You are here

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.

11/16/2017

An increasing number of institutions are taking advantage of mobile technology to help recruit, engage and enroll prospective and admitted students. Mobile apps are being used for self-guided campus tours, open houses, recruitment events, college nights and more, providing a highly effective way for admissions and enrollment departments to meet the needs of these students.

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Though using outdated manual systems can hinder achieving maximum accountability, compliance, and transparency, many higher education institutions are still using such systems to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.

It’s nice to see something grow and take on a life of its own. When we first developed the Models of Efficiency program, we honestly didn’t know quite what to expect. We knew that, in the depths of one of the worst economic crises the country has faced in many years, people were desperately trying to find ways to “do more with less.” That mantra was drilled into the way we all did our jobs each day. Now, even as the economic picture improves, the “new normal” requires that college and university departments continue to rein in costs while improving service and effectiveness.

Every college strives to maximize electronic payments, but there will always be a need for departments to take in-person payments via check, cash, credit and debit card. Schools that handle these payments and the resulting departmental deposits the way they did 10 years ago, with paper forms and manual data entry, may be missing opportunities for efficiencies and savings. This web seminar, originally presented on April 26, 2012, looked at the benefits realized by the University of Illinois after implementation of the Nelnet cashiering solution.

Pages