Taskforce Identifies Gwenna Moss Centre Programs as “Candidate for Phase Out”




The University of Saskatchewan is currently engaged in a program prioritization process, known as TransformUS.  Two task forces were struck in April 2013 – one looking at academic programs and one looking at support services.  The programs of the Gwenna Moss Centre were analysed along with nearly 400 other support services representing every aspect of the university – from groundskeeping to human resources, from financial management to library services.  The support services task force consisted of 6 tenured faculty members, 10 professional staff members and 2 students.

The task force grouped programs into “quintiles” with descriptors:

  1. Candidate for enhanced resourcing
  2. Maintain with current resourcing
  3. Retain with reduced resourcing
  4. Reconfigure for efficiency/effectiveness
  5. Candidate for phase out, subject to further review

The programs (major functions) of the Gwenna Moss Centre were evaluated as follows:

  • Director’s Office – quintile 5 – Candidate for phase out, subject to further review.
  • Administrative & Operational Support – quintile 5 – Candidate for phase out, subject to further review.
  • Curriculum Development & Instructional Design – quintile 5 – Candidate for phase out, subject to further review.
  • Educational Development  – quintile 5 – Candidate for phase out, subject to further review.

This was a very surprising result for the leadership and staff of the Gwenna Moss Centre.  We wish to point out that this report of the task force is only the first step in the program prioritization process and that the report is presented as advice to the President and Provost, who will be making decisions regarding our future in the next few months.  The University is now engaged in a process of feedback and consultation (through January 31, 2014).

Public comments  are invited at http://words.usask.ca/transformus/reports/sstreport/ or you can post a comment below.  Private comments can be emailed to jim.greer@usask.ca or nancy.turner@usask.ca.

The full task force report is publicly available at http://words.usask.ca/transformus/files/2013/12/Support-Services-Report.pdf.

Decisions regarding the fate and future of the Gwenna Moss Centre and its programs will be forthcoming in the next few months.

Meantime the staff of the GMCTE will be continuing with business as usual.  We believe that the functions we perform for the campus are necessary and valuable.  All of our planned programming for the upcoming term will continue including:

  • Courses for faculty and graduate students
  • Our workshop and presentation series
  • Faculty teaching award programs
  • Indigenous Voices faculty and staff development gatherings,
  • Our SoTL symposium will happen in early May
  • Our curriculum innovation team will continue working with academic units as usual
  • Our instructional designers will be offering an online course in teaching with technology and running the course design institute in May
  • Consideration of funding requests to the Curriculum Innovation fund and Experiential Learning fund will continue

All commitments made to graduate students, faculty and academic units for consultations, curriculum support, course design and development, will be honoured as we work with University leaders to re-imagine our future.

Again, we invite your feedback.

5 thoughts on “Taskforce Identifies Gwenna Moss Centre Programs as “Candidate for Phase Out”

  1. It has been my long experience at the university that good teaching has been a rarity. And what would one expect as most new faculty postions are filled with people who have had no training in teaching and little or no experience. University should be about educating students and that means good teaching, not just good research and publishing. The Gwenna Moss Centre has helped solve this problem. We must keep the Centre, at least, the key components of its programs so we can assist new faculty to become effective teachers.

  2. Gwenna Moss and staff have been very supportive of students and helped ITEP with their question and answer panel to support our first year students. This help ensured that many students were successful and ITEP has been modeling the ULC and the centre in providing supports to it’s students. Our students have made use of the workshops and have benefited from the programs and it would be a huge loss to the university to see the centre closed when they provide a valuable service to the students.

  3. All the teaching expertise resides in the academic Departments. Being at this University for five years, I have not seen anything useful for my students or myself come out of GMCTE. I have seen (and had to delete) a lot of mass emails about activities of rather questionable value. The latter apparently is the opinion of the task force, too. I agree that GMCTE should be phased out. It would be more optimal if the resources were distributed between departments, which know exactly what students need, but are rather short in resources. The administration has been repeatedly informed of the latter, but could not do anything so far. Maybe this is the time.

  4. Dear Jim and GMCTE faculty and staff, As far as I have read, the IP3 has continued to identify the importance and central role of teaching to the University of Saskatchewan mission. It would be shortsighted indeed to see GMCTE phased out given the essential support provided to new and experienced faculty alike. (Thank you!) As others have said, PhD training has a strong research focus in many Colleges but support for delivering and planning excellent learning opportunities is heavily supported by Gwenna Moss faculty and staff….not to mention the leadership they provide in the scholarship of teaching and learning. The University of Saskatchewan should celebrate our excellent supports for innovative teaching and learning (GMCTE, ITS, CCDE) that are part of the culture that distinguish us amongst the U15. It would be unfortunate indeed if we phased out these essential support structures.

  5. The GSR 989: Philosophy and Practice of University Teaching provided by the Gwenna Moss Centre was invaluable for me as a graduate student. It helped to shape me as a lecturer, and made more confident and knowledgeable in teaching. The staff of the Gwenna Moss Centre is always available for support and consultation about best teaching practices, and I believe the Centre plays an important role in developing and sustaining effective teaching at the University.

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