The response has been excellent to the Umbrella Committee initiative to solicit ideas to rethink and re-imagine the university in ways that will make better use of our resources and talent. In the month that the website was open for suggestions, we received 345 submissions. These came from across our community: students, faculty, post-docs, and the many categories of support, contract and academic staff. The committees for the three main areas (relieving time pressure for faculty, streamlining processes, and pension and benefits) are poring through the submission to their respective areas.
Some immediate steps can be taken. For example, you may have seen a memo from VP Finance & Administration Phyllis Clark last week announcing online signing authority and travel expense claims. We will also move forward with a suggestion to the website that most desktop printers be eliminated from campus in favour of more cost-effective, multi-function printing stations within areas or departments (fractions of a penny per page vs pennies per page printed). These are three small steps that should translate into significant cost savings (printers) and the simplification of processes, saving valuable staff time. Other ideas will take longer to evaluate and implement.
As noted on Colloquy (the blog) and in Folio, in the interest of openness and to encourage more good ideas, the Umbrella Committee has asked its technical team to share the suggestions that have been submitted to the website. This is no small task. Due to the volume of suggestions, the full reporting will happen in two phases.
Here are the steps:
The website is open again until July 31 for additional suggestions.
The totals are broken down by category of submission and by type of submitter.
Summaries are written that group suggestions into several categories and that are illustrated by one or more representative comments submitted. Every person who submitted an entry has been asked for permission to share his/her idea with all identifying information removed (this is well underway; permissions are still coming in). The entries have been edited only to protect the confidentiality of the submitter.
All suggestions for which we’ve received permission to share anonymously will be added as soon as they can be edited to ensure confidentiality.
To read the high-level summaries, see the statistics on the submissions, or submit an idea, the site has been reactivated. Since this is a conversation for the university community, the site does again require CCID authentication.
Again, thank you for sharing your passion and creativity,
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)