Efficiency Task Force

Efficiency Task Force
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Auburn University Efficiency Task Force Report
July 2011
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Table of Contents
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................................................................... 3
Efficiency Task Force Members ......................................................................................................................................................... 4
Introduction ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 5
Guiding Principles ............................................................................................................................................................................. 5
Ongoing Efficiency Efforts ................................................................................................................................................................. 6
Implemented Efficiencies .................................................................................................................................................................. 6
Efficiency Task Force Recommendations .......................................................................................................................................... 9
Academic Sub-Committee Key Issues Addressed and Recommendations ....................................................................................... 9
Business Support Services Sub-Committee Key Issues Addressed and Recommendations .......................................................... 12
Facilities Sub-Committee Key Issues and Recommendations ........................................................................................................ 18
IT Systems Sub-Committee Key Issues Addressed and Recommendations ................................................................................... 15
Marketing Sub-Committee Key Issues and Recommendations ...................................................................................................... 20
Appendix A Permanent Budget Cuts/Efficiency Savings ................................................................................................................. 22
Appendix B Efficiency Strategies Undertaken in Units .................................................................................................................... 23
Appendix C Comments and Feedback provided to the Efficiency Task Force:
Efficiency Comments and Suggestions Provided to the Academic Efficiencies Sub-Committee .................................................... 39
Efficiency Comments and Suggestions Provided to the Business Support Services Sub-Committee ............................................. 41
Efficiency Comments and Suggestions Provided to the Facilities Sub-Committee ......................................................................... 44
Efficiency Comments and Suggestions Provided to the Information Technology Sub-Committee ................................................ 48
Efficiency Comments and Suggestions Provided to the Communications and Marketing Sub-Committee ................................... 50
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Executive Summary
Following several months of meetings with representatives from the campus community and a careful review of
comments and suggestions submitted, the Auburn University Efficiency Task Force has completed its initial work and
recommended changes and next steps for the procedures and practices that guide the application of current and future
institutional policies.
The Auburn University Efficiency Task Force was charged with identifying ways of improving the general efficiency and
effectiveness of the institution’s operations. Some of the task force recommendations correspond with the institution’s
continuing efforts to advance its Strategic Plan, and others are a direct response to continued state budget reductions.
Specifically, the task force has identified ways of (1) improving policies, procedures, processes and/or practices that
could be revised, simplified, eliminated or established to improve efficiencies/effectiveness and better meet the needs
of the Auburn University faculty, staff, and students; (2) improving the communications and marketing of new policies,
initiatives, and procedures among the university community; and (3) improving coordination among Auburn University’s
administration and the various academic and operating units, organizations, and affiliates. In its efforts to develop a
model of effectiveness, the task force has also identified opportunities for potentially reducing costs, streamlining
processes, and building upon existing campus efficiency initiatives.
Through preliminary discussions with faculty and staff and benchmarking efficiency efforts at peer institutions, the task
force identified five key areas of emphasis. These areas include: (1) academic efficiencies, (2) business support services,
(3) communications and marketing, (4) facilities and support services, and (5) information technology systems.
Members of the campus community were asked to provide comments and ideas to the task force to be explored,
discussed, and prioritized by each sub-committee in an effort to identify potential recommendations. Feedback
continues to be solicited from the university community in the form of focus groups, open forums, online submissions,
and interviews.
An integral part of the task force’s work has involved careful analysis of ongoing efficiency measures implemented
among the units within both the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Executive Vice President during the 2010 and
2011 academic years. Although the attached list of budget cuts and efficiencies for Auburn University and Auburn
University Montgomery (Appendix B) does not represent a comprehensive list of all units and efficiency strategies, it
does represent the extent to which many of the units have reorganized and simplified procedures to save costs or
reallocate resources on both campuses.
The following report offers several recommendations for quick action regarding ongoing issues with existing campus
policies, practices, and procedures. The report also offers opportunities for further analysis and recommendations in
areas that will require more time to successfully implement. A summary of ongoing efficiency efforts and budget
reductions that have been undertaken by both academic and non-academic units to increase the overall effectiveness of
the institution is also included.
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Efficiency Task Force Members
Mary Ellen Mazey, Chair
Former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Andy Gillespie
Assistant Provost, International Programs
Bliss Bailey
Director, Office of Information Technology
Anne-Katrin Gramberg
Dean, College of Liberal Arts
Bill Batchelor
Dean, College of Agriculture and Director, AAES
Lynne Hammond
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Rick Battye
Auburn Technical Assistance Center
David Hennessey
Accountant, Contracts and Grants Accounting
Administrative & Professional Assembly
Ainsley Carry
Vice President for Student Affairs
Drew Clark
Director, Institutional Research and Assessment
Claire Crutchley
Professor, Department of Finance
Chair, University Senate
Deedie Dowdle
Executive Director, Office of Communications and
Marketing
Jeff Elwell
Provost, Auburn University at Montgomery
Julie Huff
Special Assistant to the Provost for Projects and
Initiatives
Joel Hunter
Roofing Department, Facilities Division
Auburn University Staff Council Steering Committee
Greg Ruff
Director, Engineering Outreach and Continuing
Education
Marcie Smith
Associate Vice President for Business and Finance
Kurt Sasser
President, 2010-2011 Student Government Association
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Introduction
In response to recent budget reductions and Auburn University’s desire to become a more efficient institution, the
Efficiency Task Force was established in January 2011 to identify strategies for streamlining many of the campus
operations in an effort to create a more efficient campus environment for its faculty, staff, and students.
The task force charge given by former Provost Mary Ellen Mazey was to identify opportunities to enhance the efficiency
and effectiveness of operations among the broad areas of academics, business support services, communications and
marketing, facilities and support services, and information technology systems. The Task Force solicited suggestions
and comments from the campus community regarding ways to improve the general efficiency and effectiveness of the
institution, along with suggestions for reducing costs and saving time in areas throughout campus.
The task force began its work by developing a set of guiding principles to be used as each working group drafted
recommendations. The members identified five major sub-committees and, following the requests for suggestions from
the campus community, compiled approximately 82 efficiency recommendations. Feedback was obtained from faculty,
staff, and students across campus through the use of an online submission website, focus groups, and interviews with
representatives of various stakeholder groups. Each sub-committee met to discuss and analyze the feedback and
drafted recommendations following discussions and subsequent meetings with additional campus representatives.
Recommendations were drafted and, where possible, estimated cost savings were provided (a summary of all comments
submitted to the sub-committees is provided in Appendix C). Several comments were submitted that exceed the
immediate scope of the task force. These comments are included in Appendix C, and the task force recommends that a
separate ad hoc committee be established to take them under consideration. The following section contains 34 major
recommendations and 48 secondary recommendations. It is important to consider that many of the recommendations
provided do not necessarily contain projected cost savings, but rather present improved operational efficiencies and
services.
Guiding Principles
The goal of the Auburn University Efficiency Task Force is to recommend ways of improving the general efficiency and
effectiveness of our institution’s operations by identifying the following:
1. Any policies, procedures, processes, and/or practices that could be revised, simplified, eliminated, or created, to
improve efficiencies/effectiveness in an effort to better meet the needs of the Auburn University faculty, staff,
and students;
2. Opportunities to improve the communications and marketing of new policies, initiatives, and procedures among
the university community;
3. Opportunities for better coordination between Auburn University’s administration and the academic and nonacademic operating units, organizations, and affiliates.
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Ongoing Efficiency Efforts
Despite the decline in state-appropriated resources in recent academic years, Auburn University has identified many
innovative strategies to ensure the institution upholds the high standards and quality of its academic programs, research
endeavors, and outreach efforts. While the institution has always upheld efforts to decrease costs and improve policies
and procedures, many campus units have compensated for recent funding deficiencies by identifying strategies designed
to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of procedural operations. These strategies have resulted in streamlined
processes and better use of funds and resource allocation.
Earlier this year, academic and auxiliary units were asked to provide their efficiency strategies to demonstrate how they
contain costs to operate more effectively. Combined permanent salary and maintenance cuts for FY 2010 and FY 2011
among many of the academic units and many auxiliary departments, along with self-reported efficiency strategies, total
nearly $35 million (Appendix A). Although these figures are not exhaustive of all of the institution’s areas, the efficiency
information provided illustrates how these units are resourcefully coping with budgetary restraints (Appendix B). This
information was compiled in an effort to engage the campus in a greater dialogue regarding efficiency, and also
contributes to the efforts and recommendations of the Efficiency Task Force (later established in spring 2011).
As stated, multiple units have participated in the ongoing effort to increase efficiency as the institution adjusts to
decreased resources resulting from budget reductions. A summary of the combined permanent salary and maintenance
reduction for the past two fiscal years is provided in Appendix B.
Implemented Efficiencies
During 2010 and 2011, the Provost’s Office and the Office of the Executive Vice President authorized the
implementation of several new programs designed to enhance the efficiency of policies or procedures that effectively
impact the campus. Units initiated these efforts in response to growing concerns over issues of increasing
undergraduate student enrollment, decreases in funding, duplication of efforts across various departments, the
increasing need for many of the university processes to become paperless, and a general desire to streamline and
simplify several existing practices. Major efficiency efforts currently being undertaken include:
 Implementation of Ad Astra software: Purchased in 2010, Ad Astra software has enabled the institution to identify
and more efficiently schedule instructional space. Prior to this, classroom scheduling was accomplished using an inhouse database maintained by one individual within the Registrar’s Office. Due to continued enrollment demand on
lower-division core courses, a space inventory was conducted to prepare for the implementation of Ad Astra. Using
this inventory and historical course demand, courses are now assigned to “right sized” classrooms to allow for
maximum capacity and more efficient use of academic spaces.
 Efficiency of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee: Beginning in 2010, the process of the University
Promotion and Tenure (P&T) Committee determinations was modified to save both resources and faculty time. Prior
to this, promotion and tenure decisions were very time and resource intensive, due to the need for multiple copies of
each candidate’s tenure packet being made for each member of the P&T Committee (an annual average of 55 tenure
packets exceeding 100 pages each for approximately 15 committee members), and several day-long sessions were
reserved to review each individual case. To bring greater efficiency to this process, all tenure packets are now posted
to a secured website for committee members, and a preliminary vote is taken among all committee members. A
formal vote is taken for those cases that are unanimous, and a thorough discussion takes place for all other cases.
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The revised process saves the institution from making paper copies that have to be later shredded, and also saves
faculty time.
 Implementation of Digital Measures for reporting faculty activity: Auburn University is currently implementing
Digital Measures software to streamline the process of faculty annual evaluations. Digital Measures enables the
institution to maintain faculty information and credentials for each course taught in a central location that is easily
accessible. Ensuring the accuracy of this information is increasingly important as the institution prepares for its SACS
reaffirmation in 2013.
 Implementation of Degree Works: DegreeWorks is a web-based tool designed to help students and advisors
monitor a student's progress toward degree completion. DegreeWorks is designed to support academic advising
through combining Auburn University’s degree requirements and a student’s coursework completed into a unique
format that enables students to visualize those courses completed towards degree requirements, and what courses
remain. The system will also enable students to view degree requirements if they are interested in changing majors,
and see courses that do/do not transfer.
 Redesign of Camp War Eagle: In summer 2011, the Office of First Year Programs transitioned its summer orientation
program for incoming freshmen from eight three-day sessions to 10 two-day sessions. The modified schedule is
designed to more efficiently meet the needs of incoming students and family members by shortening the duration.
