-system on campus and interventions such as water-efficient fittings and installed.</p><p>The Earth Week Awareness campaign has set the pace for various information interventions to follow on campus. In her part of the presentation, Christine focused on the importance of responsible behaviour and how important it is to consider our choices when it comes to simple things like washing your hands under a running tap. “I always tell people: chose one action a month that will have a positive impact on our environment, and after a year, you have formed twelve new habits."</p><p>The team urged staff and students to get involved and link up with like-minded individuals to create extra motivation, ideas, and energy to preserve and restore our planet.</p><p>If you are interested in becoming involved in a campus network that connects individuals who want to help establish an environmentally sustainable culture that actively works towards reducing SU's carbon footprint, please contact Christine at clgroenewald@sun.ac.za, or Dannica at dpedro@sun.ac.za.</p><p>​<br></p>
It all starts with trusthttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8094It all starts with trustOperations and Finance<p><strong>​PROF STAN'S NOTE: MARCH 2021 NEWSLETTER TO RC STAFF</strong><br></p><p><strong></strong></p><p>To work effectively in a team requires trust. I am often encouraged by the large degree of trust I observe as we collaborate in our Responsibility Centre, but we should never take it for granted. And sometimes we have to build trust as we strive to become a genuinely empowering leader, writes Prof Frances Frei from Harvard Business School and Anne Morriss, executive founder of The Leadership Consortium in the Harvard Business Review.</p><p><strong>How?</strong></p><p>By focusing on the core drivers of trust in a relationship: authenticity, logic, and empathy. People tend to trust you when they think they are interacting with the real you (authenticity), when they have faith in your judgement and competence (logic), and when they believe you care about them (empathy).</p><p>The traditional leadership narrative is all about you: your vision and strategy, your ability to make the tough calls and rally the troops, your talents, your charisma, your heroic moments of courage and instinct. “But leadership isn't about you. It's about empowering other people as a result of your presence and about making sure that the impact of your leadership continues into your absence."</p><p>We have been through a very tough 2020, but the good news is, Stellenbosch University's campuses are open again, and outside students are once again enjoying student life, although at a safe distance. Indeed, they returned to a better campus – with respect to facilities and IT – than before lockdown.</p><p>This year trust will be central to our success: trust in our ability as a learning organisation where people realise their dreams, where we care about our staff and students and where we realise the long-term commitment to a thriving University.</p><p>We have a lot to be proud of. Our Finance Division successfully closed the 2020 financial year and the results are in line with our projections. IT and Facilities Management has embarked on an ambitious project to prepare our lecture halls for higher quality hybrid teaching and learning with the implementation of the Extended Learning Spaces (ELS) project; Innovus's LaunchLab kicked off the Techpreneurship Centre's programme with the first cohort on 1 February; Finance is working hard to implement the incredibly complex SUNFin project, and Maties Sport is priming thirteen student-athletes for the selection of the team Go for Gold for this year's Olympic Games and Paralympics. There are many more and you can read some of those stories in this month's Gazette.</p><p>To all the staff in our Responsibility Centre's five divisions, thank you for your unique push and determination to keep the wheels turning. Together we will meet the challenges of 2021 without sacrificing what we do best: creating and sustaining a healthy and dynamic learning environment where future leaders are being educated.</p><p>I wish you well for the rest of 2021.</p><p>Stan du Plessis​</p><p><strong><br></strong></p>
Sustainability: what we can learn from our grandparentshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8095Sustainability: what we can learn from our grandparentsOperations and Finance<p>​<br><br></p><div>We have much to learn from our grandparents. They understood sustainability: they preserved (and never wasted) water, our grandparents generated power with windpompe, farmed organically and lived off the land. They built huge verandas around their houses to keep the heat out, planted many trees, and walked much more than we do today.</div><div><br></div><div>Says Nadeem Gafieldien, Director Property Services at Facilities Management: “it is because of our grandparents’ commitment to sustainability that their grandchildren can still experience exploring forests on foot and oceans to swim in.”</div><div><br></div><div>Nadeem and John de Wet, SU’s environmental sustainability manager, are the driving force behind Stellenbosch University’s sustainability programme over the past decade. Thanks to them advocating for behaviour change amongst students, staff and university stakeholders, we can now start seeing the results.<br></div><div><br><strong>A first for SU</strong></div><div><br>The latest feather in SU’s sustainability cap was the University being the first institution in South Africa to receive the Electrical Performance Certificate (EPC) for a building – an A-rating for electrical consumption of 48 kWh per m².  