Improving our administrative services

Dalhousie faculty and staff give their best, every day, to make this a great university at which to study, to learn, to do research and to work. They deserve effective and efficient supports and services to help them do that.

That's why Dalhousie is launching an initiative to assess Dalhousie’s administrative services through the UniForum benchmarking tool — a tool increasingly used at major Canadian universities and other research-focused universities internationally. Through our participation, we will be able to learn how Dalhousie's administrative services are performing against our national and global peers, just as we do in other aspects  as a postsecondary institution (such as global university rankings).

Read more on Dal News: Q&A: VP Gitta Kulczycki on Dal's first Service Effectiveness Survey (Nov. 14, 2022)

Participation in UniForum is an ongoing initiative that will allow us to understand how administrative work is done at Dalhousie, and how our faculty and staff’s administrative needs are being met over time. Our first year of involvement will include two Service Effectivenss Surveys (each surveying different administrative services), on launching in November 2022 and the other in the spring of 2023, as well as the accumulation of time and cost information in June and July 2023. The accumulation of time and cost information will become an annual event, with the Service Effectiveness Surveys being conducted every two years.  

Dalhousie's first Service Effectiveness Survey this fall is an opportunity for faculty and staff to let us know how we’re doing in providing the administrative and support services including such areas as aspects of IT, human resources, facilities management, research services, finance, purchasing and more.

Who completes the Service Effectiveness Survey

Nearly 2,000 faculty and staff will be invited to completeService Effectiveness Survey beginning in November 2022. Those invited to participate include individuals who, based on their role, are more likely to interact with a wide cross-section of administrative functions, and the survey is structured to focus on the specific services responders indicate are important to them.

The survey is administered indepedent of the university and should only take only about 15 minutes to complete. All responses are confidential. We encourage people to respond, noting that participation is voluntary. We want to learn what we are doing well, and where we can improve.

Our goals

Aligned with Third Century Promise, Dalhousie has committed to:

  • establishing benchmarks to monitor our progress, satisfaction and accountability through key performance indicators
  • leveraging and maximizing our resources to support and enhance our core teaching, research, service and student experience goals

With UniForum and the Service Effectiveness Survey, we want to understand what services are working well, identify areas where we can be more effective and efficient, and to make sure we’re making the best use of our limited resources to support our academic mission. We want to celebrate our successes and prioritize investing in improvements that will be most impactful to our communtiy in the pursuit of our academic mission.

While we hope to find efficiencies and cost savings, we are not undertaking this project to reduce staffing. It is about making sure our time and our talent is being used as effectively as possible, and that we’re able to provide our Dal community with the best possible services and supports.

About UniForum

Led by Cubane Consulting Group, the UniForum process began in Australia and now has more than 60 participating universities around the world. Dalhousie joins six other U15 schools and eight Canadian universities total in taking part in UniForum.


Inquiries can be sent to uniforum@dal.ca.