The modified schedule also creates smaller session attendance, allowing for more quality time with academic
advisors and peer counselors. In addition, the schedule has been revised to allow academic advisors more efficient
use of their time with students and parents (an average of 5,000 parents and family members attend the sessions).
More frequent and shorter sessions also enable the university to more efficiently utilize campus facilities, creating a
less crowded and more comfortable atmosphere.
 Implementation of PeopleAdmin 7 for Academic Positions: The Office of the Provost is currently automating the
effect faculty recruitment and selection process to substantial savings over heavily paper and labor intensive
procedures currently in place. These savings will be realized through expansion of the on-line application and
employment management process implemented by University Human Resources for non-faculty recruitment and
selection in 2002. Human Resources engaged People Admin, a vendor specializing in technology solutions for the
higher education market, to convert paper employment management processes for non-faculty employees to an
electronic system. This resulted in the elimination of a full time staff position dedicated to manual applicant flow
data entry and copying approximately 9-10,000 applications per year for distribution to hiring departments and
search committees. The on-line faculty employment process will leverage existing technology and will not require a
separate module purchase from the vendor. In addition to automating the employment process, the Provost's Office
and Human Resources are collaborating to reduce recruitment advertising costs through a centralized recruitment
process initiated by Human Resources in 2007. This process allows the University to realize significant savings
through economies of scale with frequently used advertising outlets, in addition to enhancing the image of the
University through branding consistency.
 Pooled Fringe Benefit Rates: Beginning in 2010, the Business Office initiated the practice of budgeting and expensing
employee benefits with federally negotiated and approved pooled fringe benefit rates. A best practice at most
research universities, the fringe rates provide for better costing of benefits, realizing savings to the base budgets of
over $3.5 million in the first year of implementation. As benefit costs increase, the savings each year will increase
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proportionally. The rates also provide for more effective and defensible budgeting, particularly on sponsored
agreements.
 Strategic Sourcing Initiatives: Beginning in 2009 and ongoing, the Business Office has studied commodities and
services of high dollar expense and developed strategies for bidding and negotiating contracts associated with these
purchases and services. Emphasis has been on maximizing economies of scale with high volume discounts, obtaining
funds for scholarships, negotiating upfront payments and rebates and obtaining better compliance with Alabama
Competitive Bid Law. Contracts for office supplies, scientific supplies, computer equipment and peripherals, and
vehicle rental are examples of such contracts.
 Electronic Processing and Paper Elimination Initiatives: Over the past two years and ongoing, the Business Office
has led numerous initiatives centered on electronic processing that impact all divisions, colleges and schools, and
administrative units of the University. Such efforts include the in-house development of an effort certification
system, whereby quarterly certification of salary and wages is entered, approved and reported via a complex system.
Besides the efficiencies afforded in the system, this was an area of compliance risk to the university. Another
example is the ongoing campus-wide implementation of Kronos, an electronic timekeeping and leave management
system. Processing of e-vouchers and expense reimbursements has begun implementation.
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Efficiency Task Force Recommendations
Through the sub-committees, the task force was able to provide 82 recommendations that identify opportunities for
enhanced overall efficiencies and potential cost saving strategies. While some of the recommendations may result in
immediate cost savings, the majority require further analysis and discussion to determine their overall value from both
fiscal and practical perspectives. Some recommendations require time for additional discussion and implementation,
while others can be executed quickly and require few or no resources. Many of the recommendations specify that
further examination by the most appropriate stakeholders is necessary before they can be acted upon. Over the next
few months, it is expected that the campus would initiate additional work groups or an implementation committee to
explore these options further and report back with suggested plans for implementation.
Academic Sub-Committee
Key Issues Addressed and Recommendations
Recommendation 1: Examine course scheduling practices and assess whether changes to the block scheduling system
for first-year undergraduate students could improve fill-rates for key courses.
Discussion: To better accommodate the demands on undergraduate core courses and take advantage of Ad Astra, a
possible technique to improve the efficiency and utilization of classroom space includes the possible use of block
scheduling for freshmen students.
1.1 Review and analyze the existing scheduling policies (Registrar’s Office), departmental scheduling practices, the
needs of students and faculty, and what, if any, physical constraints are imposed by limited classroom utilization.
1.2 Solicit the views of students, faculty, and staff and identify what recommendations (if any) are desirable.
Recommendation 2: Improve the enrollment management process by establishing enrollment and retention targets
for each college and school through a collaboration between Enrollment Services and the academic schools and
colleges.
Discussion: In an effort to improve the six-year graduation rate and continue to manage capacity issues beyond the
freshmen year, better communication is needed among the Office of Enrollment Services and the colleges and schools.
2.1 Establish enrollment targets and retention goals for each college.
Recommendation 3: Require the use of the SARS scheduling software package in all colleges and schools.
Discussion: Management of advising offices across the colleges and schools is incompatible, and greater consistency is
needed to ensure an easier transition among students who transfer from one college to another. SARS, now available
centrally through the Office of Information Technology, provides a unique structure for setting student appointments,
tracking walk-in visits, and maintaining advisor schedules.
3.1 Demonstrate the advantages of using SARS to enhance academic advising for faculty advisors within the colleges.
Recommendation 4: Convert the approval of transient registration forms from a paper to an electronic process.
Discussion: Students who take courses at other institutions are required to complete a transient registration form. The
current process for obtaining a transient form requires students to complete several visits to their advising office to
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obtain and submit the form, upon which they must submit the form to the Registrar’s Office. Since these forms are only
needed by the transient institutions, and students often decide not to use them, it would save more time and energy for
both the student and the advisor to make the form available electronically. Many of our peer institutions have existing
software in place as a tool for students and advisors.
4.1 Establish a database for students to access courses that have already been articulated from peer institutions with
the state to save students and advisors time seeking out existing information.
Recommendation 5: Expand the scope of the University Ombuds Office to serve students as well as faculty and staff.
Discussion: Students who experience issues they are not comfortable discussing with faculty, department heads/chairs,
or Associate Deans should have a resource for listening to issues and advocating for students. Auburn University
currently maintains an ombudsman for faculty and staff; however, students are encouraged to take issues up directly
with faculty or their academic advisors.
Recommendation 6: With the selection and implementation of a new learning management system, educate faculty
that grades posted into the learning management system are secure and can be rolled into Banner.
Discussion: The process of entering grades into Banner is fairly arduous for faculty, many of whom use the grade book
feature available in Blackboard. A perception exists among faculty that converting grades from Blackboard into Banner
is not possible or not secured, when in fact Blackboard can "post" grades to Banner. There are some technical
limitations to transitioning grades from Blackboard into Banner, particularly with regard to the way grades are "rolled" in
Banner, and the way grade changes would have to be handled.
Recommendation 7: Expand opportunities for students to interact with faculty.
Discussion: As instruction becomes more efficient in the use of classroom space with the implementation of Ad Astra
software, a potential result is the projected increase in class sizes, which could decrease the level of faculty-student
interaction. Depending upon the size of the college, some units may not be able to provide smaller class sizes for
students to interact and seek career advising from faculty.
7.1 Increase research opportunities for undergraduate students to allow students to spend more time in close
contact with their faculty outside of the classroom.
7.2 Encourage the creation of undergraduate research or innovative activities in departments where they do not
currently exist.
7.3 Identify possible media outlets to display undergraduate research and other activities among areas where
publication may have been limited.
7.4 Explore other creative activities for faculty to engage with students, such as professional societies, book clubs,
speakers, etc.
Recommendation 8: Identify more group study areas for students in academic buildings.
Discussion: Student feedback indicated that existing study space in the library is inadequate and overcrowded.
Students will often locate empty classrooms or other existing space throughout campus. The Learning Commons
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provides unique features that students would like to see mimicked in other areas around campus, including features
such as white boards and space for small and large groups.
8.1 Assess the course inventory to identify where classroom space can be converted into student space during
specific times of the day.
Recommendation 9: Convert academic and curriculum review processes currently completed manually to workflow.
Discussion: Although the institution is converting many of its processes from manual to electronic, several processes still
require the printing of forms for signature and manual submission. A more consistent document management and
curricular workflow is needed for many academic units and committees throughout the university.
9.1 Seek feedback from the Associate Deans, advisors, faculty, and students to create a comprehensive list of
academic processes still completed manually.
9.2 Identify which processes can be transitioned to workflow, while requiring minimal resources, and ensure the
integrity of each process is maintained.
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Business Support Services Sub-Committee
Key Issues Addressed and Recommendations
Recommendation 10: The University should continue its efforts to enhance procurement processes for commodities
and services in an effort to simplify procedures, provide cost effectiveness, and allow for increased training.
Discussion: Strategic Sourcing efforts have taken place continually at Auburn University since 2009 with the assistance
of an outside consultant. New contracts in high dollar spend commodities have resulted in incentives, scholarship funds,
and achieving economies of scale in pricing and better bid law compliance. Commodities include office supplies,
computer equipment, computer peripherals, rental cars, scientific supplies, etc. Consultants have trained buyers with
the goal to transfer knowledge regarding best practices for strategic sourcing. The purchasing card contract (using
consultant assistance), exploring opportunities for enhanced service, better technology, larger rebates, and upfront
contract concessions are currently under review. Travel agency, online booking tools, and enhanced repair and
maintenance contracts are available for future review.
10.1 Monitor campus satisfaction with processes by developing a mechanism for soliciting feedback from business
and HR staff, such as online surveys or regular focus group sessions.
10.2 Develop strategies for enhancing communication with and training of staff regarding issues such as contracts
and bid laws, and ensure feedback is reciprocal.
Recommendation 11: Further analyze consultant use in an effort to develop campus guidelines for the hiring,
management, and evaluation of outside consultants.
11.1 Establish guidelines and training for how to complete and automate paperwork for hiring consultants.
11.2 Provide virtual training to faculty and staff regarding how to negotiate and manage consulting relationships.
11.3 Investigate the utilization and effectiveness of search firms and other consultants in an effort to enhance quality.
11.4 Establish guidelines on the utilization of search firms to ensure compliance with regulations and policy.
(Guidelines have already been drafted for non-faculty positions.)
Recommendation 12: Revisit the use of PeopleAdmin for faculty and other academic positions not currently utilizing
it [ongoing] and explore the integration of PeopleAdmin with Banner HR.
Discussion: Auburn University now utilizes a centralized recruiting model for staff and A&P positions that allows for job
advertisements to be consolidated and consistent. This has resulted in significant savings for advertising. The University
currently utilizes PeopleAdmin, an electronic system for applications for employment that allows for electronic capture
and distribution of application materials to search committee members, electronic processing, and approval of applicants
as well as automated AA/EEOC processes.
12.1 Work with OIT to identify a means of integrating PeopleAdmin with Banner HR to avoid duplication of
employment information entry upon hire.
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Recommendation 13: As Kronos time and leave systems are implemented, ensure the decision-making body includes
wide representation of campus constituents. Decisions regarding use of systems should maximize the efficiencies and
electronic capabilities.
Discussion: The University’s method of capturing biweekly time worked is very paper-based and has resulted in very
inefficient payroll practices. For this reason, the University recently contracted with Kronos to extend electronic
timekeeping to all of campus. Facilities, Vet Med, and the Library have been users of Kronos. Full implementation is
scheduled for 2011. In addition, a component to address leave management will be implemented for all employees in
order to provide electronic submission and approval/capture for reporting details not previously captured in the system.
Recommendation 14: Obtain benchmarks for appropriate staffing levels based on the volume of sponsored programs,
personnel, financial transactions, etc.
