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Honoring Efficiency

Excellence and innovation in administrative operations
University Business, Sep 2010

Clockwise from left: Dan Kinnaman, UB; Miles Lasater, Higher One; Richard Storlie, UNLV; Charles Maimone, UNC,Wilmington; Dorothy Echols Tobe, Ramapo College (NJ); Linda Makin, Utah Valley U; and Keiko Broomhead, Wentworth Inst. of Technology.

In recent issues, we have been sharing the stories of campus administrative departments that use technology and/or smart business processes to provide superior service and maximize resources through our ongoing Models of Efficiency program.

In addition to being featured in our magazine and website, the recognized schools received a handsome wall plaque citing their achievement. Many of the honorees from the first two rounds of the program received their plaques via mail. However, when we learned that a number of them would be in San Francisco for the annual NACUBO conference in July, we used the opportunity to meet them and present the awards in person. (Think efficient.)

Hosted by Higher One, the event was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. This presented a scenic backdrop for a reception attended by representatives from the Models of Efficiency honoree schools, friends, and guests.

After cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, Dan Kinnaman, publisher of University Business, welcomed guests with a reminder of how important it is that campus departments continually look for ways to improve efficiency not only to save money, but also to improve the student experience, which ultimately leads to increased recruitment, retention, and advancement. “There’s no shortage of honor lists for colleges and universities?academics, athletics, architecture, even dorms and dining halls,” Kinnaman said. “But one area that seemed to be missing among all these ratings and rankings was a vehicle for recognizing excellence and innovation in a school’s business and administrative operations. University Business created the Models of Efficiency program to recognize and honor colleges and universities for their achievements in this area.”

Kinnaman was joined at the podium by Miles Lasater, chief operations officer and cofounder of Higher One, which has sponsored the Models of Efficiency program from the start.

“The criteria by which schools are chosen for this award?creativity, innovation, and a dedication to streamlining the delivery of services?reflect the standards that Higher One sets for its partnerships with more than 650 colleges and universities across the country,” Lasater said. “We believe that improving the efficiency of administrative services yields cost savings and reputation benefits that can propel a college into the top tier of success.”

To date, departments at 14 colleges and universities have earned Models of Efficiency distinction (see the May and July/August issues of University Business) with more nominations being considered for the next round of applications in the fall.

Institutions honored at the reception were Ramapo College of New Jersey; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of North Carolina, Wilmington; Utah Valley University; and Wentworth Institute of Technology (Mass.).

If your campus administrative department has found a better way to provide service to campus constituents while improving quality and reducing costs, we want to hear about it. Go to and tell us your story.