UAT Update: Next Steps

Steven Dew - 21 January 2021

Last week, President Flanagan announced that effective July 1, 2021, Greta Cummings, Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell, and Joe Doucet would be taking on the roles of interim college dean for the College of Health Sciences, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, and College of Social Sciences and Humanities, respectively. As they begin the process of developing and launching the new colleges, I want to give you an idea of what to expect over the next six months in terms of academic restructuring.  

One of the initial tasks will be to engage with faculty, staff, students and community in a process that will ultimately lead to the  development of a mission and vision statement for each of the colleges. The scope of a college provides it the opportunity to have a vision that is more specific and targeted than is possible for the institution as a whole and yet more comprehensive and complete than is possible for any single faculty. This will provide a unique opportunity for each college to promise and deliver a clear value and benefit for our students, our broader community, and Alberta. Of course, the vision must be developed collectively and through widespread consultation, so please stay tuned for opportunities to participate in that process.

Another early task will be to clarify the role of the college within our institutional structure. This will include developing a model for shared administrative services and a strategic plan for fostering interdisciplinary collaboration. The college deans will also work closely with the deans of Augustana, Campus Saint-Jean, and Faculty of Native Studies to ensure that our community-focused faculties are connected and  integrated into the larger vision for the University of Alberta for Tomorrow. 

May through June, logistical, operational, and change management planning will need to move to the fore, including staffing and space plans, web presence, and much more.

On July 1, the colleges will officially launch and we anticipate that many functions will be phased in over a one to two year period.

In addition to critical and extensive work to be done planning the establishment and launch of the colleges, SET continues to move forward quickly. With the major decision on academic restructuring now in place, the integration of academic and administrative restructuring will move ahead, with careful consideration of which functions and activities will be carried out at the institutional, college, and faculty level. Please watch the UAT website for updates and detailed information on activities and opportunities to be involved.

The next six months will include an enormous amount of challenging work, and we will continue to face uncertainties as we move through this period of unprecedented organizational change. At the same time, we will be working together to put in place the foundations that each college--and all faculties--will need to achieve their academic vision and potential, as well as administrative effectiveness. I am looking forward to working with you through this critical period of transformation.

Steve Dew 
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)