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Efficiency

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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.

10/6/2016

For institutions to remain competitive, they must support a growing student population while providing responsive and top-quality student services. Linn-Benton Community College, which serves over 20,000 full-, part-time and non-credit students in Oregon, automated admissions processes to ensure that exceptional student experience begins from the first point of contact with the college, while improving efficiency and reducing costs.

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While faced with state and federal regulations, an increasingly competitive recruitment environment and intense pressure to contain costs, many colleges and universities have been unable to modernize critical business processes, which could help address key challenges in admissions, finance, and fundraising. Siloed data, manual processes and inefficient workflows can be costly, create security vulnerabilities and prevent institution leaders from understanding the true costs of doing business.

5/24/2016

Colleges and universities are facing a wide variety of business and finance challenges, but many are finding creative solutions. To explore these issues, University Business and Oracle partnered to develop and deploy a recent survey of higher ed business and finance leaders about some of the challenges they face, including rising costs, lack of access to strategic data and changing student expectations.

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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.

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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.

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