SFU enters Year 4 of UniForum—a global benchmarking program—to better understand how we resource our administrative services that support SFU students, faculty and staff across our three campuses.

UniForum - Year 4

In alignment with What's Next: The SFU Strategy, the UniForum program identifies areas for improvement, streamlines processes, and supports decision-making, all with the goal of enhancing the overall service experience for the university community. Through performance indicators and best practices, the program compares SFU's services with other participating universities, helping us stay competitive, responsive, and aligned with the community’s evolving needs.

As SFU enters its fourth year of participating in the UniForum program, we've seen positive changes across the university. IT Services used the program data to enhance customer service. Communications & Marketing has used the insights to refine how they communicate with the SFU community. The Finance department has made strategic changes to increase customer and employee satisfaction. They also used the data to plan for the 2024/25 budget projections, making it more precise and efficient. Additionally, the VPA Office streamlined its operations by minimizing non-value-adding processes. This year, too, UniForum will continue to focus on these identified areas for collective improvement and growth.

In the past three years, over 100 presentations and reports have been prepared for SFU leaders, leading to university-wide enhancements. SFU service area leaders continue using UniForum data alongside other information to pilot improvements in various areas.

The UniForum program benchmarks crucial administrative services that aid academic and research work but doesn't include benchmarking for research activities or teaching in courses that offer credit.

We are working with our partner, NousCubane, to ensure the data collected is analyzed and interpreted meaningfully. The information will help us to make data-driven decisions and take targeted action that aligns with SFU's strategic goal of transforming the university community experience and driving organizational performance.

Key dates

Date Event Audience
January - April 2024 Data Collection Results Reporting SFU Executives
February - May 2024 Stakeholder Identification Primary Contacts
May 9, 2024 Program Overview/Refresher New UniForum@SFU participants
May 14, 2024
Primary Contact Training
Primary Contacts
May 16, 2024
Respondent Training and Launch Respondents  
May 16 - June 27, 2024
Data Collection Primary Contacts and Respondents
July 2024
Function Review Function Reviewers
Fall 2024
Service Effectiveness Survey Cross-section of SFU faculty and staff


Participating stakeholders are university administrative staff across SFU’s faculties and departments that assist with data collection by assuming the following roles:

  • Respondents enter administrative activity data, according to a common set of activity codes, into the UniForum@SFU software (this software system is called UFAST). Respondents generally code for five to fifteen people.
  • Primary Contacts perform an initial review of the activity coding entered by Respondents, looking for potential errors and anomalies. 
  • Function Reviewers perform an overall review of the activity coding by examining the data on a ‘function’ level. Examples of administrative functions are HR, Facilities, and Finance. This overall review is conducted as a final check to verify the data prior to its submission to Cubane Consulting for analysis.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the UniForum program, including clarification of key dates or technical issues with the UFAST system, please contact our program team at uniforum@sfu.ca.

For any other information, please email one of our project team members below.

Patrick McClarty

Project Manager, UniForum@SFU
Phone: 778.782.2295

Jennifer McKeown

Business Analyst, UniForum@SFU
Phone: 778.782.5018

scott penney

Director, Planning & Analysis
Program Manager, UniForum@SFU
Phone: 778.782.7513