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Articles: Operational Efficiencies

Nationwide, the scope of faculty and staff housing programs varies as much as campus locations do.

The mailroom is becoming a more visible and important part of auxiliary services at colleges across the country, with some institutions overhauling their facilities completely to accommodate the new technology that streamlines service.

Not all campus mail centers are actually run by the institution.

What do you see as today’s biggest challenge in operating a campus mailroom? Is there anything colleges tend to do that makes the problem worse?

Matthew Poslusny is senior vice president and provost at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C.

Watching students receive their degrees fills us with pride. However, the ceremony itself often leaves us with dread. How long will it be? Will the names of the students be pronounced correctly?

Higher education needs to focus on employee development and start rebuilding their own farm systems. Why do so many colleges look externally for new talent instead of developing their employees? 

Joseph Brennan is vice president of communications and marketing, and clinical professor of business at the University at Albany. Mark Weaver owns Communications Counsel, an Ohio-based firm that advises universities on crisis communications. He teaches at The Ohio State University College of Law, the University of Akron, and the School of Government at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Based on our decades of experience counseling campus CEOs, we’ve identified the key behaviors successful presidents use to lead their institutions through the tough times.

THE BIG EVENT—In 2016, when President Barack Obama visited the University of Nebraska at Omaha, more than 10,000 higher ed students, faculty, staff and community members attended an event at the campus arena.

Colleges may already prepare extensively for VIPs, but a deeper level of cross-campus coordination can ensure a smooth visit even when protests or other disruptions occur.

In 1992 Henry Rowan pledged $100 million to create a new kind of engineering school. Rowan’s legacy transformed Glassboro State College into a public research university that would change the lives of South New Jersey citizens and businesses. Rowan’s gift is still rewriting the history of public campus partnering and co-development, creating a contemporary business parable that other flagship state universities can learn from.

Higher ed administrators are using apps and platforms behind the scenes to help create efficiencies, increase productivity, and manage projects and workflow.

Preparing for the annual audit can be one of the most stressful times of the year for university financial leaders. Some schools compound the challenges of the audit process by not adequately preparing. In these cases, schools are still working on the accounting books and schedules when the audit is supposed to start. This poses challenges for the auditors and results in a highly inefficient and disruptive process.

LAWMAKER PERSUASION— Tim Tai, a University of Missouri student photojournalist, testified in support of the New Voices press freedom bill in higher ed during an April 2016 Missouri House of Representatives committee meeting. (Beatriz Costa-Lima)

Campus newspapers face many of the same challenges confronting the professional media—inconsistent readership, dwindling financial resources, and competition with bloggers and social media.

A Texas judge’s eleventh-hour injunction against a controversial labor regulation change has left more than 4 million U.S. workers, including thousands in higher education, in limbo. Scheduled to go into effect December 1, the so-called Overtime Rule would have made full-time employees earning less than $47,476 eligible for a pay raise or overtime pay.

IT Community Unity—At Cal Poly Pomona, AV harmoniously operates under the greater information technology department umbrella—which may well be because the CIO still allows AV to have autonomy. (Photo: Cal Poly Pomona/Tom Zasadzinski)

AV has been absorbed by the IT department on many college campuses. But is the situation more like a friendly merger or hostile takeover?

The trend started in the mid-2000s, when AV equipment joined the network and control moved to remote software suites. The transition put AV departments in constant communication with the IT teams that manage those networks—making the adoption of AV by IT a natural progression.

Through Laserfiche ECM, Virginia university gains efficiency in processing application materials

Students applying to the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, traditionally would submit their required materials ... and wait. Admissions counselors would print the applications, supporting documents, labels and review sheets. Only after these papers were stuffed into manila folders were the counselors ready to notify a student that their application was received. Often, weeks would go by between the institution receiving the materials and the student being notified.

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