Southern Africa Nazarene University recently welcomed a team of 13 library and information technology personnel from eight Nazarene higher education institutions to implement new library and student management systems. The team members are from the USA, Great Britain, Malawi, and South Africa.
During her welcoming remarks, SANU Vice Chancellor Winnie Nhlengethwa said the implementation of these two projects is a result of a dream of that began more than 10 years when Sharon Bull, library director at Northwest Nazarene University, spent her sabbatical studying the libraries of the Church of the Nazarene colleges, universities, and seminaries on the Africa Region. Among the findings in her research was the significant lack of library systems to support the cataloguing and tracking of items. Nhlengethwa went on to say the university is committed to offering quality Christian higher education that matches global standards to produce transformational leaders who can effectively impact communities across the globe.
Two years ago, Nazarene Education Commissioner Dan Copp committed to partner with Global Information Technology (IT) in identifying and supporting strategic software solutions for Nazarene institutions without adequate solutions such as student information systems and library systems. The International Board of Education procured both the library and student management systems software and supplies. The support is coupled with training of the librarians at SANU, Nazarene Theological College–Central Africa, and Nazarene Theological College–South Africa.
"The spirit of collaboration is a joy to watch," said Tammy Condon, IBOE administrative director. "By the end of the first week, the trainers are taking a backseat and it is the SANU, NTC–South Africa, and NTC–Central Africa librarians who are taking the initiative with the catalogue project, strategizing for their libraries, and dreaming the way forward for their schools, while the global library team is dreaming of how to deploy [the library system] on other regions globally."
Condon extended her appreciation to the vice chancellor for allowing SANU to pilot the Open Source Automated Library System and Open Community University Administrative System.
In response to the demand for distance and part-time education, the university is working to establish a Continuing Education Centre. Karen Jones-Porter will join SANU as director for continuing education with her husband, John Porter. The couple forms a strategic team to drive the establishment and roll-out of the continuing education programme. John will also assist in the establishment of the University Advancement and Church Relations Department in the university.
Karen is currently an adjunct associate professor at NNU, teaching Master of Business Administration courses. She also teaches at Trevecca Nazarene University in the Master of Organizational Leadership programme. Karen has also been a director of Adult & Professional Programs at NNU from 2009 to 2012. She holds a Doctor of Management in organizational leadership, Master of Arts in missiology, Master of Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in cross-cultural communications. Karen brings extensive experience in the teaching and facilitation of online courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
John was a minister in the Church of the Nazarene for 47 years before retiring in 2015. He has served on the Trevecca Nazarene University Board, District Ministerial Credentials Board, and District Advisory Board. He has been a district SDMI chairperson and assistant to the district superintendent in addition to serving many other community organisations.