Announcement of Sally Garner as Senior Strategist, Operational Initiatives (PDAD&C #95)

From: Scott Mabury, Vice-President, University Operations
Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Date: April 28, 2017
Re: Announcement of Sally Garner as Senior Strategist, Operational Initiatives (PDAD&C #95)

We are writing to announce that Sally Garner will be stepping down from her role as Executive Director, Planning & Budget, effective June 30, 2017 and moving to the newly created position of Senior Strategist, Operational Initiatives, continuing to report jointly to both of us.

In her new role as Senior Strategist, Operational Initiatives, Sally will continue to provide expertise related to operational/strategic initiatives on behalf of the Vice-President, University Operations and the Vice-President & Provost. In particular, Sally will provide additional capacity and expertise on budgetary-related issues, continuing to collaborate with shared service divisions, academic divisions, and external partners.

Sally’s role will vary from initiative to initiative, building on her previous contributions; in some cases she will be leading a new operational/strategic initiative and in other cases she will be called on to provide expert advice on initiatives led by our vice-presidential and decanal colleagues. The unique positioning of this role will enable Sally to undertake an array of institution-wide initiatives and projects on behalf of the University Operations and Provostial portfolios. Upcoming priorities include support for projects such as implementation of Strategic Mandate Agreements and provincial funding formula changes; review of interdivisional teaching arrangements; review of professional development offerings for administrative staff at all levels related to financial and budgetary management; strategic direction to the development and implementation of a data governance framework for the University; and stakeholder consultation on specific issues and initiatives.

Sally assumed her position as Executive Director of Planning & Budget in 2008 and prior to that had been in the department for several years. During her time as Executive Director, with primary oversight of budget and enrolment for the university, the operating budget has almost doubled from $1.3 billion to $2.5 billion and enrolment grown from 74,000 to 89,000 students.

Sally served as one of the wise members of the New Budget Model (NBM) Task Force and subsequently chaired the NBM Implementation Committee. Under her leadership, and in collaboration with colleagues centrally and divisionally, Planning & Budget developed a suite of enrolment planning tools and training for academic divisions, thus effectively evolving from a highly centralized top-down approach to a more broad and inclusive approach involving Deans, Chief Administrative Officers, and Registrars across our 20 academic divisions. Her team’s development of an integrated Academic Budget Review (ABR) and Divisional Advisory Committee (DAC) process has been a foundation for translating the aspirations and service plans in the academic and shared-service divisions into multi-year institutional budgets. Sally has developed and led an outreach and communication effort on the budget model that has benefited divisions, student governments, governance, and an effective training module for new academic and administrative leaders. A particularly significant achievement is Sally’s success in building and developing an effective Planning & Budget team with the common goal of providing high quality service to all divisions. The U of T Budget Model is now eleven years old and our collective success at aligning budget to academic mission has served this institution exceptionally well and has contributed to the adoption of a similar budget model at universities throughout Canada.

With Sally’s transition to her new role on July 1, 2017, we will be posting shortly for a new leader for Planning & Budget. In the meantime, please join us in thanking Sally for her outstanding service, commitment, and huge value which she has brought to U of T in her current role, and which she will continue to provide as Senior Strategist, Operational Initiatives.