University of Saskatchewan to launch "TransformUS" initiative in response to projected deficit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Jan. 11, 2013 2013-01-04-OTHER President Ilene Busch-Vishniac has announced that the University of Saskatchewan will be undergoing a program prioritization process titled TransformUS in efforts to look at ways to reallocate university resources in the face of a projected $44.5-million deficit by 2016.

"There are important steps we will need to take as a university community to ensure the University of Saskatchewan will continue to thrive and maintain its path as one of Canada's most distinguished universities", said Busch-Vishniac. "Now is the time to undertake a comprehensive effort to examine the way in which our resources are being invested."
Program prioritization, a method formulated by higher education consultant and president emeritus of the University of Northern Colorado, Robert C. Dickeson, is a proven process universities across North America have used for reallocating resources in tough times. By reviewing all academic and administrative programs supported by the operating budget simultaneously and equally against stated criteria, informed decisions can be made to invest resources, make no changes, or eliminate or reduce programs or activities which rank as having lower priority according to these criteria.
Through this initiative, two task forces, one focused on academic programs and comprised of members drawn from University Council, its committees and faculty at large, and a second task force focused on support service programs and comprised of faculty administrative managers and staff, will be selected. After consultation with the campus community to set the criteria all programs will be evaluated against, these task forces will spend 2013 reviewing and ranking all academic and administrative programs on campus with a full report being complete for November 30, 2013.
Following receipt of the report from the task forces, a formal process for the review of the final report will take place. This process will involve a review of the final report by the University Council and the Board of Governors. On behalf of the university's leadership, the Provost's Committee on Integrated Planning (PCIP) will develop an action plan and an implementation timetable.
Busch-Vishniac is confident undertaking this process will lead to transformative change at the University of Saskatchewan.
"Let me be clear, our primary motivation in introducing this new process is cost-cutting. This means that some valuable academic and support programs and administrative services will be lost through this initiative. Nevertheless this process is necessary in order to ensure the university as a whole has the resources it needs to thrive and grow to achieve our goals sustainably in the future."
TransformUS is targeted to achieve $20 - 25 million in savings annually once fully implemented. Of this, a minimum of $5 million will be made available for new investments in the highest-ranking academic programs and administrative services.
For more information and updates throughout the project, please visit
For more information, contact:
Gillian Galambos
Communications Co-ordinator
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-6559

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