University of Saskatchewan

U of S Reports


Priority Area 3: Working Together

Accomplishments are grouped by commitment area and include the activities led by colleges, units and commitment leaders. The 20 commitments are 20 areas identified in the second integrated plan where the university, as a whole, expects to see progress.

Collaboration between Academic and Non-Academic Units

The University of Saskatchewan will encourage academic and non-academic units to work together in more integrated, flexible and decentralized ways.

Increasingly academic and non-academic units will need to come together to partner in genuine ways to achieve mutual goals. Examples include:

  • commitment leader model recognized by internal and external stakeholders as a highly successful means to encourage collaboration
  • all commitment leaders serving as a resource group specifically for the Collaboration between Academic and Non-Academic Units commitment
  • increased consultation across campus as a result of the commitment leader model that have identified systemic barriers and success factors that prevent or support collaboration
  • development of a theoretical framework for collaboration that will provide an evidence-based approach to recommendations made to senior leaders
  • development of mechanisms to ensure collaboration between administrative and academic units, including:  
    • e-learning and distributive learning to support the Masters of Nursing program (Nursing, CCDE, EMAP and ITS)
    • liaison program (University Library and various programs/formats)
    • shared communications specialists/officers positions (University Advancement and various colleges)
    • college staff awareness of differing needs of international students (Kinesiology and International Students Office)
    • training to increase deans’ knowledge of development (University Advancement and Deans’ Council)
    • internal controls (Financial Services Division and college/administrative unit financial officers)
    • initial work to expand and improve off-campus and distributed learning (Centre for Continuing and Distance Education and several colleges)
    • exploration of joint projects between Workplace Safety and Environmental Protection, the Office of Sustainability and the School of Environment and Sustainability
    • development of a online curriculum vitae (CV)  management system for faculty (ITS and several colleges)
    • development of new college tabs and associated services in PAWS (ITS, Arts and Science, Edwards School of Business, Education, Medicine)
    • “Older and Wiser? The Future of Pension Policy” conference (Vice-President Finance and  Resources, Financial Services Division, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy)
    • internship position in Campus Safety for students in Aboriginal justice and criminology program
    • multi-administrative unit support teams (planning, financial, human resources, communications) for colleges and administrative units to assist in the management of the $10 million permanent operating budget adjustment process

Leadership and Career Development

The University of Saskatchewan will support programs aimed at encouraging leadership and career development among faculty, staff and students.

We need to do a better job of nurturing internal talent, mentoring faculty and staff to perform at their best, and acknowledging the important contributions made. Examples include:

  • leadership development program for staff and faculty of the University Library
  • funding for student leadership programming
  • a deans’ workshop series focusing on leadership and development
  • improved staff manuals and guides, professional development and faculty mentorship programs within the College of Arts and Science
  • skill development series providing university-specific, focused development for front-line supervisors
  • expanded participation in Leadership Conference 2011 steering committee
  • leadership programming for high school students through the Diefenbaker Canada Centre involving faculty members from the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy

Engagement in Governance and Decision-Making

The University of Saskatchewan will enhance participatory decision-making, both in effectiveness and timeliness, thereby building collegiality and transparency of governance structures.

We will encourage structural and procedural changes and the accompanying cultural shifts, under the guidance of the principles of subsidiarity, accountability for results, effectiveness and efficiency. Examples include:

  • a full governance review for the College of Arts and Science
  • realignment of the College of Nursing administrative structure along geological lines to allow for improved engagement with health and community partners throughout the province
  • an oversight committee for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital
  • establishment of the PCIP Advisory Committee to provide advice on the completeness and decision-readiness of proposals before they are submitted to PCIP for consideration
  • ‘Introduction to Accounting’ courses offered for non-accounting/financial staff to address knowledge gaps and improved financial decision-making
  • a draft document entitled ‘Principles of Program Approval’ designed to streamline the approval process for new graduate programs
  • establishment of the Council of Health Science Deans to provide administrative leadership for health sciences educational programming and research and achieve the priority outcomes of the Academic Health Sciences facility
  • early thoughts on developing a communications plan for University Council
  • improvement of the governance pages of both the university's home page and the university secretary page
  • new/revised policies being undertaken:  admission, transfer credit, scholarly integrity,
  • clarification of respective roles of students, instructors and institutions through the Learning Charter
  • new procedures for selection of chancellor
  • new criteria for University Senate membership organizations 
  • continued work by the Board of Governors to enhance governance processes (new policies on board member responsibilities, board education and development, guidelines for selection of chair and vice-chair)
  • review of the notice of intent template for new programs

Responsive and Flexible Policies and Processes

The University of Saskatchewan will call on academic units to continue developing flexible and collaborative approaches in programs, research, administration, and in collegial matters including appointments.

