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Models of Efficiency

This awards program is no longer running.

University of Montana gave Pinecone Awards as part of the web template project launch, with awards given to staffers in categories such as best user experience and most innovative.

Faced with increased competition for students and declining enrollment, the University of Montana centralized the oversight of its web presence to create a unified look and feel across all of its websites. The use of new templates reduced reliance on outside design firms, cut costs, helped meet accessibility compliance, and increased the pace at which new sites were created.

Digitized recordkeeping streamlines processes for staff working in Admissions and Records while also providing students with access to forms at any time.

Higher education administrators looking to increase efficiency frequently cite document management as a major roadblock. Even so, the numerous flaws in the system used by the College of the Desert’s admissions and records department went beyond the typical woes.

Located in Myrtle Hall, the Pratt Institute’s Bursar and Financial Aid offices have taken a holistic approach to serving students.

Managing personal finance is difficult enough for working professionals. For college students, it can be almost impossible. Part of the reason is that there are multiple finance-related aspects to higher education, and they have different, often confusing languages, says Nedi Goga, executive director of student financial services and compliance at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Expanded use of technology is at the core of most winning Models of Efficiency initiatives.

Implementation of new technology is at the core of most winning initiatives in UB's Models of Efficiency program. At many colleges and universities, there is a domino effect across campus, heightening interest in expanding those programs. Here are three institutions that are expanding and integrating their award-winning initiatives.

Our Models of Efficiency award-winners have already proven they can make better use of resources while simultaneously enhancing service. For most honorees, these innovations are the start of a process of continuous improvement that impacts the entire campus community.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida

For years, new student orientation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida required the creation of information packets that were labeled with stickers and contained as many as 10 sheets of paper. The packets, which were prepared by Records and Registration staff with help from other departments, directed students to where they needed to go during orientation.

The remodel of a dining hall at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro was going to displace more than 5,000 student mailboxes. While thousands of those mailboxes were used infrequently—having been abandoned in the age of email and social media—they couldn’t be discarded entirely because there were still care packages from mom and dad and the occasional Amazon order to deliver.

The number of posted transfer credits for incoming students at Madison College in Wisconsin has risen steadily, from 2,814 in 2010 to 4,119 in 2013—nearly a 50 percent increase in just three years. The college receives approximately 18,000 applications for admission each year. The 24,076 degree-credit students enrolled earned a total of 66,000 transfer credits in 2013. Staff in the admissions and registrar’s offices tried to keep up with posting of transfer credit, but they were at a severe disadvantage.

Until the summer of 2013, the primary sources of technology support services at Fairfield University in Connecticut were the reference librarians and circulation staff at the DiMenna-Nyselius Library—not the technology help desk. Questions about software, using campus printers or accessing the university’s wireless network were most commonly answered by the library professionals who were within earshot.

No one disputes that the management of the seven units housed under the Drexel Business Services (DBS) department worked hard. The units generate $68 million in revenue, $38 million in expenses and $5 million in expense recovery annually for the Philadelphia-based institutions. The units’ respective managers were responsible for their own budgets, purchasing, accounts payable, reconciliation, cash handling, forecasting, HR and quarterly reporting.

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