Service Excellence Transformation (SET)

The Service Excellence Transformation (SET) initiative focuses on administrative restructuring, working in parallel with the Academic Restructuring Working group (ARWG) to complete a full transformation of the University of Alberta. The role of SET is to transform institutional business processes, units and tasks, with a concentration on the following streams of work:

  • Examining administrative functions, whether done centrally or in the faculties
  • Redesigning services and processes, with a focus on achieving economies of scale and specialization
  • Redesigning procurement practices, including consolidation of suppliers and implementation of a strategic procurement framework
  • Reviewing our current approach to space and facilities and accelerate plans to use space and facilities more efficiently

Current Status

The Service Excellence Steering Committee (SESC) and the SET Program Office have been exploring various frameworks for a new administrative operating model. A blended, hybrid operating model framework has progressed to a more detailed design phase.


The SET initiative has five implementation priorities:

  1. Commitment to taking urgent action

    The SET Program started quickly and is focusing on simplifying processes and improving service experience while undertaking detailed operating and organizational design work.

  2. Genuine openness to thinking differently 

    We are committed to working with leaders and staff to solve the problems that exist and build a solution collaboratively that sets the university up for long term success.

  3. A transparent consultation process

    We are establishing a robust change management and consultation strategy led by the SET Program Office to ensure the approach is transparent and sustainable.

  4. Entire university engagement 

    The SET Program Office and leadership will communicate frequently and openly, addressing known challenges and creating an inclusive space for meaningful engagement throughout the process.

  5. Regular progress evaluation

    The transformation process will be regularly evaluated against agreed criteria and supported by clear metrics.

SET administrative restructuring town hall

For an overview of the Service Excellence Transformation (SET) initiative, please watch the town hall on administrative restructuring hosted by President Bill Flanagan, Gitta Kulczycki (Vice President Finance & Administration) and Rob Munro (SET Executive Lead).


September 2020

  • Re-engage with leaders and functional teams to map process impact assessments and transition plans (continues into October 2020)

October 2020

  • PEC-S and the Board of Governors review an operating model
  • When approved, it will be announced to the university community
  • Begin high-level administrative organizational design

November – December 2020

  • Detailed planning of the implementation of the new operating model

January 2021 – March 2021

  • Implementation of the new operational model begins

Throughout 2021

  • Functional review teams working across the university develop and implement new processes and the transaction processing hub, drive service culture, and embed the administrative operating model
Engagement with the U of A community will happen throughout the process.


The Service Excellence Steering Committee (SESC) and Project Team includes representatives from leadership, as well as human resources and organization design specialists.

See SET members »