Action Plan Objective 3: Efficient Administration

Successful development and implementation of administrative efficiencies, such as streamlining payroll, simplifying financial and procurement processes, and modernizing records management, continues to be an ongoing project of the university. Many of these efforts also benefit the wider Campus Alberta network, with the U of A contributing expertise and leading collaboration and harmonization across Campus Alberta by building alliances, managing shared systems and agreements, sharing resources, and providing centralized services.

Going forward, the aim is to seek effective and efficient administrative changes not only centrally but across the institution that lead to the following: 
  • Consistency, Consolidation, Simplification

    March 2014 - Research Services Office (RSO) initiates process improvements based on the feedback received through an on-line Client Satisfaction Survey, which was completed by more than 200 individuals on campus in January and February. The survey feedback will also be used to identify areas for further enhancement of RSO services and processes.

    March 2014 - Vice-President (Research) Lorne Babiuk takes steps to ensure health research conducted at the University of Alberta is compliant with the Health Information Act and that the University’s Health Research Ethics Board retains its designation under the Health Information Act (HIA) and is authorized to continue to review and approve ethics protocols involving health information. The vice-president signs a Research Ethics Reciprocity Agreement with Alberta Health Services, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, Covenant Health and the University of Calgary. The vice-president also signs the Health Research Ethics Harmonization Data Sharing Agreement with Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions and the University of Calgary.

    March 2014 - The Offices of the Vice-President (University Relations) and the Vice-President (Facilities and Operations) work closely together to deliver a symposium on the Open Spaces Master Plan.

    March 2014 - The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Edmonton honours the University of Alberta with 2 awards for the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy. The first is the Certification of Building Excellence Award and the second is the prestigious The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) Award. The BOMA awards are the most prestigious and comprehensive in the building industry recognizing quality in buildings and rewarding excellence in building management. 

    April 2014 - The Office of the Vice-President (Research) begins the development of common master templates for agreements with various funding agencies and government departments, with the goal of expediting the negotiation of agreements. Both researchers and administrators will benefit from the improved efficiency of this new system.

    June 2014 - The Office of the Vice-President (Finance and Administration) provides common administrative services to manage core business needs for the U of A and and for all subscribing institutions. The office has received $10 million in funding to implement the Campus Alberta Unified Service Project.

    June 2014 - The Auditor General offers a highly favourable assessment of the university's financial management, which is a reflection of the institution's strong administrative effectiveness and efficiency, as well as its effective internal controls.

    June 2014 - The voluntary severance program, introduced in the fall of 2013, comes into effect. The entire university community wishes those who have participated in the program best wishes for their continued success in future endeavours.

    June 2014 - In order to reduce costs, the Office of the Senate decides to close its doors for one month each summer, from July 15 until Aug. 15. During that period the Office of University Relations takes in requests on behalf of the Senate.

    September 2014 - Risk Management Services introduces an initiative to increase compliance in the use of personal protective equipment. The initiative includes educational posters and emails as well as lab visits by inspectors. The initiative will increase awareness of laboratory safety and, it is expected, result in fewer injuries.

  • Digitization

    June 2014 – The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research begins the roll out of a new paperless admissions process. Almost 10,000 graduate student files have been digitized and made available departments across the institution.  Eventually all transactions relating to student records will be fully electronic.

    June 2014 - The Office of the Vice-President (Finance and Administration) continues to streamline IT infrastructure, projects completed or underway include intorducting a data warehouse, electronic transcripts, and payroll efficiencies.

    September 2014 – The Registrar’s Office (RO) introduces a new Electronic Documents and Records Management System (EDRMS) It is estimated that the EDRMS will save each of the 28 RO Admissions Advisors  up to three hours per day, freeing up more than 500 hours per month, and thus enabling Admissions Advisors to focus on other duties. 

    September 2014 - Grants 3.0 is launched. Consultation on the design of the new system included significant input from the research community as well as staff in Information Services and Technology and the Research Service Office (RSO).  The review of business processes and design plans included work on several issues, such as the Express Page setup, on-line forms, streamlined grants lifecycle, information on the Researcher Home Page, and automation of claims based invoicing. The Grants 3.0 project aims to improve the on-line project information available to the research community; to deliver a number of time-saving efficiencies for the RSO; and to measurably simplify or automate processes throughout the research grant lifecycle.  Some of the new enhancement include: improved tracking of research grants and contracts throughout the set up process that will be more intuitive to the research community; automation of a large volume of manual activities which will improve turnaround times and decrease errors; and improvements to the financial reporting process.