Discussion: Although some institutions have addressed decentralization of financial functions by recommending unit
consolidation of financial personnel from departments within schools and colleges to central offices, the task force did
not see a need to recommend the same at Auburn at this time. However, an opportunity exists to evaluate the
appropriate levels and structure of support at the unit level.
14.1 Use the Facilities and Administrative study (COGR) to demonstrate discrepancies in rates compared to peer
institutions.
14.2 Develop tools for analysis that can be shared among colleges and units and identify specific functions that can
be done internally.
14.3 Survey and assess effectiveness of training among Financial and HR liaison programs, and use the results to
guide program changes.
Recommendation 15: Examine the organizational structure and workload distribution to ensure that all staff is fully
utilized and jobs are properly allocated and classified.
15.1 Conduct an analysis of positions through Human Resources in cases where jobs have changed or minimum
qualifications need review to ensure that classifications and qualifications are appropriate for the work to be
performed.
Recommendation 16: Require mandatory training for all faculty and non-faculty supervisors to ensure that
supervisors understand and comply with policies and legal obligations and have the tools they need to be effective
managers of human capital.
16.1 Provide greater clarity in how supervisors are defined among academic and non-academic positions.
16.2 Require training in the following high risk legal compliance areas at a minimum: sexual harassment, equal
opportunity/affirmative action; and non-discrimination in employment.
Recommendation 17: Further review of the Sponsored Programs and Contracts and Grants Administration preawarding and post-awarding process.
Discussion: The potential for duplication of responsibilities exists between the two offices before and after a grant is
awarded. To become more efficient, greater interfacing between these units is needed.
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Recommendation 18: Automate workflow processes for vendor voucher and travel reimbursement.
Recommendation 19: Automate other Human Resource processes, including performance management, as needed
and as resources permit.
Discussion: Although many academic and business units have transitioned to paperless processes, many manual
processes remain that should become automated.
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Facilities Sub-Committee
Key Issues and Recommendations
Recommendation 20: Establish a policy for identifying and consolidating campus buildings, particularly during the
summer months.
Discussion: A prevalent topic among the suggestions received involved sustainability and energy conservation,
particularly regarding use of academic buildings during the summer months. The Utilities and Energy Department
maintains a database of existing buildings programmed to reduce heating and cooling costs (known as
occupied/unoccupied mode) throughout the year to provide an average of 10% cost savings. In keeping with the
Facilities Energy Reduction Plan, it is necessary for the administrative and academic units to establish new policies and
guidelines for the continued promotion of energy savings.
20.1 Establish a taxonomy for campus building types that will enable Facilities to determine what buildings and labs
can be scheduled for unoccupied mode (this would change the individual zone unoccupied set points to a higher
temperature in warm months and a lower temperature in cold months). An inventory of facilities and usage during
the summer will enable the university to make informed decisions regarding buildings and energy use.
20.2 Establish a policy for building consolidation during the summer months and identify a threshold that would
authorize the Provost’s Office and the Office of the Executive Vice President to request building occupants merge
with other campus facilities.
20.3 Explore the costs and advantages of utilizing software to regulate and reduce energy costs, such as energy fees
and CO2 emissions incurred by idle computers that could be placed in power-save mode.
20.4 As identified in the Auburn University Climate Action Plan 1.0, explore possible pilot programs utilizing solar
panels and support recommended energy saving initiatives.
20.5 Use the classroom inventory to identify available classroom space in academic buildings that can be used for
academic purposes. Student comments received addressed the lack of available study space in designated
buildings such as the RBD Library, Student Center, and various other academic buildings. During peak times,
students often seek vacant classrooms in various academic buildings for studying purposes. With the recent
implementation of Ad Astra software, the Registrar’s Office maintains a schedule for academic classroom
utilization. The Facilities Sub-Committee recommends this information be used and additional spaces be identified
for students. This information should be shared with the Deans and building managers, and ultimately
communicated to the students.
Recommendation 21: Support the campus sustainability efforts by implementing hydration stations on campus.
Discussion: Along with sustainable building efforts, many of the comments received by the task force also suggested
Auburn University encourage the use of reusable water bottles and decrease the use of plastic bottles through
implementing public hydration stations. Already utilized by many other higher education institutions, hydration
stations offer water dispensers that are specifically designed to fill reusable containers and encourage members of the
campus community to rely less on bottled water. Strategic installation and proper promotion of hydration stations
would provide a convenient alternative, save money, reduce trash and discarded plastic on campus, and encourage sales
of reusable containers.
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21.1 Benchmark similar programs implemented at peer institutions with student enrollment comparable to Auburn
University.
21.2 As the dialogue for this initiative takes place, key stakeholder groups such as students, faculty, staff,
administrators, dining services, residence life programs, facilities, and executive office personnel should be
included. A core group should be established to determine feasible locations and costs for this initiative.
Recommendation 22: Better marketing and coordination of campus recycling programs.
Discussion: Comments provided to the task force communicated confusion over the university’s current recycling
programs. In an effort to increase recycling efficiency, the task force recommends the Office of Sustainability address
the need to better market ongoing recycling efforts to the campus community. This can be accomplished through
increased public awareness campaigns and centralized recycling convenience centers. The Office of Sustainability has
begun campus education and participation programs, and it is suggested these strategic efforts be supported. A
continued dialogue is needed among the Office of Sustainability and the campus community.
22.1 Building Services should revisit existing recycling practices to determine if policies and practices are
consistently enforced among custodial staff.
22.2 Establish an ad hoc committee to support a campus awareness campaign designed to educate units on existing
recycling services available as well as new campus recycling initiatives identified by the Office of Sustainability.
Recommendation 23: Establish a working group to review management layers and structure within the Office of
Facilities.
Discussion: The task force received various comments regarding facilities staff, many of which involved questions and
statements over the multiple facilities staff members often assigned to complete very simple and basic work orders. The
Facilities Sub-Committee followed up on these comments which suggest that a more comprehensive review of the layers
of management would allow for greater efficiencies to be identified. Therefore, it is recommended that a separate ad
hoc group composed of task force members, the Assistant Vice President for Facilities, representatives from Human
Resources, facilities, and campus administrators be formed to further examine facilities management issues and provide
recommendations.
23.1 Identify areas where excess staff and administrative support exists and recommend ways of better utilizing
these individuals or where student workers may be used in lieu of excess staff members.
23.2 It is recommended that units who submit work orders for specific jobs within their areas should be provided
with the opportunity to submit confidential feedback regarding the quality of work completed. This feedback
should be shared with the upper levels of management within the facilities units and regularly reviewed by the
Assistant Vice President for Facilities.
23.3 Assess the feasibility of implementing flexible hours for facilities staff, as many issues and problems arise
outside of regular university hours.
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Recommendation 24: Ensure faculty and staff are aware of new campus master plan initiatives designed to support
parking and bicycle routes.
Discussion: The task force received several comments concerning parking capacity for faculty and staff and excess traffic
on campus during peak hours. The Facilities Sub-Committee explored several of these issues further, and has learned
that the Board of Trustees has approved construction projects designed to create increased parking for the campus
community. Concern exists over the use of the new parking facilities for faculty and staff, and how parking policies will
be enforced.
24.1 It is recommended that the location, type of parking, and policies for the newly constructed parking lots/decks
be clearly communicated to faculty and staff prior to the construction of the projects.
24.2 Although expanding the bike routes on campus has been investigated by the Assistant Vice President for
Facilities, the committee recommends a campus committee be established to further address the issue of
expanding the bike lanes on campus. This group should include representatives from the Office of Sustainability,
faculty, staff, students, the City of Auburn, and various other constituent groups.
24.3 Explore the feasibility of student bike “loaner programs” currently implemented at peer institutions.
Increased bicycle use would reduce the number of students who rely on Tiger Transit to transition between
buildings on campus.
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IT Systems Sub-Committee
Key Issues Addressed and Recommendations
Recommendation 25: Eliminate duplicated services provided by Central and Distributed IT Units.
Discussion: Auburn University currently maintains a centralized Office of Information Technology and also distributed IT
providers located in various academic and administrative units across campus serving a multitude of functions. In some
cases, these departmental computing operations house important and sensitive Auburn University data that may not be
appropriately maintained or secured. In other instances, some of the technology and services provided by these units
duplicate other software, resources, operations, applications, hardware, etc. found in OIT or other academic units. While
some areas have worked to minimize the duplication of centrally provided services, a significant amount of duplication
remains.
25.1 Enhance end user disk space: currently, home directories are often stored either on desktops or department
servers. To become more efficient, OIT should make more storage available so that units can reduce the number of
file servers that they operate. This would also allow for information to be accessed anywhere on campus.
25.2 Web Content Management System: to become more efficient among the units that use the Cascade content
management server, licensing should be expanded to become campus-wide and OIT should assume responsibility for
the central web content management server.
25.3 Digital Signage Content Management: suggest the centralization of content management services for all digital
signage around campus to facilitate content distribution and provide central emergency notification services.
25.4 Classroom technology maintenance and management: OIT should enhance classroom efficiency by providing
central management of classroom technology and ensuring academic spaces are configured the same way.
Maintenance of the rapidly growing pool of technology-enhanced classrooms will require additional resources and
training.
25.5 Eliminate overlapping licensing for software: Units on campus may not be aware if OIT maintains the licensing
agreements for certain types of software. To avoid duplication in purchasing software, better communication should
be established to determine if multiple areas/units are purchasing the same products. It is also necessary to maintain
a central record of what software licenses have been purchased.
Recommendation 26: Assess Banner academic information needs and create an interface tool that will allow units
greater access to student information.
Discussion: Many of the Banner-related needs are centered on forecasting and capacity planning as they relate to the
admissions process. It is essential that members of the Student Information Systems management team meet with
Associate Deans to identify specific needs for the Banner Student Information System.
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Recommendation 27: Educate units/distributed IT providers regarding whom to contact for assistance with web page
design and content management.
Discussion: Many of the university’s web pages contain inconsistent contact information for users with questions or
comments. To assist the users and facilitate the process of updating web content, it is important to develop a standard
for identifying the people or groups that are responsible for the content on each web page. Existing usability groups can
assist with this and Integrated Communication Plan also requires this.
Recommendation 28: Revise existing directory tools to help faculty and staff more easily find directory information
through more consistent listing of unit titles.
Discussion: Auburn currently maintains two resources for locating personnel contact information through the main
Auburn website. The People Finder for individuals extracts information directly from Banner, whereas the People
Finder-Departments and Offices function utilizes the phone directory maintained by the central webmaster.
28.1 Provide a more consistent definition for a unit that is compatible with both HR and Banner.
Recommendation 29: Academic units transition to a central document archiving system to improve the effectiveness
of student records management.
Discussion: University Human Resources has transitioned from paper storing to electronic records of all new employees,
and it is recommended that academic units do the same for student records. Some areas are already doing this through
WebXtender, however, this should be a long-term efficiency for all units. Help is needed from several campus offices to
ensure IT manages the tools and records; the biggest challenge involves units using different types of practices.
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Marketing Sub-Committee
Key Issues and Recommendations
Recommendation 30: Provide a clear clarification for a “Dotted Line” Report as outlined in the Integrated
Communications and Marketing Plan.
Discussion: In 2010, the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) released its Integrated Marketing and
Communications Plan designed to better integrate staff working in communicator positions throughout the academic
and non-academic units. Specifically, the plan calls for more integration of communication projects over time to better
coordinate messages to external constituencies in an effort to better leverage their effectiveness. While the Marketing
Sub-committee agrees that integrating the communication efforts will only strengthen the image of the campus units
and enhance Auburn University’s reputation, confusion exists as to how a dotted line report is defined.
