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Efficiency

spotlight

Bill Cooper didn't mince words when Stanford University officials contacted him about coming on board as their director of purchasing. "I said, 'No, I'm not interested in a fragmented function and I'm not interested in an institution that has just a director of purchasing,'" recalls Cooper, who now has an office at ... Stanford.

5/10/2016

Document management through Enterprise Content Management (ECM) holds tremendous potential for improving business operations—as well as information security and recordkeeping compliance—by streamlining processes and enabling colleges and universities to do more with less. Meanwhile, paper-heavy environments can lead to wasted time, reduced productivity, risk of data loss or theft and employee frustration.

12/10/2015

EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) is a new international standard for payment cards which leverages a dynamic chip for more secure point-of-sale transactions. EMV is a proven means of fighting card-present fraud and has been in use around the world for some time, but is just beginning to enter U.S. payment processing systems, including those on college and university campuses. Processing EMV transactions will require new, certified point-of-sale devices, among other changes.  

10/22/2015

Students today want more options when it comes to their refunds, and institutions are looking for disbursement methods that limit students’ exposure to fees. In addition, the increased scrutiny and mounting regulatory pressure regarding student refunds disbursement is creating an even greater need for higher ed leaders to reexamine the refund processes at their institutions.

In the past few years, many universities have begun to explore a concept frequently and successfully implemented in the corporate world, but previously rare in higher education: shared services. The term “shared services” refers to a streamlining process where administrative tasks or technology management services that regularly occurred across several departments in the organization are placed under the authority of one unit.

As a frontline supervisor in Facilities Management, I often think about succession planning in our various organizations across the globe. I ask myself a lot of questions like; what would happen if our director won a million dollars or was offered that ultimate dream job? What would happen if our management team decided to relocate to other institutions? What is going to happen when the management decides to retire?

As we launch the fourth year of our Models of Efficiency recognition program, we are seeing lots of familiar names. The University of Wisconsin-Stout, a 2011 honoree, picks up two more awards this round, for separate efforts within the Registration and Records Office. Miami Dade College’s two winning entries are also among the group of nine conversation-stimulating stories we share this month.

Though using outdated manual systems can hinder achieving maximum accountability, compliance, and transparency, many higher education institutions are still using such systems to track time and attendance for their workforce. Introducing an automated workforce management system instead can increase efficiency and maximize productivity and funds. This web seminar, originally broadcast on December 4, 2012, featured the University of Georgia, which realized many benefits after implementing a campuswide automated workforce management system.

HR cross-training

With budgets still tight and a workforce still lean, some higher ed institutions are applying an old approach that allows them to do more with less.

Cross-training employees, or training them to perform key tasks of a coworker’s job, is nothing new. Perhaps it’s never more appreciated than when employees take vacations, become ill, work on special projects, or quit their job.

With its four institutions—the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University, Keene State College, and Granite State College—the University System of New Hampshire is the largest provider of postsecondary education in the state, serving more than 35,000 students, and including more than 3,000 employees.

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