As we launch the fourth year of our Models of Efficiency recognition program, we are seeing lots of familiar names. The University of Wisconsin-Stout, a 2011 honoree, picks up two more awards this round, for separate efforts within the Registration and Records Office. Miami Dade College’s two winning entries are also among the group of nine conversation-stimulating stories we share this month. One of our key judging criteria is that efficiency improvements must be replicable at other colleges and universities, so it’s only natural that we get to thinking about what it would be like for a single institution to implement most or all of the efforts we have shared over the years.
Looking at this round alone, here’s a snapshot of what the institutional experience would be like: A full-time hiring freeze doesn’t deter HR from recruiting highly qualified candidates for the many available part-time positions, as the vibrant life on campus is captured through video and employment staffers no longer need to spend time and money at offsite career fairs. At the same time, television air time used to get the attention of community members who envision themselves as students becomes a whole lot more affordable when an academic school takes over operations of the local cable access channel. And as admissions applications roll in, there’s no confusion for students on where their records are, because at any time they can check their status via a Personal Admission Plan tab online.
Later, on freshman move-in day, students need not go through the annoyance of standing in lines to register their cars and purchase parking permits. Both processes can be completed online. As the semester rolls on, the SIS flags a student as struggling, so the student gets referred to academic advising for some extra help. Heading down to the campus services center, a kiosk produces a call number and approximate wait time, during which the student can browse in the nearby bookstore until hearing that number announced over the loudspeaker. After years of hard work, it’s graduation time! But instead of waiting weeks for the registrar to perform a degree audit, the ultra-efficient office can check 1,500 students’ records in five minutes and award most diplomas within four days of grades being entered.
Envisioning all of the above in place, and more, is an achievable accomplishment, we believe. To make it easier for your own institution to imagine, we’ve taken the stories of all 90 current and past honorees and broken them out by category—such as financial aid, facilities, or safety and security. Check in to see stories from departments similar to your own, and then pass along the suggestion to a colleague across campus to do the same.
The Models of Efficiency program honors campus administrative departments that have found ways to streamline business operations while also raising the bar on service. Should we be sharing your story? Browse descriptions of past honorees and apply online. Summer 2013 submission deadline: April 17.