What is Integrated Services Renewal?

Excellent universities require administrative services that are aligned to support and facilitate their mission. At USask, we have created this program to modernize and streamline the delivery of administrative services, leveraging our people, processes, data, and technology.

Currently, USask is operating on dated administrative technologies and business practices that limit collaboration and cohesiveness and do not meet the needs of our faculty, staff and students. The university also lacks the overall cross-unit processes and integration required to support strategic business decisions that will maximize the use of data, staff and resources. 

In the future state, our administrative environment is user-focused and future-proofed, fully capable of supporting USask to be the university the world needs. However, we still have much work to do and achieving the goals will require commitment from all members of the USask community. 

The ISR Initiative will enrich the daily experience of everyone at USask:

  • Students will be supported through their academic journey through seamlessly integrated administrative services. They will have easy access to information and resources that help them succeed. 
  • Faculty and researchers will benefit from processes that reduce the administrative burden. They will have more time to focus on their core mission of teaching and research. 
  • Employees will have streamlined access to information. Processes will be more effective and efficient. 
  • Administrative leaders will have enhanced access to information to support strategic decision-making. They will have more agility to respond to change and opportunities. 

Initiative Governance

Message from the ISR Initiative Executive Sponsors

ISR Initiative Sponsors

  • Wade Epp, Associate Vice-President, Services
  • Chris Gaschler, Interim Chief Information Officer, Information and Communications Technology 
  • Russ Isinger, Associate Vice-Provost and University Registrar, Teaching, Learning, and Student Experience
ISR Academic Advisory Committee
  • Jane Alcorn, Dean, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition
  • Suzanne Kresta, Dean, College of Engineering

Core Initiative Team

  • Sharon O'Leary, Interim Initiative Manager, Integrated Services Renewal, and Senior Project Manager, Change Lead
  • Candice Weingartner, Director, Enterprise Systems
  • Chris Gaschler, Director, Enterprise Architecture and Data Management
  • Jae-Anne Peace, Director, ConnectionPoint
  • Keiran Killick, Interim Director, Talent Management and Strategic Enablement
  • Erika Chomiak, Director, Enterprise Procurement
  • Russ Isinger, Associate Vice-Provost and University Registrar, Teaching, Learning, and Student Experience
  • Trevor Batters, Controller and Director, Financial Operations
  • Andrew Hildebrandt, Senior Business Architect

Initiative Milestones

This multi-year initiative will initially focus on renewing our human resources, finance, and procurement administrative environment with implementation projected to begin in 2024.

Integrated Services Renewal Project Milestones

Assessment Phase

The assessment phase examined our current state and revealed that modernizing our administrative services and aligning our structures is a central part of delivering on our core mission and necessary to achieve our commitment of Boundless Collaboration. 

Foundational Phase

Foundational work is in progress now to strategically enable future renewal efforts.

Through this project, the supporting technology for human resources, finance and procurement and the implementation partner will be selected. In addition, implementation planning will be conducted.  

Update: Over the past several months, requirements have been gathered to inform the selection of technology to support human resources, financial services and procurement at USask. The procurement process has started and this spring, qualified suppliers will showcase the features and functionality of their solutions.  

Milestones 

  • Summer 2022 – Conduct market discovery
  • Fall 2022 – Gather requirements and prepare documents
  • Summer 2023 – Pre-qualify technology options
  • Early 2024 – Select implementation partner

A campus-wide project to design a job architecture and create consistent job profile standards. This work will establish the foundation needed to design consistent and equitable workforce practices across campus, create role clarity and career paths for our workforce, and fully benefit from future-state technology.

Milestones:  

  • Spring 2023 – Assess the current state
  • Summer 2023 - Analyze and design job architecture
  • Fall 2023 - Develop job profile standards

This project will assess our Enterprise Service Management (ESM) needs such as request management, workflow, knowledge management, incident/problem management, automation, and project planning/work tracking. Technology will be selected and implemented. 

Milestones:

  • Spring 2023 – Gather requirements
  • Fall 2023 - Select technology
  • 2024 – Implement

This project will improve user experience through procurement policy, process, and service enhancements.

Milestones:

  • Spring 2023 – Revise and approve procurement policy
  • Fall 2023 – Launch digital landscape

This project will assess the value of a potential interim budget and forecasting platform to address near-term challenges and if deemed appropriate, implement accordingly.

Update: The technology was launched in November 2022 to coincide with budgeting activities. 

Milestones: 

  • Summer 2023 – Build and validate forecasting capabilities
  • August 2023 – Launch forecasting to support the next budget cycle

FAQs

Our core systems are outdated and difficult to use, which has created a complex administrative environment that impacts every individual in our community, holding us back from achieving our bold vision of being the university the world needs.  

In our current state, we need to spend valuable time on manual and repetitive tasks. We struggle to find quality data to support our decisions. We miss opportunities to collaborate and innovate. 

We need to modernize our administrative environment by better leveraging our people, processes, data,  and technology so that we can excel as a U15 research intensive university and reach our potential. 

This work can only be successful with the support and active engagement of the entire campus community. Engaging our stakeholders is critical to ensure that the future is co-created by the entire community.  

Opportunities for participation, input and feedback will be designed into each step of the process and communicated broadly. 

ERP technology will be pre-qualified in the summer of 2023 and an implementation partner will be selected in 2024. The timelines for implementation will be shared as plans are finalized.

Excellent universities require administrative services that are aligned to support and facilitate their mission. As a member of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, USask needs an optimized administrative environment to support its world-class research, scholarly and artistic work, and academic mission. 

Guided by the University Plan 2025, the Administrative Services Renewal (ASR) and Integrated Services Renewal (ISR) Initiatives are focused on aligning and modernizing our administrative environment through differing, yet complimentary approaches.

The Administrative Services Renewal (ASR) Initiative focuses on working together with campus leaders to co-create a structure that aligns and supports our people, operations, and resources. ASR’s initial focus is on organizational changes to achieve a more centralized network of administrative professionals that support leaders, faculty, and staff within colleges, schools, and support units. The Integrated Services Renewal (ISR) Initiative works in parallel with ASR to leverage our people, processes, data, and technology. ISR is supporting a campus transition to a modern cloud-based enterprise system and supporting technology, which will lead us to have more consistency and standardization in our roles, policies, and processes.

ASR and ISR Differences

Although both ASR and ISR Initiatives are focused on people, the former is concentrated on distribution of administration professionals centrally and within colleges and schools, and the latter provides clarity around job roles, expectations, responsibilities, processes, and policies.

In the future state, our administrative environment will be fully integrated, user-focused, and future ready, fully capable of supporting USask to be the university the world needs. However, we still have much work to do and achieving the goals will require commitment from all members of the USask community.

Contact

Do you have questions related to the ISR Initiative?