30.1 The task force recommends the definition of dual reports clarify who the communicator within a unit is
specifically responsible for reporting to OCM, and clear policies for the centralization of press releases.
Recommendation 31: Establish a plan for decreasing the outsourcing of web design.
Discussion: Currently, Auburn University is completing implementation of its Content Management System (CMS) to
organize and facilitate campus websites. The 2011 implementation of a redesigned university web template using the
CMS resulted in a highly collaborative transition among the units, OCM, and OIT. However, several campus units still
outsource their web design to off-campus vendors, resulting in dated websites that do not conform to the revised look.
31.1 The Marketing Sub-Committee recommends an ad hoc group be established to examine units that currently
outsource their web design to third party vendors and provide recommendations for the eventual termination of
these contracts, including cost-savings and a plan for transitioning to these sites to either a campus communicator
or a staff member from OIT. In order for this to be successful, the CMS will need to be implemented and
appropriate training made available.
Recommendation 32: Continue to reduce the number of printed publications and materials used for marketing and
promotion.
Discussion: An area addressed through focus groups included the continued use of printed materials by units for the
purposes of marketing and promotion. While some units still require printed publications for off-campus audiences, the
Marketing Sub-Committee believes a close examination of printed publications and costs should be evaluated. OCM
continues to advise units on alternatives to printed copies. COSAM is an example of a college that has reduced its print
publications due to COSAM communication transitioning to OCM.
Recommendation 33: Investigate the feasibility of implementing digitized campus signage to inform students of
campus events, such as speakers and events.
Discussion: In addition to traditional means of communicating with students, the Marketing Sub-Committee
recommends the university examine the costs associated with implementing digital signage throughout campus.
Establishing a network of digital signs throughout the Auburn campus would complement other internal
communications, such as the weekly e-newsletters for faculty, staff, and students, special broadcast e-mails, critical
alerts, and the calendar of events. The digital signage system could serve in the university's emergency response plan,
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allowing information to be posted efficiently in the event of a crisis or emergency situation. The system would be
maintained centrally through OCM.
Recommendation 34: Reduce duplicate communications roles by not filling vacated positions, and have one
communicator from each college/school who reports dually to OCM in time for the next capital campaign.
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Appendix A
Table 1: Permanent Budget Cuts/Efficiency Savings
Fiscal Years 2010-2011
Summary of Total Permanent
Budget Cuts and Efficiency Savings
Auburn University Main Campus
College of Agriculture
College of Architecture, Design, and Construction
College of Business
Career Development Services
Educational Support Services
College of Education
College of Engineering
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Graduate School
College of Human Sciences
College of Liberal Arts
University Libraries
Provost’s Office
Program for Students with Disabilities
School of Nursing
School of Pharmacy
College of Sciences and Mathematics
Office of Undergraduate Studies
College of Veterinary Medicine
Vice President for Outreach
Vice President for Research
TOTAL
$662,534
$573,862
$1,172,257
$21,546
$28,077
$868,182
$1,928,163
$195,750
$82,090
$409,837
$2,700,605
$1,698,016
$362,419
$18,250
$143,748
$377,351
$1,672,557
$341,943
$1,511,110
$155,869
$8,027,089
$22,951,255
Business Office General
Payment and Procurement
Payroll and Employee Benefits
Contracts and Grants Accounting
Cash Management
Human Resources
TOTAL
$6,369,529
$2,405,000
$1,700,000
$1,200,000
$80,000
$85,000
$11,839,529
TOTAL PERMANENT BUDGET CUTS AND EFFICIENCY SAVINGS $34,790,784
Auburn University continues to streamline all academic and support operations by implementing unit-specific and
campus-wide strategies aimed at increasing efficiency.
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Appendix B Efficiency Strategies Undertaken in Units
Efficiency strategies identified among the following units either produce cost savings or eliminate costs. The following chart represents a sample of the efficiency efforts
currently being undertaken by various academic and business units at Auburn University and Auburn University-Montgomery.
Unit
College of Agriculture
College of Architecture,
Design, and
Construction
Efficiency Strategy
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Extension faculty help with classroom instruction.
Grant funds are used to hire professional staff to replace positions.
Eliminated unused telephone lines and shifted cell phone costs to faculty members.
Encouraged reductions in copying/printing among all departments.
Utilize central networked copies instead of desktop printers to save on ink cartridges.
Full participation among the college in PPS’s preferred vendors program.
Use federal work study students to save on student labor costs.
Shifted some of the extension responsibilities to professional staff.
Agricultural Experiment Stations:
— Chilton County: Only critical equipment repairs are being completed; limiting irrigation on crops.
— Ornamental: Currently using one technician and one part time TES student worker (from 5 to 2 labor). Over the last 2 years,
cut back from hiring 2 student summer workers to one. Taken one 30 x 90’ greenhouse out of operation to reduce heating
costs and the cost of recovering. Consolidated plant material and tests in houses during the winter to leave some houses
unheated and limit heating costs.
— Prattville: Conducting approximately 35 more experiments with 3 less full-time employees; utilizing the federal surplus
program primarily for vehicles, tractors, and heavy equipment; administrative assistant is now only working 50% time and is
being shared with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System; eliminated goat herd which produced savings of more than
$8,000 per year; purchased a research sprayer which has reduced our pesticides and water used by 2/3 simply because we
do not have to use a large sprayer to apply pesticides to small areas.
— Ag Heritage Park: Game day staffing at Ag Heritage Park has moved from overtime to compensatory time in lieu of the extra
pay, reducing overtime pay by 33% in 2010; combined 3 dilapidated pieces of farm equipment into one bid-for-trade
resulted in purchasing a $15,000 tractor with no cash exchanged; conducting vehicle repairs via in-house mechanic work, we
reduced the cost of repairs by 55% over the going market rate.
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Strengthened contracts and grants administration by designating a staff position as a resource to facilitate more efficient management
of externally-funded research and outreach budgets.
Strengthened protocols for budgeting and budget administration at off-campus programs (Rural Studio and Urban Studio) to more
efficiently manage yearly budgets and enhance strategic planning.
Developed a standard template for faculty annual reports that brings consistency to reporting of scholarly activity and that facilitates
compilation of data.
Created new social media tools to communicate with alumni instead of paper materials.
One staff position is not filled; currently student workers perform job function (OIT).
Developed a unique survey instrument to gather data from stakeholders for a comprehensive curriculum review.
Established a single admissions point for pre-industrial design (summer), industrial design (fall), and graduate industrial design (fall).
Amount
$662,534
$573,862
A u b u r n
Unit
College of Architecture,
Design, and
Construction cont.’
College of Business
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Efficiency Strategy
Industrial/Graphic Design department head teaches 9 credit hours per year.
To improve graduation rates, the graphic design faculty is developing a pre-screening mechanism to determine admission to pregraphic design by those seeking admission to AU in the major.
Established college-wide promotion and tenure guidelines, which eliminated the need for individual departmental/school guidelines.
Established college-wide mentoring workshops for tenure track faculty and a college-wide recruiting plan.
All CADC advising is centralized through the Office of Student Services; this efficiently advises students and assures accuracy.
The office sends an onsite advisor in the Department of Industrial and Graphic Design to streamline the advising process.
In 2009-2010, instituted a new data tracking pilot project to track advising activities in order to gather data for efficiency studies.
Piloting a pre-advising system for incoming freshmen for CWE 2011 in conjunction with the consolidated camp schedule.
Shared communications and marketing campaign in both print and web format (ongoing projects) including an undergraduate
handbook that consolidates college information for incoming freshmen, a banner series for recruitment events, graduate posters, and
graduate brochures.
Revised the college-wide Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design to accommodate freshmen or students not accepted into the
highly competitive professional undergraduate programs.
Website redesign in consultation with OCM to maintain competitive web presence with other competitive nationally ranked colleges of
design and construction.
Established one point of admissions for pre-industrial design (summer), industrial design (fall), and graduate industrial design (fall)
students. A summer semester is required allowing students to complete most AU core courses in the fall and spring of their AU
entering year.
Industrial Design (INDD) faculty members teach course overloads with assistance from GTAs. Generally no INDD GTA has full class
responsibility.
Coordination at the college level of the process of the assessment of student learning outcomes.
One staff position is not filled, and currently student workers assist in that job function.
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Partnered with the Office of Professional and Career Development (OPCD) and Career Development Services.
Increased selected class size capacity to 250.
Developed an online application for MS and PhD applications that will be implemented spring 2011.
Faculty voluntarily save money on hotel accommodations by sharing a room.
Consolidated the Marketing MS and PhD program (both concentrations) under one Graduate Coordinator.
Alabama Technical Assistance Center (ATAC), SOAR (Successful Outreach Achieves Results) series-the efficiency project conducted with
the AU Libraries. ACTA provided the training at no cost but charged an internal fee for the improvement events.
ATAC has been conducting Lean Office and Problem Solving training through the AU HRD program for AU staff for the last three years.
Graduate Program has increased class sizes by 10-20% over the past two AY with no increase in faculty and launched the new Master’s
of Real Estate Development program with no new faculty or staff.
Paper cost reductions:
— Hard copies of the Shareholders Magazine was decreased from 35,000 mailed copies to alumni down to approximately 12,000
and mailing 26,000 postcards to alumni suggesting they view on-line.
— Small Business Development Center mails fewer Business Plan Workbooks through postal services, using email more efficiency.
— Continue moving toward a paperless office; use very little stationary.
Amount
$1,073,757
$98,500
A u b u r n
Unit
Career Development
Services
Educational Support
Services
College of Education
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Efficiency Strategy
Budget Reductions for FY 2009
Provide career counseling in various campus locations, enables students to see a counselor on-site in their school/college.
Utilize free webinars to provide educational programming for students/staff.
Reduced costs of food, decorations and facilities at career fair events by 20%.
All resumes submitted by students are reviewed and a response is made back to the student if resume is accepted or if needs revisions.
Streamlined student employment processes by automating referrals and eliminating unnecessary steps in hiring process.
Merged two systems so that all job postings/hiring/recruiting information is managed through Symplicity (online system).
Utilizes free social media outlets to market services to students resulting in lower spending costs for marketing tools.
Launched CDS/Alumni App that is free to download.
Manage all student contacts through C3M web-based automated check-in and tracking system which allows all activity to be reported
through one efficient system and provides accurate and up to date statistics.
Launched more efficient web site to improve use and functionality /managed internally daily.
Handout materials available on CDS web page. Participants can go to web to print or information is e-mailed to faculty member for
copying or put on blackboard.
Worked with the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and the Office of the Registrar to develop and disseminate a graduate
survey each semester to all graduating seniors via one e-mail from the registrar’s office, resulting in an 8-10% increase in responses.
Budget Reductions for FY 2009
Graduate assistants are shared with Cater Center (two separate cost centers).
Tutoring groups are offered for high volume subjects in two central sites (Library/Village Housing) to meet student demand.
Paper cost reductions:
— All tutoring appointments are scheduled through web-based portal.
— Applications for tutoring and SI positions posted on the web.
— Tutoring and SI information by subject and skill area posted on web site
— User data managed through web based system.
— UNIV course tools, training sessions and lesson plans posted on Blackboard.
— UNIV Instructor application posted and reviewed on-line.
— UNIV Textbook available in e format.
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Students are polled and courses are offered according to their needs.
Adjunct instructors who are experts in certain areas are used efficiently.
The cohort system is used for many programs; this is economical because faculty are available, scheduled, and the courses are filled.
Labs in the LRC have been increased to maximum class sizes.
Utilizing a data room with faster, more efficient software.
