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Business Intelligence

Colleges and universities across the country have realized that they can no longer rely on outdated, manual processes that hamper productivity and drive up costs. Changing the way staff works, however, is easier said than done.

Colleges and universities—awash in paper and digital documents, forms and files—are increasingly adopting technology to pull it all together, yielding big savings in time and money.

Texas A&M Health Science Center logo

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.

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.

(Ed Note: The university and its executive vice president referred to in this story have asked to remain anonymous.)

Can a university use efficiency methods from the corporate world while staying true to its values?

That was the challenge facing The University’s executive vice president (EVP) and his team.

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.

Community colleges have historically done more with less. Perhaps it’s inevitable they would eventually have to start doing less with less. Proposed changes in California may indicate that shift.

a mouse with the wire attached to a credit card

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.

cruise ship

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…”