AASCU Innovations Exchange
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Resource Management

Ad Hoc Budget Committee Dedicated to Communication and Cost Saving Opportunities Eastern Connecticut State University Project Description: Eastern Connecticut State University’s President Elsa Nunez established the institution’s Ad Hoc Budget Committee in January 2009 to provide assistance in addressing the fiscal challenges of higher education in a faltering economy.  The committee includes representation from each bargaining unit, faculty, and administration providing an environment for open communication on all budget related issues. Using the resources of the committee, we are able to discover innovative ways to manage the budget while operating in a transparent environment. Read more >>

Boosting Efficiency, Savings and Service with a Centralized Contract Management Software Solution Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Project Description: Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (A&M-Corpus Christi) implemented a contract software management database solution resulting in a centralized repository of all contracts including audit trails stored in digital format that have the tools to quickly access important information, generate reports, execute contracts and receive automatic reminders of critical dates all at once without having to track contract folders and deal with misfiled or missing paperwork. The primary beneficiaries of this system are the contract, purchasing, and accounts payable department and our customers; i.e., internal departmental managers and the many external vendors, entities and organization with which the university does business.  The system has increased efficiency and has contributed to both cost avoidance and cost reduction. Read more >>

Business Process Improvement Initiatives Fresno State University Project Description: In the summer of 2009, Fresno State began the journey of business process improvement.  Since then, the university has undertaken two rounds of improvements, first in academic personnel, human recourses, and payroll functions using a corporate consulting model; second in a wider set of processes/products using the Lean University methodology. Each project was led by a team facilitator with support from a project sponsor. Read more >>

Collaborative Health and Wellness Strategy to Reverse Rising Healthcare Costs Central Michigan University Project Description: Central Michigan University employee group leaders and administrators are reversing rising healthcare costs by combining common purchasing and consumerism methods with an innovative gainsharing wellness program. Employees who complete four wellness components* receive their “share” of a fiscal year-end positive balance in CMU’s self-funded health plans. Plan benefits rank among the strongest for Michigan universities, while annual medical and prescription drug plan costs have declined. CMU and its health plan members have avoided $11 million over the past five years in comparison to 11 of the state’s other public universities. *Components include an annual health risk assessment, exercise, annual physical, and wellness screenings/programs. Read more >>

Curricular Audit for Cost Containment and Student Success Lyndon State College Project Description: This initiative involved an in-depth analysis of every academic program to determine its financial viability and its success in serving students.  A comprehensive set of data was compiled and analyzed by an academic administrative team.  Data and preliminary observations were shared with each academic department and the team met with departments to discuss potential curricular changes.  The analysis occurred over one year with follow-up analysis and curricular revision spilling into the subsequent year.  The project has resulted in the closure of several academic majors, minors, and concentrations and the pruning of required and elective courses.  These changes resulted in cost savings for the college.  The analysis of student success measures has focused faculty on developing strategies to increase student success in their programs. Read more >>

IT Shared Services California State University, Northridge Project Description: At the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) meetings in May and June 2011, the Chief Information Officers (CIOs) at each of the 23 California State University (CSU) campus reaffirmed their commitment to consider transformational changes by pursuing shared-services, in response to the need for sustained focus on information technology (IT) cost savings and efficiencies and also to enable IT to be appropriately responsive to ongoing requests for innovative technology solutions to support the California State University mission.  New technological capabilities such as virtualization, cloud computing, and advanced networks readily enable the delivery of information technology services which leverage consolidation, standardization, and sharing of infrastructure and applications to reduce provisioning time, complexity, and cost. ITAC Statement of Direction:The CSU intends to pursue a system-wide strategy to use shared IT services whenever possible to generate cost savings, facilitate service improvement, and create new areas of service through leveraging existing CSU campus resources. Read more >>

Partnering to Boost Cost Savings and Quality in Residential Network Services The College at Brockport, State University of New York Project Description: Facing the financial and labor intensive challenges of owning a student data network, Brockport researched numerous avenues to save the campus money and time.  An analysis concluded the best option for Brockport was to invest in a partnership with a provider who offered campus residential network (ResNet) services.Through this partnership model, Brockport ensures they are always innovating and staying ahead of student connectivity needs with the partner’s built-in technology road map.  Brockport also achieves significant cost-savings, given that their partner assumes the up-front capital investment costs of all equipment needed to set up the network. Read more >>