Collaborating with other departments and colleges to get a better price on software, rather than paying for individual licenses.
Faculty working closely together to provide their areas of expertise to the others, i.e. technology, writing skills, publishers, etc.
Developing longitudinal course rotations, offering courses with traditionally low enrollment less frequently to ensure greater
enrollment when the courses are offered.
Continuing to expand offerings of distance learning courses.
Changed all undergraduate degree plans by reducing course offerings (22 per year) and streamlining core requirements.
Amount
$21,546
$28,077
$868,182
A u b u r n
Unit
College of Education
cont.’
College of Engineering
School of Forestry and
Wildlife Sciences
Graduate School
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Efficiency Strategy
Changed class sizes to accommodate more students in lecture courses, with smaller lab sections.
Increase mini-term offering for summer to allow students to take more courses.
Stopped phone mail service for faculty who did not want/use it.
Adopted a phone answering service/menu to reduce calls to the main office.
Paper Cost Reductions:
— Providing document scanning services for professors to pose electronically their class syllabi, reading assignments, and other
documents rather than having them duplicated.
— Required all faculty, GTAs, and contract instructors to use blackboard.
— Implemented a copier code to monitor copying—saved $7,000 in the first year.
— Created on-line texts for all PHED (Wellness) courses. The PHED courses serve approximately 5,000 students per year.
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Created allocation accounts with individual FOPs for faculty office supply or incidental purchases, reducing the amount of bookkeeping
needed to maintain the expense accounts inside the general fund.
Paper Cost Reductions:
— Creating database for salary/account information to reduce the need to print Banner reports.
— Began requiring all graduate students to submit plans of study online and not print them for signature.
— Digitalized our Graduate Student Guide to reduce printing costs.
— Created a digitized student handbook to organize all phone numbers, office locations, curriculum sheets, majors/minors,
scholarship info, etc into one central location.
— Created a database of the last 10 years of graduates, their advisors, thesis titles, committees, and demographic data from paper
records.
— Scan all incoming graduate school application materials (resumes, statements of purpose, recommendation letters) to upload to
GWAAP.
— Encourage potential graduate students email recommendation letters emailed to the Graduate Program Officer instead of
sending them via post/hard copy.
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
SFWS has managed the reduction in teaching, research, and outreach capacity by increasing the work loads of existing faculty and
having instructors teach classes.
Sharing of copiers and printers, which are leased instead of purchased.
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Graduate faculty procedures are being streamlined to decrease duplication of effort and provide a more effective review system.
Graduate curriculum items are now only reviewed by the GCCC, eliminating duplication of efforts among the GCCC and the UCC.
The Accelerated Bachelor’s / Master’s degree was implemented, enabling qualified students to complete both degrees more quickly.
All Graduate School policies were reviewed and unnecessary policies and procedures were eliminated.
The admissions staff was re-organized to perform admissions-related tasks more effectively and efficiently.
Paper Cost Reductions:
— A paperless plan of study process was developed and implemented, eliminating the need for the processing of paper documents.
— A paperless admissions process was implemented to improve communication with academic units and decrease processing time.
— A fully electronic thesis/dissertation submission process was developed. Paper copies are no longer required.
Amount
$1,928,163
$195,750
$82,090
A u b u r n
Unit
College of Human
Sciences
College of Liberal Arts
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Efficiency Strategy
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Assigned Graduate Teaching Assistant and affiliate Instructors instead of faculty to teach courses.
Taught the study abroad preparation course online by program director, thus eliminating the need for teaching faculty.
Revised a graduate program to better evaluate graduate student performance, thus expediting completion and saving on assistantship
funding, faculty effort, and minimizing student frustration.
Hired retired faculty at a reduced salary to manage the study abroad program instead of a fully paid employee.
Billed study abroad students in EUROs to save the conversion fee and better manage the currency fluctuations.
Hired undergraduate intern to support study abroad instead of graduate student.
Reduced travel support on state funds and consolidated travel to accommodate multiple contacts.
Removed university voice mail from faculty phones in one department and purchased answering machines instead.
Recruited student volunteers for special projects instead of using paid workers.
Customized Camp War Eagle handbook to reduce printing cost by 1/3.
Conducted Extension quarterly team meetings online rather than face to-face; travel dollars and time saved.
Cooperated with the Schools of Pharmacy and Nursing to hire a news writer to cover all three units.
Developed a work load policy to distribute teaching/research assignments more effectively.
Adjusted summer teaching assignments to ensure that costs were covered course by course.
Developed new distance education courses to reach more students and generate additional revenue (revenue enhancement).
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Costs for CMJM’s major summer outreach program have been reduced, and a fee will be charged for the Summer Journalism Workshop
and the new Newspaper Advisor Workshop.
Transferred Encyclopedia of Alabama to the Office of University Outreach.
Began using undergraduate peer advisors to supplement advising services.
Travel costs are down due to implementation of the CLA Travel Policy.
Theater reduced number of productions from 8 in 2009-2010 to 7 in 2010-2011.
Most of the computers in the college can be managed remotely, which means that a person maintaining computers does not need to
be physically in the same location as the computer and does not need to coordinate to meet a faculty or staff member to get into the
office space.
The use of MURA and CFWheels allows CLA better content management of all CLA-related web sites and for building of more complex
online applications in less time, with a centralized database as back bone that allows for more flexible distribution of content across
multiple web sites.
Psychology Department’s tenured faculty have voluntarily cut back their travel money from $1,500 to $1,000 allowing the untenured
faculty to receive their full allocation of $2,000.
Did not replace Associate Dean for Curriculum and Teaching; duties were absorbed by the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs,
who shifted some of her duties to the Director of Student Services.
Did not replace the Associate Dean of Educational Affairs and Graduate Studies; duties have been divided among the Director of Fine
Arts and Outreach, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Dean.
Did not replace receptionist position, using students, part-time and temp employees.
Did not replace Dean’s Executive Assistant; duties were transferred to CATS Initiative Director.
Economics offered more large sections of ECON 2020 and fewer small sections compared to spring 2010.
Amount
$409,837
$2,700,605
A u b u r n
Unit
College of Liberal Arts
cont.’
University Libraries
Provost’s Office
Program for Students
with Disabilities
School of Nursing
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Efficiency Strategy
Theater has made its ticket office coordinator and marketing director available to the Music Department to staff ticketed events and
publicize music events (no additional compensation).
Departments have moved information gathering for various purposes online (book orders, faculty office hours, biographical
information, applications (scholarships, various band groups) to save resources and to collect the data more effectively
Online Calendar of Events and News system that allows for easy distribution of content across multiple college web sites
Online appointment system for students meeting advisors: SARS, the online appointment system the college is using, allows students
to make appointments with their advisors online and allows advisors to keep track of their advisees, both on the individual level with
notes and on a global level with reports.
Dean’s Office has been digitizing inactive and active student records into AU’s web xtender system.
Camera and other television and film equipment maintenance and checkout: An improved checkout and maintenance program allows
for longer shelf life of camera and other audio and visual equipment.
Paper Cost Reductions:
— Faculty are encouraged to use electronic copies of syllabi either through Blackboard or e-mail. CLA has the most instructors of
record and the most course sections on Blackboard.
— Publishing only one issue of the College newsletter, Perspectives, designed by student interns; sending a monthly e-newsletter.
— Reduced direct advertising expenditures in traditional media formats and focused heavily on free internet media to advertise the
Theater season and other academic programs.
— Theater changed companies in the rental and servicing of its photocopier resulting in a small but measurable budget savings.
— Servers in the college are used for college-specific applications such as the Advising/Student appointment system, the
Communication Disorders appointment system, CLA web sites, WSUS for computer maintenance, Rosetta for Foreign Languages,
licensing.
— Introducing SharePoint to departments and CLA committees: this allows for more efficient distribution and access of materials,
increased collaboration, and potentially less use of paper.
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Office of Distance Learning improved efficiencies of test proctoring by increasing the number of testing stations to maximize
throughput.
Eliminated one full time staff position.
Ended contract with third-party web designer, executing web design in-house.
Transition to completely paperless office, eliminating costs for office supplies.
Ended server lease with OIT.
Application for academic accommodations was reduced from six different sheets of information to two.
Eliminated Teacher Verification Forms and envelopes that accompanied accommodation letters to faculty, saving 10,000 forms and
envelopes annually.
Created online application for proctored exams, eliminating 1,200 sheets annually.
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Amount
$1,698,016
$362,419
$17,500
$750
$143,748
A u b u r n
Unit
School of Pharmacy
College of Sciences and
Mathematics
Office of
Undergraduate Studies
Office of University
Writing
College of Veterinary
Medicine
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 29
Efficiency Strategy
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Increased use of video conference between clinical education centers to decrease in-state education related travel expenses.
Use of non-faculty facilitators in high intensity instruction.
Increase use of software/ outside service providers to decrease personnel cost.
Reduced faculty travel to national meetings.
Increased use of electronic communication to decrease postage costs.
One department collapsed a “center” consolidating budgets to pay for maintenance and operation.
Implemented Kronos to streamline the payroll process and improve security.
Built efficiencies into courses with overlapping content by requiring student pharmacists in the more advanced courses to facilitate
small group work with students in the introductory courses. This effort is intended to reduce faculty workload.
Revised workload expectations of GTAs, maximizing research productivity.
Increased utilization of students to eliminate one FTE administrative position shifting responsibilities to a single administrative assistant.
Manage faculty workload assignments closely; individual faculty members’ workloads have increased as a result of the shortage.
Numerous positions have been shifted from the base general fund budget to professional fee funding; reducing the number of hires.
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
COSAM academic units significantly reduced or eliminated travel support for faculty and graduate students.
Limited expenditures for departmental seminar programs (speaker travel, etc.).
Reduced expenditures for teaching equipment.
Deferred maintenance or repair of inoperable teaching/research instrumentation.
Made more cautious use of O&M funds (notably AU fixed vendor policies limited the cost savings that could be realized).
Most units curtailed spending of reserves and ICRE funds in anticipation of additional budget cuts and needs for faculty start-up or costsharing.
Reduced the number of students accepted into established programs such as Summer Bridge (33% reduction).
Most of the faculty summer stipends have been reduced by 33% to 66% or eliminated altogether.
Amount
$377,351
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
$341,943
Hired work study students to serve as receptionists rather than using tutors.
Reduced consultants per shift and monitor to match demand/usage.
Paper Cost Reductions:
— Shifted resources for students to website instead of using paper handouts.
— Used bookmarks instead of flyers to advertise WC hours and locations.
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Negotiated Pyxis contract (savings over 5 years).
Established partnerships with the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the College of Veterinary Medicine to share research
equipment acquisition costs
Elimination of uniform allowances.
Offering continuing education on-site, resulting in decreased travel expenses.
Engaged in funding shared communications officer with AU Communications and Marketing thereby reducing salary costs for dedicated
communications personnel.
$1,672,557
$1,301,110
$210,000
A u b u r n
Unit
College of Veterinary
Medicine cont.’
Vice President for
Outreach
Vice President for
Research
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 30
Efficiency Strategy
Currently sharing necropsy facility with the State Diagnostics Laboratory, resulting in cost savings and enhanced teaching opportunities.
Training including safety, orientation, and IT functions and student/faculty training are managed internally.
Electronic distribution of instructional materials to students and faculty.
Created a graduate student application checklist to see what students have applied to the Biomedical Sciences program and forward
the application(s) to the appropriate departmental graduate student coordinator.
Careful review of overtime processes reduced overtime costs.
Archives of diagnostic laboratory reports are now maintained electronically.
