UAT oversight

Service Excellence Steering Committee (SESC)

The Service Excellence Steering Committee (SESC) provides oversight of, and guidance to, the SET program and acts as the conduit between the SET Program Office and existing governance bodies at the university, including the President's Executive Committee—Strategic (PEC-S), which has responsibility and accountability for the overall SET program.

While final decision-making authority rests with the Board of Governors, with due consideration of the recommendation of the General Faculties Council (GFC), the process of developing proposals and recommendations for change will be a collective community effort.

Led by the Vice-President (University Services & Finance), SESC membership is drawn from senior academic and administrative staff to ensure that all SET initiatives incorporate a range of university perspectives. SESC works in parallel with the institutional efforts and the initiatives related to structural changes to academic units.


  • Chair: Todd Gilchrist — Vice-President (University Services & Finance)
  • Steve Dew — Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
  • Melissa Padfield — Vice-Provost and University Registrar
  • Andrew Sharman — Vice-President (Facilities & Operations)
  • Simaan AbouRizk — Dean, Faculty of Engineering
  • Jennifer Tupper — Dean, Faculty of Education
  • Tanya Wick — Associate Vice-President, Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment
  • Ria Ames — Associate Vice-President, Shared Services
  • Joe Doucet — Interim Dean, College of Social Sciences & Humanities
  • Greta Cummings — Interim Dean, College of Health Sciences
  • Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell — Interim Dean, College of Natural and Applied Sciences


  • Rob Munro — Executive Lead, Service Excellence Transformation
  • Brian Stewart — Program Director, Service Excellence Transformation
  • Deborah Williams — Executive Director • Disclosure, Assurance and Institutional Research
  • Kerrie Johnston — College General Manager (SSH) • College of Social Sciences & Humanities
  • Julie Naylor — College General Manager (NAS) • College of Natural and Applied Sciences
  • Susan Lynch — College General Manager (HS) • College of Health Sciences
  • Martin Coutts — Associate Vice-President Finance, Procurement and Planning
  • Charleen Schmidt — Chief of Staff • Vice-President (University Services & Finance)
  • Michael Rausch — Manager, Continuous Improvement • Institutional Management, Analytics and Data Warehouse

SET executive sponsors

To ensure expertise and knowledge within each of the functional workstreams, academic and administrative leaders have partnered and taken on the role of sponsors to help guide the change to a new organizational model.

The role of the sponsors includes:

  • Critically and objectively analyzing the portfolio for opportunities and efficiencies.
  • Seeking ideas through consultation and staff expertise.
  • Considering all opportunities openly and constructively, learning from each other and from staff.

Each sponsor works with their co-sponsor to review their respective workstream or functional area, with support from staff in the SET Program Office. The sponsors also seek guidance from staff subject matter experts to help define specific processes, activities, and services in each area.

List of dean and administrative sponsors for each functional work stream
Initiative/workstream Dean sponsor Admin sponsor
Initiative 1: Administrative transformation Greta Cummings Tanya Wick
1. Research Admin Steve Patten Walter Dixon
2. Information Technology Kyle Murray Mike MacGregor
3. Human Resources Demetres Tryphonopoulos Tanya Wick
4. Student Services Barbara Billingsley Melissa Padfield
5. Finance Brenda Hemmelgarn Martin Coutts
6. External Engagement Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell Elan MacDonald
Initiative 2: Procurement Joe Doucet Martin Coutts
Initiative 3: Space and facilities Stan Blade Andrew Sharman

Academic Restructuring Working Group (ARWG)

Led by Provost Steven Dew, the ARWG developed recommendations for structural changes to faculties and departments, and identified processes and strategies for achieving these recommendations. Recommendations included proposals to create, merge, close, or re-profile faculties, departments, divisions, centres or institutes. The ARWG completed its work in December 2020.

Their work can be found here: Interim Report | Preliminary ScenariosRevised Proposals

The ARWG was comprised of faculty, student, and leadership representatives:

  • Steve Dew — Provost and Vice-President (Academic) — Chair
  • Walter Dixon — Associate Vice-President (Research and Priority Initiatives) — Co-chair 
  • Joel Agarwal — President, Students' Union
  • Kathleen Brough — Senior Administrative Officer, Provost & (Vice-President Academic)
  • Ken Cadien — Chair, Chemical and Materials Engineering Department
  • Joseph Doucet —  Dean, Alberta School of Business
  • David Eisenstat — Chair, Oncology Department
  • Nadir Erbilgin — Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences
  • Edith Finczak — Senior Financial Officer
  • Bob Haennel — Dean, Faculty of Rehabilitation
  • Tammy Hopper — Vice-Provost (Programs)
  • Shalene Jobin — Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies
  • Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell — Dean, Faculty of Science
  • Brooke Milne — Vice Provost and Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research
  • Christina Rinaldi — Professor, Faculty of Education
  • Geoffrey Rockwell — Director, Kule Institute for Advanced Study
  • Wendy Rodgers — Deputy Provost, Provost & Vice-President (Academic)
  • Michelle Strong — Director, Faculty Relations 
  • Marc Waddingham — President, Graduate Students' Association