Professors Funding Scholarships in Retirement (PRFSR) University of North Alabama Project Description: Volunteerism can create a sizeable monetary endowment. Many faculty (and staff) members who have devoted their careers to a university desire to leave a meaningful legacy but lack the financial means to bring that dream to reality. By retiring from their positions while continuing to perform their jobs voluntarily for another semester or year, the university can defer its search for a replacement and place their salary and benefits into a permanent endowment, the earnings from which can be awarded as the professor prescribes. Scholarships, program enrichment, and undergraduate research are examples of the types of support that may be created. The program is entitled Professors Funding Scholarships in Retirement (PRFSR). Read more >>

Reduce Waste and Printing Costs in Records Management without Spending a Fortune Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi Project Description: In April 2009, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) began development of the Report Upload Bifurcation Engine (RUBE) system to receive the continuous stream of bundled report files from BPP/FAMIS feeds, and to perform the complex task of separating and distributing individual BPP/FAMIS reports to their respective imaging repositories in secure digital format.  The primary benefactors of these systems are the Accounting and Payroll departments and these benefits extend to their own customer base in the form of more timely access to reports in a collaborative format.  In addition to cost savings in paper, printing supplies, mailings/postage, and the recapture of prime office space from storage of old documents, these departments experience a more efficient use of staff time and abilities. Read more >>

Saving Students Money on Textbooks by Promoting Open Educational Resources Indiana State University Project Description: Indiana State University (ISU) is reducing the cost of attending college for its students by encouraging instructors to adopt free open educational resources (OERs) for use in the classroom instead of high-cost traditional publisher textbooks. This approach stems from an internal report by the Affordability Taskforce, completed in 2012, which explored strategies for reducing the cost of textbooks and supplies. Using public domain or open access materials was among the cost saving avenues explored in the report. A Strategic Plan initiative was created to support this project, which provides a $3,000 stipend to individual instructors for each undergraduate course that they convert to the use of OERs in place of traditional textbooks.Using OERs instead of traditional textbooks generates other outcomes in addition to saving money for students. First, OERs allow instructors to choose custom learning materials that specifically address learning outcomes for the course. Since most of the materials are born digital, they are also easily updated and revised to include new information. Students reap other benefits as well. They have immediate access to a course’s learning materials from day one; they do not have to wait for their financial aid money to be awarded to purchase a textbook. All combined, these benefits should facilitate enhanced student retention and success rates.  Read more >>

University of Central Missouri’s Energy Services Performance Contracting Project (ESCO) University of Central Missouri Project Description: In spring 2009, the University of Central Missouri embarked on a comprehensive $36.1 million energy savings contract (ESCO), impacting 26 campus buildings. UCM had a $2 million maintenance budget, inadequate to address a growing deferred maintenance backlog. Concurrently, UCM signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to move toward carbon neutrality. An energy performance contract was implemented enabling the University to mitigate $20 million in deferred maintenance, and to replace building systems with energy efficient upgrades at $16.1 million. The 15-year lease/purchase cost is covered by operational and energy savings, with no net cost to the University. UCM partnered with Trane Corporation on this energy services performance contract; however, there are many vendors that specialize in providing such services. Read more >>

Utilization of Encelium Lighting/HVAC Controls to Save Energy, Money Eastern Connecticut State University Project Description: Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) has implemented an integrated lighting control and energy management system that is designed to save money, improve lighting quality, and enhance personal lighting comfort. This lighting control and energy management system includes six strategies: smart time scheduling, daylight harvesting, task tuning, occupancy control, personal control and variable load shedding. ECSU has added to the strategies by connecting the building automation system and HVAC controls to the occupancy portion of the program. This project was implemented in our main administrative building as a pilot program. If energy savings and staff feedback are as positive as we anticipated, replication of the system in other campus buildings is anticipated. Read more >>