The University of Texas at San Antonio campus is dominated by modern cream-colored buildings with dark red tile roofs and acres of parking lots, testimony to 40 years of serving largely as a commuter school for students from the surrounding area.
When it comes to e-commerce, anything retail can do, college campuses can do, too—and probably better, experts say. That explains in large part why the lone bookstore URLs many colleges and universities began with have blossomed into hundreds of online money opportunities ranging from student fees to concert and athletic tickets, from parking permits to alumni donations.
Social networking, online banking, entertainment... There’s an app for that—and for everything else you can think of. When it comes to higher ed, there’s an app for that, too. From behind-the-scenes mobile CRM apps to in-your-face athletic program apps, campus administrators are developing ways to make students’, administrators’, and faculty members’ lives a bit easier (or just more fun).
An institutional website is not only often the first contact a prospective student has with a college or university but also a constant landing point for current students, faculty, and staff. “We looked at trends and research and realized that the website is very important to recruiting,” says Beverly Golden, director of marketing and communications at The University of Texas at Tyler. “It might be the first thing people see about your institution.”
Imagine being a student in a class listening to your professor as she writes on a whiteboard at the front of the room. She asks a question and you faintly hear a voice, but you can’t see who it came from or understand what was said—because you’re sitting at your desk participating in class through your webcam.
Although printer purchases aren’t an everyday occurrence on campuses—or at least the procurement office hopes not—when it’s time to buy new printers, department and purchasing leaders can look to features in new models that can save time and money. By staying abreast of available features, tweaking replacement planning with new strategies, preserving printer life, and increasing productivity, institutions can turn printing into a fast, efficient, cost-effective service.
As the name reveals, auxiliary services will never be directly related to the core mission of colleges and universities. But as ever-tightening resources have become the reality for institutions, the revenue-generating possibilities for these departments have become more important than ever.
Henry Ford brought efficiency to the forefront of American business with his assembly line, which introduced automobiles to the masses. “The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed,” he once said. This same mentality has allowed this fall’s Models of Efficiency honorees to improve services provided by their departments, all without spending a fortune—and often while saving a bundle.