U of S launches Red Tape Commission to streamline processes and improve efficiencies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 12, 2013 2013-04-08 Saskatoon - One of the overarching goals of the University of Saskatchewan's third integrated plan is to improve the efficiency of program and service delivery, and to that end, a new commission was created to cut through the red tape.

The mandate of the five-person commission is "to remove barriers for people at the sharp end of the system," said Beth Bilson, professor of law and chair of the commission. The intention is to streamline processes and procedures "that take too much time, are unclear or require consultation with a lot of people before you know what to do."
Bilson explained that one step the commission is taking is a survey of "the people in charge of various systems like, for example, research services or student services, who are in a good position to point us in the direction of things we might want to look at." The goal is to identify red tape that is irritating or burdensome, particularly in the areas of teaching and research. The commission will then do a bit of investigating and make suggestions for reform, or point out who should be responsible for refining processes.
At the same time, the committee will be soliciting suggestions from all students, staff and faculty about their frustrations with a particular piece of red tape. A website for this purpose is in the works. While nobody is overly fond of red tape, Bilson cautioned the commission's role is not to eliminate all bureaucracy, some of which is necessary for the institution to operate.
This kind of examination is worthwhile in any system, Bilson continued. "In any big institution, a lot of these things arose because somebody decided something needed to be kept track of … and that's the kind of thing we're looking for, things for which there isn't sufficient rationale or that aren't working very well."
Joining Bilson on the commission are Dale Ward and Marek Majewski from the Department of Chemistry, John Rigby from the Edwards School of Business and Jim Handy from the Department of History.
Bilson said the commission expects to submit a report to the university provost by the spring of 2014 about streamlining bureaucracy at the U of S. Success, she said, would be "that we can either identify things and succeed in persuading someone to change them or provide rationale for why that red tape has to stay in place."
For more information, contact:
Michael Robin
Research Communications Specialist
(306) 966-1425

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