Making a commitment to collaboration and interdisciplinarity has implications for many University processes and communications. Such goals cannot be achieved by unilateral action: they are achieved through conversation, and by cultivating openness, civility, and the practice of holding each other accountable. Activities include:

Sustainability as a Shared Challenge

In both its intellectual life and its operational activities, the University of Saskatchewan will address the great issues of our time, including sustainability, and it must do so in a collaborative way.

An engaged 21st century university has a special role to play in mediating the dialogue of environment and economy, in creating and disseminating knowledge needed by all parties in current debates, and in modeling environmental as well as social and economic sustainability in our own programs and practices. Examples include:

  • food composting and energy savings introduced to Marquis Hall and other campus food outlets
  • a sustainable purchasing guide developed listing products, suppliers and services offering the best value with the lowest environmental and social impact
  • energy awareness training sessions available to anyone on campus
  • development of a Green Computing Guide to help members of the campus community make environmentally informed choices in selecting and using information and communication technology
  • continuation of the campus-wide lighting replacement and retrofit program
  • new sustainability liaison position hired within Facilities Management Division to work with departments to assess existing practices and facilitate sustainability initiatives*
  • engagement of the campus community in creating a definition, mission and vision for sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan as the first step in creating a campus sustainability plan
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Designs (LEED) Gold Certification of Law Building
  • Review of LEED principles applied to new construction to ensure appropriate sustainable methodologies are being incorporated into capital projects
  • College of Pharmacy and Nutrition implementation the first Health, Safety and Environment Management System at the University, and completion of the assessment process
  • $100 discount for colleges and departments that purchase environmentally-friendly laptop and desktop computer systems

*supported by the Academic Priorities Fund

Engagement with External Partners

The University of Saskatchewan will actively engage a wide variety of external partners to support mutually-beneficial goals and the priorities outlined in this plan.

We need to constructively partner with a wide variety of external agencies to achieve the educational and scholarly goals we set for ourselves. Examples include:

Local and Provincial Partners

  • downtown campus for the Edwards School of Business opened, made possible through a partnership with donor K. Nasser*
  • partnership established between the U of S, City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Government and Meridian Development Ltd. to build a new undergraduate student residence
  • Collaborated with the Saskatoon Health Region, the City of Saskatoon as well as public and separate school boards to promote a coordinated H1N1 pandemic response
  • Operational principles established and agreed on for the two campuses (U of S and U of R) of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
  • WCVM and provincial Ministry of Agriculture co-fund the Prairie Diagnostic Services located on the U of S campus 
  • partnership with Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing to establish Forensic Behavioural Sciences Research Group  
  • College of Arts and Science, Division of Science collaborated with Pleasant Hill School and the Saskatoon Public School Division to offer weekly science instruction to Grades 4 and 5 students
  • Promotion of clinical research in partnership with the Saskatoon Health Region
  • realignment of the College of Nursing  leadership structure to support  geographical representation and  improved engagement with health and community partners across the province
  • collaboration with the city and provinces’ arts and culture organizations, business and community leaders, and the University of Regina in order to realize innovative new research, programming, and facilities for the fine and performing arts
  • collaboration with the City of Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan Arts Board and local organizations to jointly host information events open for the arts and culture community, including the Sir Ken Robinson lecture
  • initiation of the Sid Speaks Alumni Speaker, an outreach event hosted by Arts and Science students
  • meeting monthly with the Saskatoon Health Region on the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan project to ensure collaboration from both parties
  • development of a pool of pre-qualified external human resources consultants to supplement the services available on-campus
  • meeting with municipal policing agencies in the Saskatoon region to share problems, concerns and solutions
  • establishment of the City-University Task Force on Sustainability Initiatives which includes the School of Environment and Sustainability, Office of the Vice-President Research, the Office of Sustainability, and the College of Engineering along with representatives from the City of Saskatoon

*supported by the Academic Priorities Fund

National Partners

  • WCVM and the Public Health Agency of Canada to position the WCVM in the national public health agenda
  • continuing work through the Canadian Pacific Partnership Program in Aboriginal Community Development in the Rural and Urban Planning Program

International Partners

  • partnership with industry leaders, Google, IBM and Apple as part of a growing career fair for computer science students
  • expansion of outreach and engagement opportunities internationally i.e. Uganda, Ethiopia, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago
  • partnership with governments of Saskatchewan and the Philippines and educational institutions in the Philippines to develop appropriate educational, professional practice and research opportunities in nursing