As the December issue was going to press mere days after Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Northeast, we were already hearing of colleges and universities in the region beginning to put the pieces back together. While the monstrous storm caused power outages and damage to many institutions, the effects likely would have been far worse, and even deadly, if not for effective disaster preparedness planning.
This didn’t surprise us much. If the past few years of the Models of Efficiency program have proved anything, it’s that colleges and universities have gotten pretty amazing at dealing with challenges laid out before them.
Take, for example, the university that completely overhauled its printing department to fund itself. It may not be as serious as preparing for a hurricane, but the changes made generated a 23.5 percent productivity improvement for the department—and saved the university $21,322 per month in payroll hours alone. Or the community college that, when faced with improving a clunky instructor evaluation process, realized a $17,000 annual savings by implementing a system that helps improve student outcomes by allowing faculty to get insight into what does and doesn’t work much sooner.
Our winter 2012 Models of Efficiency honorees prove that doing more with less doesn’t have to be a disaster, and we’re proud to be able to share their stories here.