Over the course of 2013, the University of Saskatchewan is undertaking a program prioritization process called, TransformUS. What does this mean? TransformUS is a simultaneous and comprehensive review of all academic programs and academic and administrative support services that use university resources. Based on results, decisions may be made to invest resources in our top priority programs and services, make no changes, or eliminate or reduce programs or services which rank as having lower priority according to these criteria.
All colleges, schools and administrative units are participating in TransformUS to ensure all resources are aligned with the university’s most important priorities. Although 60 per cent of programs and services will be prioritized in categories that may indicate reduced resources, reconfiguration or elimination, our goal is $20-25 million in permanent savings, or approximately five per cent of our total operating budget. In addition, $5 million will be reallocated to our top priority programs and services that would benefit from increased resources.
The result of the changes we undertake will be a stronger university—more focused, more accountable, and ultimately more successful in fulfilling our mission of teaching and research, and our priorities such as research intensity and Aboriginal engagement.
What is the process?
The president announced in January 2013 that the University of Saskatchewan would undertake a program prioritization initiative. TransformUS is comprised of the following phases:
1) Task force prioritization – March to November 2013: Two task forces will be responsible for preparing a report under the sponsorship of the provost and vice-president academic and the vice-president finance and resources. The Academic Program Transformation Task Force will set criteria and review all academic programs offered through the university. The Support Service Transformation Task Force will set criteria and review the administrative support programs both within the academic units and administrative units. The task forces will each provide a report to the president by November 30, 2013 outlining their recommendations. These recommendations will then need to be reviewed prior to final decisions being made.
2) Consultation and feedback – December 9, 2013 to January 31, 2014: The president will provide the reports to the campus community on December 9, kicking off eight weeks of listening to you, the campus community. Several opportunities will be provided to share your reactions to the reports, including town halls and online feedback options. We encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to share your thoughts and concerns.
3) Analysis and implementation plan – February 2014 to April 2014: The Provost’s Committee on Integrated Planning (PCIP) will work with leaders of the university to analyze all possible decisions and the impact of these decisions on other areas of the university, to ensure we are making evidence-informed decisions. At the conclusion of this phase, an implementation plan will be developed in coordination with unit leaders that will outline decisions and how they will be coordinated and implemented. All possible decisions which may form part of this implementation plan will be carefully considered to ensure they are the best decisions for the future of the university. The plan will be shared with the university community in late April.
4) Decisions and action (coordinated) – May 2014 and beyond: Decisions will be implemented through the normal University of Saskatchewan governance procedures beginning May 1, 2014. We expect there will be some decisions the university can implement immediately, while others may take until the end of the planning cycle – April 2016 – and beyond to see full implementation.
Download a print friendly About TransformUS fact sheet or visit www.usask.ca/finances for more information.