In an e-mail to the campus community on Oct. 2, University of Saskatchewan President Ilene Busch-Vishniac outlined what steps TransformUS will go through over the coming months.
TransformUS is the program prioritization process which will adjust university operations to account for recent budgetary changes. TransformUS aims to create an additional $20 million to $25 million in permanent savings and to reallocate $5 million to programs and services deemed to be top priority.
The letter identifies the next three phases of the TransformUS process that will take place between October 2013 and May 2014. The phases are consultation and feedback, an analysis and implementation plan and decisions and action.
The consultation and feedback phase will begin when the TransformUS task forces turn in their reports to Busch-Vishniac on Nov. 30. Thus far, the task forces have worked to develop a prioritization model based on the university’s budgetary needs and feedback collected from the campus community. The task forces developed separate prioritization models for academic programs and support services.
The task forces’ reports are projected to be issued to the campus community on Dec. 9 in their original forms as long as the Nov. 30 deadline is met.
Feedback on these reports will be collected both online and at several town hall meetings scheduled throughout January. These town hall meetings will take place on Jan. 8 and 9, 2014 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in Convocation Hall and on Jan. 15 at a venue that has yet to be determined. The Jan. 15 meeting will be solely for students.
The consultation and feedback phase will end in February 2014, at which time the Provost Committee on Integrated Planning will move forward with creating an implementation plan. The PCIP will analyze the feedback gathered from the campus community to determine how prioritization goals will be implemented.
The PCIP’s implementation plan is expected to be finalized by April 2014.
The final phase of TransformUS will begin in May 2014. In the decisions and action phase, the PCIP’s implementation plan will be put into practice. According to the Oct. 2 e-mail, some decisions will be implemented quickly while others will take more time.
When necessary, decisions will be presented to the University Council, Senate and the Board of Governors for final approval with no timeline set to complete all goals.
Although the majority of university programs and services will be affected in some way by TransformUS, Busch-Vishniac said that it will not affect current students’ degrees.
“I want to assure you that all students currently enrolled in the affected programs will be a given an opportunity to complete these programs within a reasonable time frame,” Busch-Vishniac said in the e-mail.
The next TransformUS financial town hall meeting will take place on Nov. 5 in Convocation Hall. Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs Brett Fairbairn and Vice-President of Finance and Resources Greg Fowler will be available to answer questions.