Assistance requested: Improving Administrative Processes at the U of S

A message from the USFA Senior Grievance Officer: 

Dear colleagues,

I am the senior grievance officer with the USFA and I am writing to you to ask for your assistance with our work to improve administrative processes at the U of S. We have had several discussions with senior leaders about the delays, obstacles, and absurdities that faculty experience with respect to administrative processes. These extend from grant applications and management, to research ethics, to Connection Point and expense claims, to IT and equipment purchases and software licences, to Concur travel rules, and to locking our computers and preventing research software installation. We are concerned that these difficulties are having a cumulative negative effect on the ability of faculty to pursue their research, to build collaborations and partnerships, and to support students. However, when we raise these issues, we are met with the assertion that our problems are “exceptions to the rule.” The university administration insists on addressing these issues on a case by case basis because they are “exceptions.” We disagree.

I’ve created a Google document and chart to collect the (difficult) experiences of faculty members with administrative processes in the hopes of gaining a fuller picture of the problem and to challenge the claim that these problems are isolated incidents. These will be used to argue that inflexible blanket policies are harming research activities at this university. If people prefer to keep their identity and/or story confidential, please reach out to USFA at

Thanks for reading and for your contributions to this work.

Colleen Bell

Senior Grievance Officer