Archives of agnostic laboratory reports are now maintained electronically to reduce space requirements for storage of printed records
and facilitate searching of keywords in support of clinical research.
Team teaching has increased collaborations across the college and the university.
Pathobiology elected to eliminate two A&P positions for an electron microscope operator and a flow cytometry operator during the
budget reduction.
Hired technical staff with dual appointments in diagnostic and research laboratories.
The continuing education program was transferred to the Office of Academic Affairs, and the college communications and marketing
specialist reports directly to the dean.
Combined Permanent Salary and Maintenance Cuts for FY 2010/FY 2011
Utilize TES and student workers to assist with online site coordination of programs conducted during program delivery, allowing fulltime coordinator to execute more planning and promoting.
Rather than purchase new computers, recycled sixteen from surplus and other departments.
CGS implemented distance learning course to reduce travel expenses.
Only travel allowed is when there exists a possible benefit to resource and mission.
Utilize student workers to assist with more routine office operations.
Utilize trade-outs with O/A News, Opelika Chamber of Commerce, Auburn Training Connection, and Community Colleges for use of offcampus facilities.
Increased external funding for EOA operations without adding additional staff.
Hire undergraduate student workers instead of Graduate Research Assistant.
Paper Cost Reductions
— Consolidated summer camp forms from seven individual to one comprehensive form.
— Implemented use of online surveys to conduct course evaluations.
— Increased use of email and online advertising to market programs.
— Electronic storage of financial records rather than printed copies.
Fee for service structure in the Office of Professional and Continuing Education and the Center for Governmental Services, averages
20% profit return. $4.6 million federal broadband grant, $1 million in ECDI, $1 million endowment for OPCE (revenue enhancement).
FINANCIAL EFFICIENCIES 2009 THROUGH 2011
Position elimination, reclassifications
Amount
OVPR centers/institutes/cores - organizational review, streamlining, eliminations, realignments
Permanent reduction FY 2011 $234,046 - operating & maintenance
The Space Research Institute closed in March 2011, resulting in $913,655 salaries and benefits savings, plus $50K in operating costs.
Recovered $564,128 from SRI carryovers and established four new OVPR initiatives, balance to intramural grants program.
$155,869
$8,027,089
A u b u r n
Unit
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
Efficiency Strategy
Decentralized proposal submission allowing 4 specific individuals in 4 college dean's offices thus reducing the need to immediately
refill vacant positions in OSP.
Share a development officer with ACES - 50% OVPR and 50% ACES.
Assistant director of business operations for NRMDI is also primary marketing and public relations resources for OVPR
Hired a retired AU employee as the assistant VP for Technology Transfer and Commercialization.
Storage costs reduced for compliance documentation – brought back on campus - annual $3000/fee.
Relinquished Leach & Samford space; committed to space in other buildings with significantly less NSF.
In the process of implementing a database that will enable management of technology transfer operations and will include the
tracking of data of all aspects of technology transfers: inventions, patents, agreements, and third party marketing contacts. This
database will save time, manpower and ultimately dollars; estimated full cost recovery within 2 years.
R e p o r t | 31
Amount
A u b u r n
Unit
Business OfficeGeneral
Business OfficeProcurement and
Payment
Business Office –
Payroll and Employee
Benefits
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
Efficiency Strategy
Non-Academic Unit Efficiencies
Implemented Open Alabama, a full query of all expenses incurred by the university. Developed in-house solutions for virtually no
additional cost. Additional savings include paper and labor costs on requests from press and others who can now extract
information electronically.
Elimination of positions and maintenance budget allocations– continuing and one time, to help meet state appropriation shortfalls.
Implementation of pooled fringe benefit rates through efforts of Budget Services, Controller, Payroll and Benefits and Information
Systems Support (ISS).
Elimination of paper reports, check stock for payroll and vendor payments, expensive filing systems for paper documents.
Elimination of most paper storage of transactions via Banner Document Management System. Access to transaction images directly
from Banner saving file space, paper costs, filing and retrieval costs.
ISS created an automated system (SSB application) to post the cash transfers resulting from JE25 entries, resulting in significant time
savings for Development accounting and Student Financial Services.
ISS created an automated system (SSB application) to input multiple lines of a journal voucher, resulting in significant time savings for
journal entry input.
ISS created an SSB page to assist athletic coaches to read their sports budget and YTD activity pages, resulting in time savings for
Athletic Admin and assisted coaches in reading budget and athletic year end data.
Various programs and reports created for Financial Reporting to reduce manual calculations and review, resulting in significant time
savings for Financial Reporting staff.
Numerous Banner reports have been developed and delivered via e-print (electronic reporting repository) to assist campus-wide
financial users with information needed to ensure responsible spending and accountability, resulting in significant time savings and
duplication of effort for users of financial information across campus.
Strategic Sourcing – consultant analyzed categories high dollar spend with new bids and contracts negotiated for computer
equipment, peripherals, office supplies, travel and other commodities. Resulted in new contracts with upfront signing bonuses,
scholarship funds and rebates.
E-vouchering developed to allow for electronic submission and approvals of invoices to request and initiate payment to vendors and
travel reimbursements. Eliminates paper processing and expensive storage and manual retrieval of document storage.
Implemented new system for bids with electronic distribution to vendors. Eliminates paper, postage and labor costs associated with
distribution of Bids.
Update of electronic vendor registration system to encourage direct deposit payment and vendor reporting of demographics.
Eliminates cost of check production and mailing, as well as enhances reporting for small, disadvantaged and minority vendors.
Beginning implementation of electronic timekeeping and leave management systems (Kronos) on a campus-wide basis. Eliminates
highly manual processes which are very error prone, as well as provide for more accuracy in pay based on time actually worked.
Leave detail and reporting will be enhanced.
Healthy Tigers and AU Med program provides incentives and programs to reduce cost of self-insured health plans.
Full elimination of paper W-2s, now currently available on Banner. Substantial postage and paper savings.
Retirement Plans Committee established and reviewing supplemental retirement plans fund performance, with a master record keeper
to be hired. Will eliminate a significant compliance risk and liability for the University, as well as eliminate manual tracking and provide
for electronic enrollment and changes.
Consolidation of benefit communications, using electronic communication and electronic open enrollment to be available November
2011. Reduces paper records, paper costs, and improves the response time required to make an admissions decision.
R e p o r t | 32
Amount*
$1,000,000
$1,269,529
$3,500,000
$600,000
$2,405,000
$1,200,000
$500,000
A u b u r n
Unit
Business Office –
Payroll and Employee
Benefits cont.’
Business OfficeProperty Management
Business Office –
Contracts and Grants
Accounting
Business Office –
Cash Management
Human Resources
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
Efficiency Strategy
Implemented expanded use of SSB Banner for employee address changes, direct deposit setup/changes and pay stub. Reduction in
paper and manpower required to process changes, as well as elimination of errors.
Benefit resource group – Established with U of AL to share health care trends and information on reforms and legislation, regulations
and interpretations. No savings quantifiable, but should save on consultant costs and in administrative time and effort to implement
changes according to best practices.
Increased equipment threshold from to $2,500 to $5,000. Eliminated detailed tracking and monitoring of approximately 75% of pieces
of equipment. Saved in paper, manpower and redirected focus to higher dollar assets.
Currently developing application that will automate Property Services processes by creating an automated transfer (between
departments or to Surplus Property) request and approval form. A goal is to also update banner once approved by Property Services,
resulting in elimination of paper and manual effort.
Electronic certification and approval of personnel activity reports to begin April 1, 2011. Eliminates highly manual processes which
are very error prone, as well as provide for more accuracy, electronic processes, eliminating paper and significant manual effort
campus-wide, in addition to improving compliance on a matter of significant risk.
Electronic storage of salary and wage transfers. Eliminates paper, costs of filing, storage and retrieval.
Eliminated paper files for awards and cost sharing monitoring. Eliminates paper, costs of filing, storage and retrieval.
Electronic submission of invoices to sponsors request payment (when allowed). Eliminates paper, costs of filing, storage and retrieval.
Faster receipt and turnaround by sponsors.
Receipt of sponsor payments via wire/ACH, resulting in faster access to funds repaid by sponsor.
Remote deposit capture by campus units. Eliminates department trips to bank and some transaction processing.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards have resulted in a coordinated compliance effort to eliminate storage of secure
information. Significant paper files have been eliminated, with coordinated shredding efforts and other best practices associated with
keeping information that should not be stored.
Credit Card analysis with consultant currently underway to ensure that all rates are charged appropriately and those fees are minimal.
Pinless debit and secure vault payment implementations completed. Offers expanded electronic payment methods without credit card
fees.
Consolidation of employee recruiting (job advertisements).
Expansion of People Admin (electronic application and employee search management) to academic positions – underway. Previously
implemented for non-academic positions. Significant elimination of employee time and paper costs associated with conducting and
managing searches for academic positions.
Addition of on-line courses and distance learning for employees via videoconferencing technology available through ACES, resulting in
elimination of overhead expenses (space, printing, labor, and travel costs) of traditional classroom training.
Elimination of published materials such as policies/procedures in favor of electronic maintenance and distribution, resulting in costs
savings for printing and labor.
Conversion of hard copy personnel records to electronic storage using Xtender, resulting in savings of staff time, storage space, more
secure storage, and quicker response to inquiries regarding records.
R e p o r t | 33
Amount*
$1,000,000
$200,000
$80,000
$85,000
A u b u r n
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 34
Auburn University Montgomery Efficiency Measures Taken Academic Years 2009-2011
School/Unit
School of Business
School of Education
Efficiency Strategy
Amount
Consolidated two departments; units now share one administrative assistant.
Limited travel among tenured faculty.
Executive and on-site Executive MBA both generate revenue using one course overload for faculty (minimal cost).
Conduct internal recruiting with current staff, savings on recruiting costs.
All departments have increased class size and online class size, resulting in increased capacity without increased faculty.
Received donations of classroom technology, resulting in reduction in costs.
Conducted joint programs within the Business community, resulting in reduced costs of programs/in some cases, increased revenue.
Paper cost reductions:
— Eliminated use of one copier for cost savings.
— All departments have put student resources online – Copy/copier cost savings.
$30,000
Faculty taught additional classes for no compensation during 2009-2010, resulting in salary savings to the adjunct budget.
Developed a master’s degree program in Sport Management with the addition of only one new faculty member.
PHED Department offers a wellness program with limited resources and volunteers, providing activities for faculty, staff, and
community members.
Faculty developed online courses and programs with no additional compensation.
PHED Department and AUM Intramurals share a secretary, resulting in salary savings.
Developed a program to allow retired professors to teach classes and receive the minimal funding allowed by the state, resulting in
salary and benefits savings.
Faculty and staff did not charge mileage for field experience and intern visits during 2009-2010, resulting in travel expense savings.
Early Childhood Center administration has changed two faculty positions, Director and Assistant Director, to staff positions.
Early Childhood Center increased enrollment without hiring additional staff, resulting in increased revenue.
ECER Department - three clinical faculty members in non-tenure track positions teach one more class per year than three full-time
tenure track faculty members.
ECER Department offers summer and evening tutoring programs. Approximately 10K in revenue (after expenses) used for
departmental expenditures.
Scheduled more traditional classes in the classrooms, therefore using resources (heating, cooling, electricity, etc.) more efficiently.
Created a Central Advising Center to provide students more consistent and accurate advising.
Certification Office now using email instead of the postal service to communicate admission/denial to professional education and
internship, as well as other information to students. Postage costs eliminated.
Special Education and Leadership classes have increased class sizes to 30+ students when possible. Increased capacity of class sizes
to reduce offering multiple sections; ultimately a reduction in salary savings.