Last year the University’s sustainable water optimisation project was the runner-up in the International Sustainability Campus Network’s (ISCN) awards – an accolade showing that we can compete against the top universities worldwide.<br></div><div><br></div><div>But it was not always a smooth ride. “When we embarked on this sustainability journey at SU, this topic was not a priority. We spent a lot of time talking with stakeholders to convince them how crucial it is that the University take the lead in becoming sustainable,” says John.</div><div><br></div><div>“Mother earth is under huge pressure, and humans are destroying the whole ecosystem. We have a responsibility to walk the talk and inspire other institutions to follow suit. SU has come a long way, but there is a lot of work still to do,” says John.</div><div><br></div><div>Both men are passionate about this green planet of ours. They are determined to make sure they leave behind a sustainable legacy once they have to retire. “We sometimes make our colleagues crazy, but we persevere to ensure that each new project at Facilities Management has sustainability integrated into its blueprint,” says Nadeem, who still uses his shower water to flush his toilet at home.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Drought crisis the turning point </strong><br></div><div><br></div><div>For them, the drought crisis in 2016 was a huge turning point in SU’s sustainable journey – one that gave this drive the fuel to ignite a whole lot of sustainability drives. They are particularly proud of the enormous buy-in they enjoy from students on campus. “Luckily for us, we have young people like Dannica Pedro advocating for sustainability amongst students. She talks the student talk and knows how to mobilise students to support our sustainability projects on campus, like the waste project where we recycle most of the waste at residences and on campus.”</div><div><br></div><div>John says he also has three garbage bins at home for recycling, because “you have to practice what you preach”. </div><div><br></div><div>Nadeem says he would like to see students eating in dining rooms again and not in their bedrooms. “Thinks like cooking oil gets into pipes that are not made for food and cause huge blockages. If students can all go back eating in dining rooms where leftovers can be channelled towards compost plants and things such as plastic utensils and plates can become a thing of the past, we will become even more sustainable.”</div><div><br></div><div>He reminds us that our grandparents never wasted anything, and we should be following that example. “If you do not eat rice, don’t dish it,” says Nadeem, telling us that SU is throwing away tons of food per week, which is entirely unnecessary. “We live in Africa; we should not be wasting any food.”</div><div><br></div><div>They are passionate and excited about the projects that are already in place on campus. The so-called “Green House Committee Members” is doing a lot to spread the word and motivate fellow students to live more sustainable. Both Nadeem and John hold various talks on campus and in the community to advance sustainability on all our campuses. Their efforts had yield lots of dividends already. “This year, for the first time, the second year Journalism students will focus all of their projects on sustainability. At Tygerberg campus, all the lecturers pay money into a kitty every time they fly somewhere. We use the money to plant trees.”</div><div><br></div><div>These are a few of many projects and plans up their sleeves. “We still have a long way to go, but we’ve planted a lot of seeds, and it will bear the results in due time,” agrees John and Nadeem. “Just watch this (sustainable) space.”</div><div><br><br></div><p><br></p>
SU providing a hybrid solution to learninghttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8096SU providing a hybrid solution to learningOperations and Finance<p>​<br><br></p><div>With students returning to campus, they will soon be introduced to the new Extended Learning Spaces Project (ELS) as part of SU’s fast-track learning and teaching digitalization strategy, including hybrid learning. </div><div><br></div><div>Our Information Technology and Facility Management teams has been hard at work implementing state-of-the-art video streaming capabilities to all schedulable lecture rooms.  </div><div><br></div><div>The project will deliver an integrated and consistent solution to enable a teaching model supporting simultaneous in-class and online learning. Using the Microsoft Teams platform, lecturers can run classes with half of the students being in attendance. The other half will be joining the class remotely and, in this way, both groups having a similar learning experience.</div><div><br></div><div>The project will integrate the in-class systems with the Microsoft Teams environment as well as with SUNLearn, seamlessly transmitting audio and video while also maintaining a high quality of content. The sessions will also be recorded for students to review.  The system is designed to be largely automated, and controls will be intuitive and easy to use, minimising the burden on the lecturers. Part of the project is to establish the support and maintenance structures as well as sustainable funding of the solution.</div><div><br></div><div>The aim is to equip most University schedulable lecture venues by end of May 2021. The remaining schedulable venues will be equipped in the next phase. The remaining schedulable venues will be equipped in the next phase.</div><div><br></div><div>Currently, Facilities Management is finalising the design solutions. To restrict the installation time in the classroom to the minimum it was decided to design a stand-alone Audio-Visual (AV) Console that can plug-and-play into the variety of lecture desks present in lecture rooms across campus. This approach will standardise the installation and limit the disruption time to lecture rooms.</div><div><br><br><br></div><p><br></p>
