Academic Leaders Task Group

Launched in June 2021, the Academic Leaders Task Group (ALTG) was charged with undertaking a review of academic leadership roles in the context of the U of A's new academic structure to understand how to best deploy one of the university's most critical resources: our professors. This included the number, location and responsibilities of these academic leaders at the department, faculty, college and institutional levels.

The task group's two core objectives were:

  • To sustain strong, strategic and effective leadership with the appropriate number of professors and a harmonization of roles, service levels and functions (recognizing that there are unique aspects in every discipline that must be considered). 
  • To explore approaches to decreasing the number of academics in leadership roles by 25 per cent.

On November 4, 2021, Provost Steven Dew released the ALTG's report of its analysis. Please send comments and feedback to

Read Provost Dew's Update Read the ALTG Report

In February, 2022, the group moved forward with an approach that aligns academic leaders primarily at the faculty level and allocates them on the basis of key drivers of activity, such as number of students, courses, research dollars and grants.

Read more in this update »

ALTG Membership

  • Provost (Chair) — Steve Dew
  • VP (Research & Innovation) — Aminah Robinson 
  • 1 College Dean — Greta Cummings
  • 2 Faculty Deans — Steve Patten, Simaan AbouRizk
  • Vice-Provost and Dean of FGSR — Brooke Milne
  • 1 Chair — Narmin Kassam (Department of Medicine) 
  • 1 Associate Dean (Research) — David Bressler (ALES)
  • 2 Associate Deans (Graduate) — Doug Gleddie (Education), Dianne Tapp (Nursing)*
  • 1 Associate Chair (Undergraduate) — Jaymie Heilman (History and Classics)
  • 1 Associate Chair (Graduate) — Michael Serpe (Chemistry)
  • 1 College General Manager — Julie Naylor (Natural and Applied Sciences) 
  • 1 Faculty General Manager — Yvonne Norton (Education) 
  • Students' Union President — Rowan Ley 
  • Graduate Students' Association President — Anas Fassih

*1 representative from each of a departmentalized and non-departmentalized faculty

ALTG Terms of Reference

ALTG Objectives and Principles

  1. Decisions should be data-driven and support our commitment to excellence and competitiveness in our core areas of academic programming, research and service
  2. Establish a consistent approach to academic leadership roles across Colleges, Faculties and Departments
  3. Ensure that administrative aspects of the leadership roles are supported by non-academic staff, within the approved operating model
  4. Streamline leadership needs so that the total number of academic leaders is reduced by 25 per cent
  5. Define responsibilities of each leadership role, ensuring that each responsibility is one that must have a professor to execute
  6. Align roles at each level with its primary responsibility based on the authority matrix. 
  7. Wherever possible, elevate the level of the role to achieve economies of scale and greater coordination across the institution
  8. Allocate number of leaders reflecting relevant drivers for the particular responsibility
  9. The location of administrative staff (under SET) must resonate with the location of academic leaders performing a complementary function

Introduction to the ALTG