"This past year Finance and Resources set forth with the vision of becoming a high-functioning professional support team working collaboratively to support the vision and mission of the university in a customer-centric, agile, and cost-effective way, while having all employees feel empowered to make decisions, take actions and implement policies.
We have experienced our share of challenges through the transformation of Finance and Resources but the stories of our successes are beginning to emerge from all five of our objectives."
Greg Fowler VP,
Finance and Resources
Here are a few of the highlights from the past year along with success stories shared from our leaders…
Service Delivery Excellence
Developing a finance and resources structure and culture that is service-oriented, outward facing and looking, flexible, creative, collaborative, agile, and innovative, a structure and culture that is so effective that it is the gold standard in leading practices for university administrative services.
service requests managed by Connection Point and ICT
lunches served at Marquis Culinary Centre
students were provided on-campus accommodations
How we are making a difference to people we serve in the past year:
- New culture emerging, one focused on “how can I help you”
- Empowerment of new staff and leaders allowing for agile learning and applying knowledge
- Residences employees investing in “Service Best” training
- Greystone leadership program:
- Over 100 supervisors, managers and directors; AVPs and the VP from Finance and Resources participated in the training
- Leadership training program consisted of adaptive and facilitative leadership workshops, growth mindset workshop and communications for leaders workshop
- Deeper relationships have developed across the entire department to collaborate on important university projects, such as Merlis Belsher Place, Collaborative Science and Research Building
Building and Strengthening Relationships
Continue building on and developing new partnerships and strengthen relationships with our students, province, city, stakeholders, and other partners.
Restoration of $5M funding from Advanced Education
Increased funding for College of Medicine from multiple ministries of provincial government and strategic support to prepare College for accreditation with Canadian Medical Schools
Support for College of Nursing in cost per seat provincial government review
How have we made a difference in key partnerships over the past year?
- Successfully implemented MOU with City of Saskatoon
- Improved relationship with Advanced Education to align budget and planning processes
- Exploring options for new partnership with Catholic School Board and Saskatoon Tribal Council
- Worked collaboratively with City of Saskatoon, Huskie Athletics, Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association on Merlis Belsher Place
- Representation on Canadian Light Source, Fedoruk Centre, Huskie Athletics and SREDA boards
- Working with the City of Saskatoon to develop a Strategic infill sector plan
- Selection and purchase of real estate to support strategy for Prince Albert Northern Gateway
Aligned and Cohesive Team
Developing a cohesive, creative and courageous team that collaboratively leads the university’s administrative services to support the university, president, PEC team and deans in the fulfillment of the university’s mission and strategic plan.
people work in Finance and Resources
Human Resources Strategic Business Advisors
Financial Strategic Business Advisors
- Implementing new operating model in Facilities resulting in improved collaboration and team atmosphere within the department
- Introduction of shared beliefs within Finance and Resources
- Shared beliefs are shared and reviewed at local unit and team meetings
- Shared beliefs are reinforced through F&R appreciation card campaign – more than a hundred cards have been exchanged between individuals (some of the stories here have come from them)
- Wellness Strategy roll out was an inclusive partnership within Finance and Resources as well as Teaching, Learning and Student Experience
- Building automation moved to ICT and has improved security, collaboration and knowledge sharing between departments
- Bond Issuance process – within 10 weeks dozens of people from across campus came together to complete the requirements for a highly successful bond issuance. Every person who we reached out to responded (in many cases dropped other priorities) to work together on this
- Re-aligned communications staff members from individual units (e.g. HR, ICT, Consumer Services) into a team working together on the priorities of Finance and Resources as a whole.
- Integrated academic unit’s technology managers/coordinators into ICT (SBA model) resulting in increased shared understanding, consistency of practice and collaboration.
The SBA Model
Continuous improvements as the model was rolled out has resulted in good feedback and increased demand for this support – deans report positively about this relationship
Deans value the service and support – new conversations with deans that we have never had before. They want more of this type of support
Teamwork mentality has taken hold – someone needs help and others jump in! Sharing the load relieves stress on all members of the team
Focus is on customer service – ensuring clients get what they need
Working with TLSE on numerous initiatives including Wellness (integrated services such as mental health support for a Counsellor in U Residences position), Marijuana Legalization (integrated policy)
Well-managed and Financially Sustainable
Continued development of a forward looking and understandable financial support system that generates complete confidence by the board, government and stakeholders in the university’s financial management and provides internal and external financial information users with accurate, timely, understandable and appropriate financial reporting and information in order to be informed or make decisions.
bond issued that enables the university to address critical infrastructure renewal in five core academic buildings
was reduced from projected deficit in the Operating Fund budget, from $69.9M to $28.6M
Received a credit rating of AA2 from Moody’s as part of the bond issuance
- Finding creative ways of scheduling employees that covers workload requirements, timing, but is cost-efficient
- The voluntary exit program provided immediate employee cost savings and allowed for strategic people planning through vacancy management or rehiring at lower salary rates. This provides the longer-term benefit of workforce sustainability with the departures of late-in-career employees and helps to rebalance the overall demographic and diversity of the university workforce
- The work completed as part of the Budget Framework Project is setting the foundation for a more effective and efficient user of scarce financial resources with a focus on enhancing the processes, tools and resource capabilities to enable better decision making
- Reduction in reported injury incidents attributable to increased awareness/ education focused on investigations/ follow-up to solve root cause issues
- Significantly reduced expenditures in Finance and Resources while investing in strategic activities resulting in reduced dependency on operating budget in 2017 by 23.4%
Development and Renewal of Campus Infrastructure
Renewing and developing the physical and technological infrastructure of the university and the development of the campus endowment lands to serve the university’s mission and strategic plan.
square feet, including 280 buildings and structures managed
different IT systems operated and supported
acres of land in Saskatoon and the province owned or leased
- Completed Phase 5 of Preston Crossing
- Preparing for the next phases of College Quarter development
- Opening of Hotel in College Quarter
- Development of strategy to purchase and repurpose the Northern Gateway Centre in Prince Albert
- Planning and advancement of the redevelopment of the Academic Health Sciences A Wing
- Scheduled completion of Merlis Belsher Place
- Completion of Canadian Science and Research Building
- Opening of the Livestock Forage Centre of Excellence
- Completion of Engineering Master Plan and beginning of next phase of capital intent and funding strategy
- First planning phase of the Library renewal
- Investment in continued improvement of university IT network
- Progress on UnivRS, AiM, HRIS and RMS – Student enterprise systems