Articles: Operational Efficiencies

04/2012

Higher education costs are skyrocketing at a rate much higher than inflation. While states have drastically reduced public university budgets, those universities are constrained from raising tuition costs appreciably.

04/2012

This comprehensive white paper outlines the benefits associated with implementing enterprise content management (ECM) systems for ind

Justin Gatewood remembers the annoying hurdles he had to jump over to attend an orientation session when he enrolled at Victor Valley College (Calif.).

Community college students are more likely to have extra demands on their time and attention, from jobs to family commitments. Anything colleges can do to relieve administrative burdens means more time that students can concentrate on their studies.

Consolidating desktop printers and multifunction copy machines saved $413,000 in the first year, with no user hassles in having to trek far for printing needs.

The University of Central Oklahoma once had a desktop printer or multifunction copy machine for nearly every faculty and staff member on campus. In 2009, 1,313 desktop printers and 135 multifunction copy machines were being used by 1,500 faculty and staff members.

The idea of students substituting courses in a degree plan is not unheard of, but such requests must be carefully managed.

Students appreciate that they can register at their convenience and now visit the offices in person only when necessary.

The classic registration scenario of bouncing students from their advisor to select classes, to the Business Office to check for holds, and finally to the Registrar’s Office to stand in line is so 20th century—but hard to escape.

As students “swirl” through higher education, taking classes at multiple institutions either consecutively or simultaneously, the need for institutions to quickly receive and process transcripts becomes more important.

Upfront estimate: When a student signs in, he or she receives a ticket with the likely wait time.

At some point during the year, nearly every one of the 4,400 students at Ogeechee Technical College (Ga.) will have a reason to visit the college’s Student Affairs Center (SAC). This central administrative unit houses Admissions, Financial Aid, the Registrar, and Career Services.

Buying stationery supplies, scientific equipment, and office furniture hardly qualifies as capital expenditures. But shop for enough pens, beakers, and chairs, and the amounts add up.

With most students choosing easy online registration these days, Student Services Center wait times now average just two minutes.

Creating a one-stop student services center in 2005 at Wilkes University (Pa.) seemed like a good idea at the time. These popular organizational structures have typically been a cost-cutting measure introduced to allow educational institutions to do more with less.

Standardization and combined purchasing of desktop computers,  laptops, and printers has brought significant savings.

Buying computers for a college campus is no small feat. In addition to requisitioning and specing them before the purchase, there is the configuration and instillation after the purchase to worry about.

Sometimes increasing efficiency requires cross-functional teams, complex software solutions, and weeks of training and implementation. And sometimes it’s as simple as replacing a clipboard and sign-in sheet with a commonly used program, such as Microsoft Excel.

Eliminating physical documents has made information retrieval a lot less cumbersome and saved precious storage space.

Like most academic institutions, the Mercer University School of Law (Ga.) generates a lot of paperwork.

What used to cost $6,400 in labor to issue W-2 statements in hardcopy now costs under $200 and saves a weekend of work.

Until a few years ago, every January, staff in the Human Resources and Payroll department at George Mason University (Va.) began the arduous task of printing and mailing more than 10,000 W-2 statements for faculty, staff, and student workers.

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