Building our future part II: UniForum@UBC

As many will know, UBC is in the process of implementing a comprehensive benchmarking study of the activities and services which support our academic mission, called ‘UniForum’. UniForum was founded in a small number of research-intensive Australian universities about 8 years ago, and has been extended to New Zealand, the UK (Russell Group), and now Canada. Every university who participates runs their own UniForum program with their own program goals and their own data. That is why we are referring to our program as UniForum@UBC.

UniForum@UBC is an essential study to build our understanding of how much time and resource we are allocating into the services and activities that support our academic mission. From this base of information, we will be able to engage in thoughtful analysis and conversation about these services and activities, including where there may be opportunity to improve the effectiveness of services.

The input for the study will be provided in May, and towards the end of the month, a service satisfaction survey will be undertaken by faculty and staff, building an understanding of how effective a variety of services are perceived.

From my experience with the program in New Zealand, the study will provide an impetus for thinking about the factors that lead to outstanding practices and processes, in order to support our teaching and learning, research, and student experience.

In recent weeks I’ve been visiting a wide number of groups throughout UBC to discuss the study. I’ve been encouraged by the strong interest and curiosity that many have shared with me. That said, I’ve also heard concern expressed about the time required to complete the study. We are committed to provide the support necessary to limit the burden of this project, so in due course this can become an important annual study, with minimal impact, and maximum benefit.

Please visit the UniForum@UBC website for more information about the program.