WEF recognises SharkSafe as a top ocean innovatorhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8097WEF recognises SharkSafe as a top ocean innovatorOperations and Finance<p>​​<br><br></p><p></p><div>SharkSafe Barrier™, an Innovus spinout company from Stellenbosch University, was recognised by the World Economic Forum's digital platform UpLink as one of its top ocean innovators.</div><div><br></div><div>UpLink, the WEF's digital platform for scaling innovation and driving progress toward sustainable development goals, unveiled its second cohort of ocean innovators on 22 January 2021. The platform aims to identify and highlight businesses such as SharkSafe PTY as a company with great potential to accelerate the United Nations' goals for sustainable development. </div><div><br></div><div>SharkSafe Barrier™, the first eco-friendly technology that combines magnetic and visual stimuli to deter Shark species considered dangerous to humans, last year also won the prestigious NSTF South32's Lewis Foundation Green Economy award for outstanding contributions to science, engineering, technology and innovation in South Africa. The inventors of SharkSafe Barrier™, are Michael Rutzen, Dr Sara Andreotti, Dr Craig O'Connell and Prof Matthee. Dr Andreotti and Prof Matthee are from SU's Department of Botany and Zoology.</div><div><br><br><br></div><p><br></p>
WiFi availability in residences at 95%https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8098WiFi availability in residences at 95%Operations and Finance<p>​<br><br></p><p></p><div>Altogether 95% of residences on Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses now have sufficient WiFi coverage. </div><div><br></div><div>A WiFi Classroom Project was done in conjunction with Facilities Management’s Classroom Upgrading project. Where permanent WiFi was not possible, ad hoc temporary arrangements were made to have some WiFi available in most classrooms.</div><div><br></div><div>With the ICT in T+L Network project that started in 2015, IT upgraded the network of several buildings together with the installation of WiFi.  These projects were also done in conjunction with Facilities Management's Campus Renewal Project. </div><div><br></div><div>The next phase of the ICT project is to provide buildings with WiFi coverage where the Campus Renewal Project does not intend to refurbish buildings in the near future. For this project, existing network points will be upgraded to connect to WiFi access points.</div><div><br></div><div>The WiFi coverage on the Stellenbosch Campus is depicted on the map below. We expect an interactive map soon, which will provide much more detail. <br></div><div><br></div><div><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/campus%20map.png" alt="campus map.png" style="margin:5px;" /><br></div><div><br><br><br></div><p><br></p>
SU to issue its first short course e-certificates – and have a tree to show for it!https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8099SU to issue its first short course e-certificates – and have a tree to show for it!Operations and Finance<p>​​​<br><br></p><div>For the first time, Stellenbosch University will issue validated short course e-certificates this year, paving the way for others to follow suit. </div><div><br></div><div>According to Carol Kat, head of copyright, trademarks, and short courses at Innovus, the first short course e-certificates were issued in the week of 15 February 2021. She said this is the result of the institutional shift to a fully online environment for teaching and learning mechanisms due to pandemic lockdown conditions. An urgent need arose within the SU short course environment to implement electronic certification to address the high courier costs, loss of certificates and logistical and administrative aspects with regards to certification that have arose during the extended lockdown period.</div><div><br></div><div>In collaboration with SU’s IT and Procurement Divisions, the institutional Request for Information (RFI) process for Identification of a Digital Certification Partner for SU was initiated by SCD, IT and the Procurement Division at beginning of August 2020. The tender was awarded to Paradigm (based in Virginia; USA). To show their appreciation, Paradigm partnered with American Forest to have a beautiful Jack Pine tree planted in the Hiawatha National Forest and in the name of Stellenbosch University.</div><div><br><br><br></div><p><br></p>
SUNFin in replanning phase to determine smooth transition to going onlinehttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8100SUNFin in replanning phase to determine smooth transition to going onlineOperations and Finance<p>​​<br><br></p><div>The SUNFin project team has embarked on a detailed re-planning exercise to determine the time and effort required to complete key activities in the various project workstreams to prepare for a successful go live. As part of this re-planning exercise, the team will confirm the availability and capacity of critical financial resources needed for the project and key interdependencies with the SUNStudent project's timeline, while planned project work continues.  </div><div><br></div><div>In October 2020, the SUNFin project's go-live date was postponed from January 2021 to July 2021. Depending on the outcome of this re-planning exercise, the project team will determine whether the current go live date is still achievable.