Support Service Template, Guide and List Released

Dear Unit Leaders,

The final version of the self-assessment form/template for support services, a guide to assist in its completion, and the list of support services are now available.

Shortly, the on-line version of the template will be available, as will central financial and personnel data for each unit. We released the MS Word version of the template now, so that the task of completing the templates may begin.

The Support Services List

The task force has interacted with many across campus regarding the support services list. Your input has been very helpful as we have strived to develop a list of support services (now approximately 400 in total) that will provide the task force with the information it needs and that will reflect the reality of service delivery in each unit. This has been a very challenging undertaking in light of the diversity of support services offered by the university, the variety in the scope and scale of similar services offered by different units, and the diversity of operational models that exist.

For all units, it is the desire of the task force to distinguish between activities that directly support the work of the unit head (e.g., secretarial and administrative support to the Dean, college executive/management meetings, etc.) and the support services provided to the unit, the university or externally. Accordingly, the task force has identified eleven support services (in addition to support of the unit head) that we view as more or less common to most academic units, and five support services (again in addition to support of the unit head) that we see as more or less common to most administrative support units. Many units offer additional support services unique to their units. Most units have been asked to describe in a single template those activities that directly support the work of the unit head (i.e., these activities are to be viewed collectively as a single support service) and in separate templates (the number varies among units based on input received) the support services provided to the unit, university or externally. We appreciate that units may want to apportion some activities to both direct support of the work of the unit head and to support services delivered to the unit, university or externally. When all is said and done, the task force needs to understand what support services are offered by each unit, the nature of each support service, what resources are expended in delivering a support service, and the demand for, and quality and cost effectiveness of, a support service.

The Self-Assessment Form (Template)

On the basis of what we learned from five pilot trials of the self-assessment form, and other considerations, the template has been modified from the draft version that was presented at the May 30th town hall and that was posted at transformus.usask.ca. The major changes have been a significant reduction in the word limits and modifications to the data tables. The reduced word limits are intended to encourage units to provide a “medium level” view of their support services and to reduce the amount of information that the task force will have to review. The on-line template will be available soon.

Please note that we still require contact information/NSIDs and UniFI org code information for support services in some units (please see our e-mail of June 9th). Please provide this information as soon as possible so that activation of the on-line template can proceed. If you wish to discuss the list of support services for your unit, please contact either co-chair.

The Guide

The guide is intended to assist you in completing the template, and lists some useful websites and contact information. It also contains answers to questions that we anticipate may arise during completion of the template.

Sincerely,
Kevin Schneider and Bob Tyler
Co-chairs, TransformUS Support Service Transformation Task Force

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