Special Education and Leadership faculty are using Skype for communicating with interns in the field. Decrease in travel expenses.
Developed an online master’s degree program in Instructional Technology. Program developed and implemented without hiring any
new faculty or staff.
Paper cost reductions:
— Increased usage of online platforms such as Blackboard and LiveText in all courses.
— Significant decrease in usage of copy machine and paper, resulting in budget savings.
— CLSE Department has networked computers to use main printers for most printing needs. Reduction in ink cartridge
A u b u r n
School of Education
cont.’
Liberal Arts Dean’s Office
Liberal Arts History Depart.
Liberal Arts International Studies
Depart.
Liberal Arts Sociology Depart.
Liberal Arts Fine Arts Depart.
Liberal Arts English and Philosophy
Depart.
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
purchases.
— All Professional Education and Intern Manuals are on CD. Printing costs eliminated.
— All Department Data Reports (Alabama Prospective Teacher Test, Admission to Professional Education, Praxis II, and
Admission to Internship, Graduation, and Certification) have been entered into LIVETEXT instead of hard copies
disseminated to each department. Printing costs eliminated.
— Applications for admission are now completed and submitted online. Reduction in printing costs.
Eliminated phone line.
Consolidated administration of composition diagnostic exam. Less flexibility for students.
Dean taught core survey course with no compensation.
Eliminated office telephone service for faculty on professional improvement leave.
Offering more on-line courses – Saving copying costs for course materials.
Four faculty on Professional Improvement leave replaced by adjuncts rather than full-time appointments.
Two courses taught as unpaid overloads by full-time faculty/Associate Dean.
“Large” section of survey offered.
Instructors of history survey sections have forgone teaching in smart classrooms. Many sections have increased in size by 25%.
Merged Department with History Department. Administrative Associate line eliminated; Department Head position eliminated.
2 positions eliminated, and upper-level course offerings reduced.
Half of class assessments (quizzes, midterms and finals) administered online.
All class handouts for first and second year language courses are uploaded to Blackboard for student to print out before class.
Offering more on-line courses. Saving copying costs for course materials.
Three courses taught as unpaid overloads by full-time faculty.
Four faculty members have taught a total of five extra-large sections of core courses. Super-section is planned for Fall 2011.
To accommodate more students without increasing adjuncts, faculty are encouraged to only request to in the Tech Wing when
teaching smaller, upper-level courses.
Lab fees instituted for GIS lab.
No course releases for faculty with graduate teaching status.
Art core classes increased class size by 17-29%.
Music core classes increased class size by 5%.
Department Head taught abnormally large core classes without compensation.
Paper cost reductions:
— Offering more on-line courses. Saving copying costs for course materials.
— Office has gone almost completely paperless.
Offering more on-line courses. Saving copying costs for course materials.
Offered “large” sections of core courses.
Offered some abnormally large junior-level writing classes (50% or more larger than usual maximum).
Tenured or tenure-track faculty are now teaching freshmen composition.
Full-time instructors are sharing offices.
R e p o r t | 35
A u b u r n
Liberal Arts Communication and
Dramatic Arts Depart.
School of Nursing
School of Sciences
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
Offering more on-line courses. Saving copying costs for course materials.
Core communication class (COMM 1010) increased class size by 14%.
Theater core class (THEA 2040) increased class size by 10%.
Theater core class “large” section being taught.
Full-time instructor sharing an office with English composition instructors.
Used student directors for main stage productions to eliminate additional director hiring costs.
One faculty member took no course release for graduate status for a year.
All internal written communications handled by e-mail.
Increased uncompensated hours seeing patients by speech and audiology faculty in the Speech and Hearing Clinic as faculty service.
All Speech and Hearing Clinic professional staff limited to one reimbursed conference a year.
Speech and Hearing Clinic recycles all ink cartridges.
Speech and Hearing Clinic granted permission by PPS to order ink cartridges from Office Depot, resulting in longer life of printers
(no-brand Office Max cartridges causing equipment problems) and less cost for ink (less expensive at Office Depot).
Speech and Hearing Clinic reduced reports sent as courtesy to clients or parents unless specifically requested.
Speech and Hearing Clinic eliminated overtime and comp time.
Speech and Hearing Clinic reduced work hours for part-time front office employees.
Speech and Hearing Clinic reduced costs associated with scheduling by obtaining Sycle.net scheduling program—provided free of
charge to non-profit organizations.
Speech and Hearing Clinic reduced speech assistant’s work hours by one entire clinic day.
Received funding from Baptist for two clinical positions.
Jackson Hospital paid for up to three clinical associates.
VA Medical Center paid for one clinical associate.
Faculty attended WFDI and FDI to secure funding for technology needs.
Printing has been centralized to the printer in the Dean’s Office.
Faculty purchase paper and ink cartridges.
Clinical beeper services were terminated and faculty use personal cell phones.
Lights are turned off when leaving offices/classrooms.
Nursing faculty consistently teach additional loads without extra compensation.
Reduced student workers from three to one.
Academic efficiencies
Development of new programs with minimal (if any) requirement for new faculty. Increased revenue as a result of new student
enrollment (Organizational Leadership, CSIS).
Development and publication of departmental course rotation schedules (in process). More efficiency in offering courses;
anticipated decrease in necessity for running low enrollment courses.
Increased enrollment in many course sections. Greater efficiency in instruction and reduction in costs.
Hiring of Instructors in multiple departments. Ability to offer developmental and core courses in cost-effective manner while
decreasing reliance on adjuncts in compliance with SACS guidelines.
Use of Blackboard for online and for supplement to standard class sections. Posting of documents in online environment reduces
printing and paper handling costs.
Human Resources/personnel
R e p o r t | 36
$120,000
$39,768
$6,120
A u b u r n
School of Sciences
cont.’
Student Affairs
Office of Institutional
Effectiveness/ Writing
Across the Curriculum
Information
Technology Services
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
Three retirement agreements negotiated. Reduction in salary costs.
Finance/budget
Reductions in O and M budgets to meet proration, resulting in cost savings.
Continued reliance on research equipment sharing within and between departments to reduce unnecessary duplication. Cost
savings.
Networking of copier to allow scanning of documents to pdfs/emailing documents to University users. Reduction in printing and
paper handling costs.
Better cost control of expenses associated with School of Science events. Cost savings.
Procedures and Resources
Turned over management of Sciences Computing Center to IT. Increased efficiency leading to cost savings.
Reworking of web pages (in process) to more efficiently communicated information with prospective and current students. More
efficient communication results in both cost and time savings.
Increased usage of SharePoint for communication between faculty and staff. More efficient communication results in both cost and
time savings.
Development of climate/support to encourage external fund seeking. Increase in activities supported through external agency
support.
Partnerships with other departments to minimize membership fees to professional organizations and licensure agreements.
Reduction in travel.
Requested funding from other areas to sponsor programs/activities for students (example: student activities fee committee).
Attempts to secure funding through grants (STEM, Counseling Center in process of applying for a Suicide Grant). Projected
savings Minimizing furniture purchases via furniture swaps or use of surplus. Reduction in cost to overhead.
Reduction in professional memberships.
Financial collaborations with departments outside of Student Affairs to fund student programming/activities (example: Student
Leadership Program) Reduction in programming cost due to leadership program.
Consistent oversight of budget to reduce errors. Minimizes errors, saves time, reduces paperwork.
Reusing supplies (i.e. manila folders).
Expanding man power with the use of work-study and graduate assistants. Salary savings.
Share resources and man power (i.e. all secretaries help one department implement programming. Saving on salaries.
Salary Savings (deans office, associate director of the counseling center, student life associate director). Complete total unknown.
WAC/OIE Director, who holds rank of Associate Professor in Foundations and Secondary Education, volunteered to observe interns
in Lee County (beyond contract requirements) and does not charge travel to SOE. Salary savings through lessening load of AUM
Intern Supervisor and savings in travel.
WAC Director was appointed as OIE Director and provided stipend to serve in that combined capacity, resulting in salary savings.
OIE Senior Program Associate agreed to manage operations and administrative tasks for WAC, resulting in salary savings.
Entered into a service agreement with Printwise to maintain all student lab printing and improved maintenance cycles for printers
on the contract.
Fully virtualized several servers, allowing the retirement of multiple Sun devices, eliminating over $8,000 in maintenance costs.
Allowed ITS to staff additional computer labs across campus without additional personnel.
Began desktop virtualization project for applications and technical classes, resulting in savings in time and effort maintaining labs.
Cross-training of personnel in Desktop Services and Instructional support, resulting in more efficient use of resources.
R e p o r t | 37
$25,000
$10,000
$7,3000
$2,000
$300
$200
$1,000
$8,000
A u b u r n
Diversity and
Multicultural Affairs
Registrar’s Office
Admissions Processing
Graduate Admissions
Advising and Academic
Enhancement
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
Reduced number of student workers and hours worked.
Increasing the use of electronic communication. Reduced printing costs.
Plan/schedule more efficient travel by early registration for conferences and shopping for best prices for hotels, resulting in savings.
Reduced the budget for student travel requiring students to pay part of their expenses.
Outsourced transcript requests for former students, reducing manpower needed in the office, and generating revenue.
Digitalized student records, resulting in secure storage space.
Converted to a paperless admissions process, resulting in reduced paper records, paper costs, and improvement in the response
time required to make an admissions decision.
Converting to a paperless admissions process. Reduces paper records, paper costs, and improves the response time required to
make an admissions decision.
Initiating AdvisorTrak for electronic scheduling of student advising appointments. Reduces manpower needs in the office.
R e p o r t | 38
$5,640
$425
A u b u r n
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 39
Appendix C: Comments and Feedback provided to the Efficiency Task Force
Efficiency Comments and Suggestions Provided to the Academic Efficiencies Sub-Committee
The comments and opinions submitted to the Efficiency Task Force were obtained from respondents who submitted feedback either directly to the Efficiency Task
Force website or through focus groups and interviews. The chart below contains statements provided by the respondents, all of which were reviewed carefully by the
task force. However, not all comments were included in the final recommendations.
Ref
Area
Topic
A-1
Colleges and
Schools
Course
scheduling
A-2
Colleges and
Schools
Academic
Advising
Peer advisors would be helpful.
A-3
Colleges and
Schools
Academic
Advising
Faculty advisors are generally in a better position to offer guidance than regular
advisors.
A-4
Colleges and
Schools
Academic
Advising
It would be nice for students to get to choose an advisor with a particular major,
and change advisor upon request.
A-5
Colleges and
Schools
Academic
Advising
Online advising registration is very good and needs to be implemented campuswide.
A-6
Colleges and
Schools
Academic
Advising
Advising processes need to be standardized, even within COSAM there are two
separate systems, one for Freshmen/Sophomores and one for Juniors/Seniors.
A-7
Colleges and
Schools
Academic
Advising
It would be nice for students to get to choose an advisor with a particular major,
and change advisor upon request.
A-8
Colleges and
Schools
Academic
Policies
Academic standards like, minimum requirements and GPA, need to streamlined
across campus.
A-9
Colleges and
Schools/OIT
Blackboard
A-10
Colleges and
Schools/OIT
Blackboard
A-11
Colleges and
Schools
Campus
Lectures
Major lectures should be better promoted and some cases-by-case class excuses
should be allowed
Faculty
More faculty members per students are needed.
Study
Facilities
Students need study rooms in all the major buildings like Lowder and Haley where
a lot of us have classes but no quiet place to study.
