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More March Features:

Spring break at the beach?
Clinic addresses language barriers
U of M team takes national title
Improving administrative processes
Central Avenue parking area
Names in the news

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Help improve U of M administrative processes

By Greg Russell

You asked, the University is answering and now we’d like more of your invaluable input.

The University has created an Administrative Process Improvement program that has already streamlined labor and resource intensive tasks while helping the U of M to become a more sustainable campus.

Administrative Process Improvement Plan Team
Members of the U of M’s Administrative Process Improvement project are (standing, left to right) Reza Chowdhury, Colette Williams, Maria Alam, Ellen Watson, Melissa Buchner and Ann Harbor. Seated are (left to right) Teresa Hartnett, Tom Nenon and Yolanda Fleming. The committee is looking for ways to make administrative processes at the U of M more efficient and is asking for your suggestions. (Photo by Rhonda Cosentino)

Ann Harbor, a member of the Project Management Consulting Group, said the program is easy to use and can encompass a wide range of administrative processes. All an employee has to do is fill out the Process Improvement Questionnaire at http://www.memphis.edu/processimprovement/.

“We are looking for your input on how the University can become more efficient in its administrative processes,” said Harbor. “It can be an administrative process that is paper and time intensive, or one that you simply struggle to understand.

“Becoming more efficient in our administrative processes saves the University money, so let us know your suggestions.” Harbor provided examples of recent suggestions and the resulting response:

  • The GA appointment/reappointment process is now entirely paperless and was implemented January 2011. Approximately 500 electronic GA contracts were processed, which resulted in the elimination of more than 1,000 paper documents and the need for students to report to an office to sign their contract.The learning that occurred to process contracts electronically, and utilize Banner’s EPAF (Electronic Personnel Action Form) has paved the way for future teams to use this new functionality. Special appreciation is extended to team members Melissa Buchner, Jan Brownlee, Debbie Wooddell, Danny Linton and Margaret Ann Jarred.
  • The Graduation Check-Out Team is making good progress on introducing a more sleek and seamless process for students ready to be certified for graduation. Expect a Summer 2011 roll-out and training.
  • The Faculty Summer Compensation Team is also on track to “electrify” the summer compensation process for nine- month faculty.The team goal is driven by the need to simplify and comply. It seeks to identify all sources of faculty summer compensation upfront so that federal and state earning limits are not exceeded.
  • The Sponsored Internship Team, comprised of key staff and faculty consultants, is reviewing current policies, practices and processes with the goal of streamlining the Sponsored Internship processes to improve coordination across offices.

Harbor said faculty and staff suggestions could lead to a more efficient campus for all. “The ability to submit and accept my graduate assistantship assignment electronically provides the utmost convenience,” said student Jacob Reed, a graduate assistant in health and sport sciences. “Providing electronic submission of the graduate assistantship assignment provides a great service to both students and faculty alike.”

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