SET and the Student Experience

A Service Excellence Transformation (SET) primer.


As an alumnus of the University of Alberta, this university means a lot to me. I remember the great bonds forged during late nights studying, and how everyone was happy when their friends and peers were successful. Now as the Executive Lead for the Service Excellence Transformation (SET) project, I have the privilege of seeing firsthand how the transformations we are making will make the university even better. This will be the first in a series of articles about SET and the student experience, and how the changes we are making will improve your education and student experience. We're doing everything we can to get to the end of this transformation quickly while minimizing disruptions to our students' experience, which is very important to us.

What is restructuring?

In 2020, the university's leadership created the University of Alberta for Tomorrow (UAT) initiative, which includes restructuring the academic and administrative structures of the university.

Academic restructuring involves reimagining how faculties and disciplines are organized. In December, the Board of Governors approved the college model, a creative new academic model that preserves faculty identity and fosters the expansion of interdisciplinary research, programming, and community engagement. Your program and degree will not be affected by this change. This change means fewer administrative leaders at the top and more instructors in the classroom. 

The Service Excellence Transformation (SET) program leads administrative restructuring and involves redesigning administrative structures to focus on our core mission of excellence in teaching, research, learning, and community engagement. SET is about transforming how we do our work—and choosing what work is truly necessary—so we can continue to provide high-quality services. This will enable academic staff to focus on the frontline delivery of our mission, rather than unit-level administration; reset our administrative structures to be more consistent and student-focused; and even revitalize the university culture.

What changes will administrative restructuring result in?

One crucial component of administrative restructuring is evolving the student services offered at the university. This new ecosystem will lead to more direct access to services, more accurate answers to questions, and advisors who have more time to focus on helping you.

In the short term, we will be launching the Student Service Centre before the start of the Fall 2021 term. The new Student Service Centre is where you will be able to find the information you need to access the array of services offered at the university and get timely answers to your questions. Starting in July, we will be implementing several projects to improve student experience. Check out the SET student services workstream page where you can find updates as they are released as well as answers to common questions.

Have your say

The student services workstream is consulting with a broad range of student groups to develop an accurate picture of student services at the university currently, so that the new structures are built properly from the start. We encourage all students to share their perspectives with us by completing the Student Services Survey or submitting feedback using this form