Six UniForum Questions, Answered

Have you noticed a new survey cropping up in your inbox lately? If so, you were probably selected for a sample group in UniForum. The…

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Have you noticed a new survey cropping up in your inbox lately? If so, you were probably selected for a sample group in UniForum. The first stage of this new program launched with a service effectiveness survey on November 6. 2018 marks the first time that the U of A has participated.

But what exactly is Uniforum? How does it work, and why are you getting emails about it? We sat down with Vice-President Gitta Kulczycki to find out.

Here are six questions about Uniforum, answered:

What exactly is UniForum?

UniForum is a benchmarking program focused on allowing us to identify what administrative services the university is providing really well in comparison to peer institutions, and also identifying areas that we may want to look at for making improvements.

The benchmarking lets us put our performance in context with similar institutions.

How does it work?

UniForum collects both satisfaction and resource effort data. So for all of the administrative services that we’re looking at across the university, it looks at: How satisfied are people with those services? And what are the resources we expend on delivering them?

One of the key things is how it looks at services: it’s about the end-to-end service. It’s not the evaluation of a particular unit — it’s an evaluation of how services are provided across the university.

Who is participating?

This program started in Australia and New Zealand approximately nine years ago, and then progressed to include some U.K. universities about three years ago, and more recently has been introduced in Canada. Some of our key Canadian peer institutions — UBC, University of Toronto, and McMaster — are all participating.

We have an opportunity to learn from other institutions who have been participating for longer periods. What did they do with the results and what improvements have they seen?

What’s an area the program might look at?

One example would be undergraduate student services. And that’s the reason this program offers us something unique: these services are integrated within the university. They’re partially delivered by the Dean of Students Office, the Registrar’s Office, as well as faculties and departments.

How will UniForum change the university?

This program gives us an opportunity to improve our services. How efficiently and effectively do we offer our services compared with approximately 50 institutions world-wide? We have an opportunity to focus how we prioritize and allocate funds to a range of administrative actitivies across the university.

How are we doing so far?

So far, our response rate has actually been slightly higher than other Canadian universities. So to those who have already responded: thank you!

If you received the survey and have not yet completed it, we strongly encourage you to do so. The more responses we receive, the more comprehensive our understanding will be regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of our support services.

Those who complete the survey will have their name entered into a draw for one of ten VISA gift cards valued at $50 each.

Questions? Contact