Improvement opportunities established for Phase 2 of PRASE

Patrick Monahan, vice-president academic & provost, and Gary Brewer, vice-president finance & administration, have issued this update about York’s Process Re-engineering & Service Enhancement (PRASE) project:

Further to the president’s update memorandum distributed earlier this week, this communication provides some additional information on the process that has been planned for Phase 2 of the Process Re-engineering & Service Enhancement (PRASE) project. 

The PwC PRASE – Phase 1 Report identified more than 100 improvement opportunities across Campus Services & Business Operations (CSBO), Communications, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology (IT), Procurement, Research Services and Student Services. However, PwC also noted that not all of these opportunities could or should be pursued simultaneously. Therefore, York University needed to identify a limited number of priority improvement areas to become the focus of the work undertaken in the first wave of PRASE – Phase 2.

Based on PwC’s analysis of the potential improvement opportunities, plus the input we received during our recently completed 30-day consultation process, we are pleased to report that we have identified the following groupings of administrative service opportunities that will be the focus of our efforts during the first wave of PRASE – Phase 2:

1.      Accountability and Budget Planning
2.      Human Resources, Finance, Procurement and Research Accounting
3.      IT and Desktop Services
4.      Student Services

The PwC PRASE – Phase 1 report also made it clear that real efficiencies and savings can only be fully achieved with an initial up-front investment of dedicated resources. Therefore, we recognize the need to ensure that the necessary personnel and other resources to undertake the detailed planning are available to enable us to move ahead quickly and effectively. We envision that this will require having the following in place as soon as possible for each of the four service areas identified above: 

  • dedicated full-time senior level project directors,
  • academic input and oversight,
  • working groups,
  • third-party resources, where deemed necessary, to provide specific subject matter expertise and additional support.

A call for expressions of interest along with detailed descriptions of the new roles will be issued over the next few days to the York University community.

To ensure effective overall program coordination, oversight and accountability, we are creating a PRASE Steering Committee that includes the four project directors, the senior individuals currently responsible for the areas or units that fall within the four service areas identified above, as well as the appropriate academic leadership.

From the outset we have had a high level of engagement, support and commitment for PRASE by everyone involved. The feedback and suggestions we have received from the York community have been very helpful and encouraging. We believe this puts York in a very positive position as we prepare to embark on the next stage of our PRASE journey.

We would like to close by thanking everyone for their input, thoughtfulness and candour throughout this process to date and we look forward to continuing to work with you as we move forward with the implementation of PRASE.

Should you have any questions about PRASE, please send an e-mail to