This research investigates organizational change in six Canadian universities framed as “prioritization,” which is a ranking method using predefined metrics for the comprehensive review and evaluation of academic and administrative programs.
Our research found the following:
(a) no prioritization process reached the implementation stage;
(b) financial performance was not significantly impacted;
(c) differences in pace, sequencing, and linearity had little to no impact on the outcomes;
(d) the process of prioritization itself introduced political hardship to university leadership, including broad mistrust.
Our analysis shows that prioritization initiatives have not provided a directly attributable impact on the outcomes at each of the universities. In short, there was much ado about nothing.