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 has launched an initiative to assess Dalhousie’s administrative services through the UniForum benchmarking tool. Uniforum is an international program in which nine other Canadian institutions participate, including UBC, UOttawa, and the University of Toronto. Sixty-four universities participate in total.

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) and a data collection exercise. The first survey was conducted in November 2022, and the second followed in April 2023. 

In June and July, many Dalhousie administrators will be asked to contribute to a data collection exercise, gathering information on how administrative services are delivered across the institution. Together with the results of the Service Effectiveness Survey, this will provide a more wholistic picture of what services are working well, suggest areas where services can be more effective and efficient, and help ensure we’re making the best use of our resources in support of our mission.

Who completes the Service Effectiveness Survey

Approximately 2,000 faculty and staff are be invited to complete the Service Effectiveness Survey. 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.

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. Nine other Canadian institutions participate, including UBC, UOttawa, and the University of Toronto. Sixty-four universities participate in total.


Inquiries can be sent to uniforum@dal.ca.