Submitted by Sharon Riegerski on Thu, 03/29/2012 - 3:45pm
Life has gotten a lot calmer recently for workers in the Contracts Administration department for the Texas A&M Health Science Center (HSC). At one time, pushing contracts through to completion demanded the skills and steely resolve of a private eye: it wasn’t easy figuring out where the contracts were, who had looked at them and which ones were approved. It was a time-consuming, nerve-rattling experience for everyone, says Kristin Nace, HSC Assistant Vice President, Fiscal Services and Budgets.
What difference can a year make? When it comes to the mobile web in higher education, it seems that it’s all it took to switch gears and respond to the needs of an increasing mobile user population on campuses—and elsewhere.
Wading through compliance rules can be daunting for even the most seasoned administrator. The Higher Education Compliance Alliance, a new online resource, was launched on March 1 to help answer the most burning federal law and regulation questions.
The website features information on more than two dozen topics, including accounting, affirmative action, campus safety, HEOA compliance obligations, lobbying and political activities, and tax compliance, to name a few.
Institutional transparency is much talked about and touted, but it apparently has a long way to go. According to an analysis of the degree to which colleges and universities make available what they’re doing to assess student learning, institutions could be sharing a lot more and doing so more clearly. For example, often, assessment results are found only on internal institutional research web pages that aren’t routinely searched by prospective students, parents, and other interested parties.
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.
I’ve had a soundtrack to the events recounted here running through my mind: “Oh the time will come up / When the winds will stop / And the breeze will cease to be breathin’ / Like the stillness in the wind / ‘Fore the hurricane begins / The hour when the ship comes in…”
While most auxiliary service departments look for opportunities to bring in more money as a means of funding their operations, examining ways to reduce expenses can work just as well. That’s what Bradley Markley, director of facility services at Messiah College in Grantham, Penn., has been doing for the last four years, with impressive results.