</div><div><br></div><div>According to Manie Lombard, Chief Director Finance, the SUNFin steering committee had to take cognisance of the project risks, highlighting a few important issues, such as the continued resource constraints that have prevailed since the beginning of the project. "Despite this project being a priority, staff working on SUNFin do not have the luxury of being dedicated to the project. The 2020 financial year-end process and external audit had to be completed successfully, to name but two of the many ongoing resource challenges we face."</div><div><br></div><div>According to Manie, the realignment of the Finance Division's organisational structure and roles and responsibilities remain a crucial focus for the finance leadership team.</div><div><br></div><div>"I am, however, confident that we will find solutions as we move forward. The project is one of SU's most important projects to date and our capable project team will ensure the successful implementation of the new financial system.</div><div><br><br><br></div><p><br></p>
Gustav receives NRF rating for Sport researchhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8101Gustav receives NRF rating for Sport researchOperations and Finance<div style="text-align:right;">​<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Gustav.png" alt="Gustav.png" style="margin:5px;" /><br></div><div>Dr Gustav Venter, Head of Maties Sport’s Centre for Sport Leadership, has been awarded a Y-rating by the National Research Foundation – a designation for promising early-career academics who have the potential to establish themselves as researchers within a five-year period after evaluation. </div><div><br></div><div>Gustave received his doctorate in history from Stellenbosch University in 2016, and his thesis explored the political dimensions of professional football as played in South Africa under apartheid. He has continued his research in the sport-political axis – an area which he believes offers fertile ground to further calibrate sport into its proper social and historical context in South Africa. This is particularly the case for sport codes outside the historical mainstream, such as chess, bodybuilding, and motor racing. His recent work has increasingly focused on the latter to expand the Centre for Sport Leadership’s research agenda – a key component of which entails analysing the evolving role of sport in South African society.</div><div><br><br></div><p>​<br></p>
SharkSafe recognised as a top ocean innovatorhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7985SharkSafe recognised as a top ocean innovatorInnovus <p>​​​​SharkSafe Barrier™, an Innovus spinout company from Stellenbosch University, was recognised by the World Economic Forum's (WEF)​ digital platform UpLink as one of its top ocean innovators.<br></p><p>UpLink, the WEF's digital platform for scaling innovation and driving progress toward sustainable development goals, unveiled its second cohort of ocean innovators on 22 January 2021. The platform aims to identify and highlight businesses such as SharkSafe PTY as a company with great potential to accelerate the United Nations' goals for sustainable development. This recognition was bestowed during the second Ocean Solutions Sprint supported by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); The Nature Conservancy (TNC); the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI); and the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT).</p><p>Stellenbosch University's Prof Conrad Matthee, one of the inventors of SharkSafe Barriers™, said UpLink enables next-generation mission-driven entrepreneurs and young innovators to join forces with a trusted community of leading organisations, experts, investors and changers to make a significant impact. "We are immensely proud that Sharksafe was chosen as one of eleven innovations that have the potential to address some of the most important current challenges in the marine environment."</p><p>SharkSafe Barrier™, the first eco-friendly technology that combines magnetic and visual stimuli to deter Shark species considered dangerous to humans, last year also won the prestigious NSTF South32's Lewis Foundation Green Economy award for outstanding contributions to science, engineering, technology and innovation in South Africa. The inventors of SharkSafe Barrier™, are Michael Rutzen, Dr Sara Andreotti, Dr Craig O'Connell and Prof Matthee. Dr Andreotti and Prof Matthee are from SU's Department of Botany and Zoology.</p><p>"Over the next few months, Sharksafe PTY will be further assisted by UpLink to increase the impact of the technology through mentorship, capacity building workshops, exposure and visibility, as well as introductions to potential investors, where applicable," said Prof Matthee. "Sharksafe has now formally joined a growing community of UpLink innovators benefiting from the platform."</p><p>Introducing the top innovators, the WEF said: "The ocean is our lifeline - its health is essential to our health. Finding and elevating promising ocean innovations wherever they may be, connecting them and helping them scale is crucial to ensure we protect one of our planet's most valuable assets. The WEF believes that these innovations have the potential to address some of the key opportunities in the ocean space today."</p><p>Anita Nel, Chief Director for Innovus, Stellenbosch University's commercialisation division that houses the university's technology transfer office, says since they have become involved in the commercialisation of SharkSafe, the project was spin out as a startup company and has grown tremendously. "The fact that the Technology Innovation Agency also invested in them in the past is a huge feather in their cap and evidence that SharkSafe is a well-run and innovative company that is attracting the attention of the world."​</p><p><br></p>