Articles: Operational Efficiencies

07/2015

Typically, an Office of Sponsored Research operates with limited staff while being taxed with an overwhelming workload of grant management activities. A handful of staff is often responsible for pre- and post-award administration, effort certification, detailed budget tracking, documenting encumbrances and expenditures, reporting and meeting federal mandates.

06/2015
Mary Ellen Mazey is president of Bowling Green State University.

Much has been written about the future role of the traditional university. Recently I was invited to present on “Keeping Traditional Higher Education a Dominant Force” in times of greater competition and changing demographics of the population.

02/2015
Working together, campus buyers and facilities staff can ensure that dollars for equipment needs are wisely spent.

Who would ever think that replacing simple lightbulbs could end up costing a university hundreds of thousands of dollars?

03/2015

The authors were the founders of Touro University International (TUI), which at first was an online branch of Touro College and later became a separately accredited university by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. TUI remained within the Touro College and University System from 1998 to 2007.

01/2015
A fresh look: When the library at Grand Valley State U was remodeled, useable furniture got new life on other parts of campus rather than being placed into storage.

Sprucing up a campus building’s interiors need not involve buying loads of new furniture.

Just ask officials at Georgetown University. The institution recently refinished and reupholstered a variety of public space furniture in Alumni Square, an apartment complex on the Washington, D.C. campus.

01/2015

The University System of Georgia has worked to combine several more of its higher education institutions this year in what is likely the nation’s most aggressive and high-profile campus consolidation program.

12/2014

Every day when an employee resigns from their job, either voluntarily (or involuntarily) they’re “walking out the door” with a very valuable asset. No these instances don’t require security or are considered criminal in nature. What they leave with is their institutional knowledge or memory from their last organization.

11/2014
Course scheduling is tied integrally to two of an institution’s most expensive resources—facilities and faculty.

Managing course scheduling involves more than just cracking a complex logistical code each semester. It’s also a potential bane or boon to the operating budget.

11/2014

Appalachian State University (N.C.): Policy says that faculty should generally not be paid extra for teaching courses on top of normal course loads. It mentions making other arrangements, such as a course reduction the following semester.

California State University: Overload assignment may not exceed 25 percent of a full-time position.

11/2014
Bill Berg is an enrollment management consultant at Scannell & Kurz, a RuffaloCODY company.

The often-used businesses term “right-sizing” has in recent years become common in higher education. Though sometimes used as a euphemism for “downsizing,” it more rightly refers to an effort to optimize enrollment, human resources, programs and facilities—in other words, fixed costs.

11/2014

Since 1995, the University of Alabama has issued electronic debit and ID cards, called Action Cards, to its students.

These personalized, chip-and-magnetic-stripe plastic cards provide students with access to buildings and events, meals in the dining halls and spending money for on- and off-campus retailers. The cards also have a photo on the front for visual identification.

11/2014
Marist University's open-source HR recruitment system saves money and attracts higher-quality candidates.

“Your reputation is at risk.”

That was the message relayed to Marist College Vice President and CIO Bill Thirsk by a hiring manager who had been contacted by a former employment candidate. The job seeker had attempted to apply for a position through the New York college’s online employment system, only to give up because the user experience was so frustrating.

11/2014
Digitized recordkeeping streamlines processes for staff working in Admissions and Records while also providing students with access to forms at any time.

Higher education administrators looking to increase efficiency frequently cite document management as a major roadblock. Even so, the numerous flaws in the system used by the College of the Desert’s admissions and records department went beyond the typical woes.

11/2014
University of Montana gave Pinecone Awards as part of the web template project launch, with awards given to staffers in categories such as best user experience and most innovative.

Faced with increased competition for students and declining enrollment, the University of Montana centralized the oversight of its web presence to create a unified look and feel across all of its websites. The use of new templates reduced reliance on outside design firms, cut costs, helped meet accessibility compliance, and increased the pace at which new sites were created.

11/2014
Executives from Central State U, Wright State U, Clark State Community  College and Xerox are working to perfect the campus printing process.

Wright State University invested significantly in printing equipment only to see demand decline. That lead administrators to overhaul the Ohio institution’s entire printing system.

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