Changes to university leadership – a follow-up to yesterday’s announcement

Yesterday all members of the campus community received an announcement regarding the elimination of two associate vice-president positions as actions taken as part of TransformUS. Understandably, I and others have received questions on the specifics of the actions undertaken and the individuals affected. Many are wondering why the secrecy, why not name names or provide more details as to the reasons behind the actions?

Let me start by saying that there is no easy way to eliminate a position and no easy way to find out that you have lost your job. Out of respect for all affected, we consciously choose to limit the information we share to those who are immediately impacted by the changes as part of their position at the university. We are not trying to keep secrets or ignore the significant impact the eliminated employee has made to the university; instead, we are respecting the privacy of the individual. I can see that it is less clear when the position spans the university in terms of scope, but the principle of privacy remains uppermost in our minds. Any sharing beyond what I have described is at the discretion of the individual and the affected units.

You can expect to receive further information on upcoming changes as part of TransformUS when PCIP shares their recommended actions for consideration of our governing bodies and decisions that are within the discretion of our senior leadership team (including deans) with the campus community on or about May 1. I know many of you would like answers sooner. What I can say today is that PCIP is taking all available evidence in to consideration to ensure the recommendations and decisions are the best decisions for the future of our university. In doing this, we are guided by the principles and criteria we have set and announced previously. We will make clear the pattern and overall impact of changes to senior administration when we present our plan. We will not comment on individual personnel decisions.

I want to thank those who have brought forward their questions with regard to yesterday’s announcement as it has allowed me to clarify for the many more who may have been too afraid to ask. I encourage you to visit this blog and to bring matters like this to my and Greg’s attention so we can continue to answer questions and clarify rumours that are circulating in our community.

Brett

3 thoughts on “Changes to university leadership – a follow-up to yesterday’s announcement

  1. Thank you, Brett. Can you please clarify whether the two AVP workforce planning moves come off the books in this fiscal year? If not (and one presumes not) could you please fill in the blanks, so to speak? As you know, some members of the campus community are still smarting from the contractually obligated compensation to our former president. This might be a good space in which to explain briefly how such things work re: forward-looking budgets. Thanks.

  2. Hi Brett.

    It is indeed sad to hear news of job losses at all levels across campus. A question that you’ve perhaps been asked: I assume that there is some kind of severance for all such employees. May I ask how such arrangements vary, simply by percentage/period, at different levels? So, for instance, does a former employee at Level A receive, say, x% of salary for Y months, and does a former employee at Level B receive, say, n% of salary for Z months? I suppose that this is spelled out in collective agreements, and is therefore publicly available information, but I’d be interested to hear a generic answer on this, just out of curiosity.

    • Yes, as you indicate, severance is outlined in our employment/collective agreements and this information is available online at working.usask.ca/employmentagreements. Severance is not as simple as a formula and instead is based on clauses in the agreements that take in to account years of service and current salary rate.

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