McGill contest aims to cut red tape


University offers 10 prizes of $100 to identify roadblocks to good service

Getting rid of red tape tops the agenda at many organizations, but how do you get there from here? McGill University is counting on its students, faculty and staff to help point the way. And it’s willing to pay up.

The Cut the Red Tape Contest, which was launched earlier this week, offers 10 prizes of $100 each to the best suggestions for making the university run more smoothly and efficiently. The contest closes February 22.

Students, faculty and staff are being encouraged to identify university policies or processes which appear to have no sound justification and which impair service to current or prospective students.

The contest sprang from a recommendation from the Principal’s Task Force on Student Life and Learning, and is sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning). It was inspired by a similar, award-winning contest at Dalhousie University in Halifax, which led to changes as subtle as increasing the number of downloadable forms on the university’s website, and as substantial as a $1.7-million investment to replace worn-out turf on the football field.

“Students, staff and faculty are the ones closest to the ground on these issues,” said Professor Morton J. Mendelson, McGill’s Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning). “It’s obvious that they would have the most pertinent insights about what works and what doesn’t work, which is why we want and need their input.”

Contest entries are to be sent via e-mail to red.tape [at] Along with the issue being identified, entrants are encouraged to suggest possible resolutions or alternatives. Eligibility requirements and full contest rules are online at

Contact Information

Mark Shainblum
McGill University
mark.shainblum [at]
Office Phone: