Feature

Boosting the Bottom Line

Auxiliary services as revenue generators and resource savers

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.

Business Intelligence Gets Smarter

Ease of use and other improvements in BI tools have given higher ed leaders more data power for decision making than ever.

Have you noticed colleagues on campus talking more about business intelligence lately? Considering how much these tools have evolved recently, it wouldn’t be surprising.

Models of Efficiency Fall 2011 Honorees

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.

Office of Administrative Services at Purdue University Calumet

Up in the Air

Sometimes the way to improved efficiency lies in a spreadsheet. Sometimes it lies in a piece of software.

And sometimes it lies in a restroom.

Customer Solutions Center at Pueblo Community College

Service Time

College can be tough enough for traditional students. For those enrolled at community colleges, who often have less academic preparation and face added pressures from having to work to pay for school, the pathway to success can be even more daunting.

“In the community college system, we have open access, which means that any student who desires to come to us can,” says Patty Erjavec, president of Pueblo Community College (Colo.). “But keeping those students is a challenge, and graduating those students is a challenge.”

Office of Graduate Admissions at Wayne State University

Steel Away

Five years of falling application numbers is hard to swallow in good times, but when the economy turns sour, as in recent years, the situation goes from disappointment to outright concern.

Such was the case at Wayne State University, in Detroit. The late-2000’s recession struck Michigan especially hard, and with the state unable to maintain prior funding levels, the university’s graduate admissions woes came into even sharper relief.

Office of the Registrar at University of Oregon

Advanced Technology

As if new student orientation wasn’t busy enough, the University of Oregon registrar’s staff was faced with processing thousands of pieces of paper containing Advanced Placement test scores that had arrived not long before the arrival of eager freshmen.

Because Oregon operates on the quarter system, orientation sessions are held throughout July, after AP scores are mailed to the school. That tied up personnel who had to manually enter the scores into Banner and pull files so that each session’s students could be properly advised on which courses to register for.

Admissions Office at University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Put on a Happy Face

Laden with application forms, transcripts, financial aid documents, and more, the admissions function is awash in paperwork. As frustrating as it may be for prospective students who have to compile and send such documentation, imagine being on the receiving end.

Office of Information Systems at Murray State University

Recovery Operation

Like many institutions, Murray State University (Ky.) paid a vendor to back up its data regularly and store it off-site for retrieval in case a disaster struck campus and wiped out hard drives and servers. But university administrators found the service lacking for a variety of reasons: It was pricey in lean times, recovering information was too lengthy a process, and effective testing was practically nonexistent.

Tuition Setting

Rationale behind determining price in a time of limited budgets

"We believe it is time for someone to change the college pricing game." So says John McCardell, recently appointed vice chancellor and president of Sewanee: The University of the South (Tenn.) in a video presentation about the institution's historic move to lower tuition and fees by 10 percent across the board.

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