A-12
A-13
Colleges and
Schools
Colleges and
Schools/Provost’s
Office
A-14
Colleges and
Schools/OIT
Textbooks
A-15
General
Course
Scheduling
Summary of Issues
Classes offered only during certain semesters (Fall or Spring) need to be announced
to students in time for them to adjust their course schedule and to prevent
graduation delays.
Make it a requirement that all teachers use and implement blackboard in courses.
Blackboard makes a student’s life easier because it allows them to access materials
when no hard copy can be found. Also, Blackboard allows students to keep track of
grades and schedules. Making a student’s life easier will increase productivity.
Faculty enter grades on banner one at a time via a drop-down box. This is very time
consuming and can be error prone, especially for large classes with 200 or 350
students. Linking Blackboard grade book to the grade reporting system would
prevent errors and save personnel time which translates to money.
In addition to selling new and used textbooks, work to make books available on ereaders such as the Kindle and the Nook. This offers students a way to buy their
textbooks directly and not have to wait or search the bookstores for the textbook
needed for class! It also offers a way for students to buy textbooks through a
sustainable venue and free up room on their bookshelves!
My idea is to END the MWF vs. TR class schedule and instead hold all classes in 1.25
hour slots, scheduled 2x/week, for example MW, or WF, or TR. Faculty, myself
included, prefer teaching 2x/week (TR currently), and so a typical student's
schedule (at least in Liberal Arts) on these days is jam-packed with classes. For
faculty and administrators, there is a scramble for classroom space. We prefer T/TR
because having classes 2x rather than 3x weekly frees up time for research &
writing, as well as course prep & service activities. Moreover, 1.25 hours is perfect
A u b u r n
A-16
General
Student
Advocate
A-17
General
Study
Abroad
A-18
OIT
Exam
Scoring
A-19
Registrar’s Office
Graduation
A-20
Registrar’s Office
Registration
A-21
Undergraduate
Studies/University
Research
Undergradu
ate
Research
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 40
amount of time to introduce a topic, lecture on it, have an activity or a discussion,
or show a documentary and still have time for discussion, etc; 50 minutes always
feels too short and lectures/films/activities are chopped up over the 3 days. My
suggestion will ease the tight competition for classroom space at peak hours T&TR.
It also will relieve students of problems such as having multiple exams on one day
as well as having courses back-to-back from early morning to evening. It will also
mean as faculty I do not have to prep twice for every course I teach (as teaching
the same course 2x/week requires different lesson plans than doing it 3x/week).
There should be a student advocate/ombudsman for students to see on campus.
There are issues that a student may face where they need practical advice about
what the policies and procedures are (for example when disputing a grade). There
are also other times when a student needs an advocate but it is unclear where to
go - what if a professor is requesting to meet at an inappropriate time or in an
inappropriate manner. A student is unlikely to feel comfortable talking to a
department head because it is assumed that the department hired the professor
and will "side" with him/her. Students need an ombudsperson/advocate to help
them navigate these challenges.
There needs to be a unification of the offices working with global initiatives. For
example, the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs advises some student
groups and the Division of Student Affairs advises others. There should also be a
central office or hub that handles study abroad opportunities so that trips are not
being handled by multiple colleges and departments. Many groups are going to
the same regions and the staff that coordinates the trips should be centralized.
I am deeply concerned about the impending move of OIT exam scoring services
from a central campus location to a site out on Lem Morrison Drive. It has long
been one of the great efficiencies of campus that one could give a multiple choice
exam using scan forms, drop it off on campus, and either wait a few minutes for
the result or come back in a few hours. Now we are told that not only is this key
service for core-teaching faculty going to move to a remote location, but that the
hours will now strictly be 8 to 5 weekdays. Also, there will be a mandatory 24 hour
wait time for exam scoring. What this means for an average faculty member giving
a machine scored exam is that he or she will have to walk 10 to 20 minutes out to a
vehicle and then drive to Lem Morrison Drive and then come back and try to find a
parking place. This is so because the new exam scoring facility will not be open
outside normal work hours.
Procedures and requirements for graduation are not clear, more accurate and
timely information needs to be disseminated to rising Seniors.
An online color coded guide would be helpful for students who are registering. This
program should be designed in such a way that is overlaps with the AU bulletin and
provides a readymade printout of complete/incomplete coursework.
In terms of publicity for undergraduate research, there are definitely issues. I know
they’re really trying to push it in new students but most of us don’t ever hear about
all those opportunities and all that funding. The program itself is great but to be
effective, it needs publicity.
A u b u r n
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 41
Efficiency Comments and Suggestions Provided to the Business Support Services Sub-Committee
The comments and opinions submitted to the Efficiency Task Force were obtained from respondents who submitted feedback either directly to the Efficiency Task
Force website or through focus groups and interviews. The chart below contains statements provided by the respondents, all of which were reviewed carefully by the
task force. However, not all comments were included in the final recommendations provided.
Ref
Area
Topic
Summary of Issues
There should be one card that students can use for everything - their residence halls,
dining facilities, library, and athletic events. It is unacceptable that students cannot
purchase food with their Tiger Card at athletic events, nor can they use their Tiger
Card to enter athletic events.
B-1
Auxiliary
Services
Tiger Card
B-2
Business and
Finance
Consultants
Overuse of consultants-how can we better regulate this?
B-3
Business and
Finance
Contracts
There is no feedback mechanism for people who are unhappy with contracts; a
general lack of understanding exists regarding contacts, bid laws, etc.
B-4
Business and
Finance
Forms
B-5
Business Office
Grants and
Contracts
Administration
B-6
Business Office
General
B-6
Business Office
General
B-7
Business Office
General
Examine moving all remaining paper-based internal campus forms (e.g. travel
reimbursement, ITV, Visa Recon, Access Control request) to a paperless, digital
system. This has already been successful for EPAF processing on campus (run
through Banner), as well as internal operations for Residence Life, and Students with
Disabilities. Such a change could have benefits for efficiency (need to move paper
from one location to another, either by campus mail or runners) as well as cost
reduction related to paper and printing.
Grants and Contracts Administration: The amount of time between announcement
of an award and the time that a FOAP is assigned is often months. Many times,
faculty do not even have the FOAP when the contract begins, and so we have to
purchase supplies and equipment and pay people on one account, then do extra
paperwork (salary wage transfers and budget transfers and DECs) to move the money
to the correct account after the FOAP is assigned.
There are a lot of areas where general financial questions are asked and there is
confusion over which office to go to for the answer.
The last few projects have come from automation of paper forms into an automated
system. Quite a few of these suggestions came from the financial / hr department
contact. I think this group needs to be sampled on the forms, etc. they (financial
contacts) find the most intensive and start there (needs assessment, focus groups,
etc.). I also believe that when asked, there should not be a determent in regards to
technology. When I spoke about our effort certification automation, a faculty
member commented that they suggested this a few years back and they were told it
was impossible. Needless to say, they did not suggest anything further. I also think
having a few more 'one-stop sites' are needed at AU as well. There are a lot of areas
when I have asked a general question and it went to five different departments and
yielded no answer. I do not believe I am the only one who experiences this. Finally, I
did want to suggest a potential reward for those who come up with more efficient
methods. At my last place of employment, if a person was able to suggest a way that
saved money they were given a percentage of the savings.
Implementing a regularly scheduled meeting with employees responsible for financial
transactions (i.e. vouchers, budget tracking, payments, purchase orders, etc.). This
meeting would be a discussion of how they keep their records, manage their budgets
efficiently, and can be a source of mentorship for newer employees, letting the more
experienced employees share tips and "how to" instruction, rather than having the
newer employees constantly having to reinvent the wheel with their jobs. Current
training programs provide excellent basic instructions for most transactions, but
sometimes more is needed in order for the newer employees to get a sense of the
bigger picture.
A u b u r n
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 42
B-8
Business Office
Vendor
Vouchers
Please make purchasing and voucher forms online. Having to make copies of vendor
vouchers on multiple colors of paper and having items returned because they are not
on the exact shade of yellow paper is ludicrous. It is also a waste of time and paper
when you have to send a copy of the original contract each time you want to make a
payment to a vendor. Have this electronically stored by PO number. Move labor
intensive financial forms online and seek staff input in the process. Provide sample
forms to financial contacts and don’t let there be a deterrent in regards to
technology.
B-9
General
Printing
Stop sending any printed matter to departments, such as memos, theatre
announcements. Instead put them on AU Daily.
General
Forms
Examine moving all remaining paper-based internal campus forms (e.g. travel
reimbursement, ITV, Visa Recon, Access Control request) to a paperless, digital
system. This has already been successful for EPAF processing on campus (run
through Banner), as well as internal operations for Residence Life, and Students with
Disabilities. Such a change could have benefits for efficiency (need to move paper
from one location to another, either by campus mail or runners) as well as cost
reduction related to paper and printing.
Human
Resources
Human
Resources
Employee
Training
Employee
Reporting
B-12
Payroll
Systems
Look at how we implement and use the Kronos system, and better educate Deans
about how it should function.
B-13
Procurement
and Payment
Services
Purchasing
Cards
What are the high dollar commodities and services we currently have? Can we look
at some of these, such as purchasing cards?
B-10
B-11
B-12
B-14
Procurement
and Payment
Services
Contracts
B-15
Procurement
and Payment
Services
Employee
Training
B-16
Procurement
and Payment
Services
General
B-17
Procurement
and Payment
Services
General
B-18
Procurement
and Payment
Services
General
Enhance personnel training using increased on-demand technology.
Identify ways to consolidate administrative and financial staff among multiple units.
The most frustrating part is that you seem to get a different answer depending on
who you talk to. What would be very useful is to have a policy drafted up and
instruct P&P how to implement it; right now it is the reverse with P&P dictating how
researchers can proceed. I really hope that something can be worked out with the
Payment and Procurement folks about this. I’m sure that several of our faculty would
be most happy to meet to try to resolve this issue.
Faculty members have encountered many roadblocks in successfully completing
research projects, and this issue centers around payment and procurement. Current
training programs provide excellent basic instructions for most transactions, but
sometimes more is needed in order for the newer employees to get a sense of the
bigger picture.
Payment of participants who are involved in research studies offering lottery
drawings (e.g., participants are entered into a drawing for one of three $100 prizes).
This is a very common practice at other universities, and our IRB has no problem with
this form of participant payment (they have approved many such studies). The
problem occurs when researchers try to actually pay the participants, because at that
point it is necessary to go through payment and procurement. Payment and
procurement classifies these payments as "gifts," which are not allowed per
university policy. Essentially, they state that we should pay all participants, or pay
none of them. Our case is that these are not gifts in the way that P&P is interpreting
them. We argue that they should be classified as something else, but not gifts.
Filing tax forms for every person we pay. I believe this applies to all payments of $50
or more, but I'm not sure on the exact amount. Either way, this is a huge disincentive
to participants who would otherwise be willing to participate in a given study.
The incredible difficulties are driving some researchers "underground" in a sense, by
forcing them into work-around that may not be strictly by-the-book. So, solving this
problem now and in a transparent way could prevent more difficult problems down
the road. The most frustrating part is that you seem to get a different answer
A u b u r n
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 43
depending on who you talk to. What would be very useful is to have a policy drafted
up and instruct P&P how to implement it; right now it is the reverse with P&P
dictating how researchers can proceed. I really hope that something can be worked
out with the Payment and Procurement folks about this. I'm sure that several of our
faculty would be most happy to meet to try to resolve this issue. I should add that
this issue is being felt especially strongly by our younger faculty members. In addition
to trying to set up a research program, they are trying to puzzle out this intractable
maze.
A u b u r n
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 44
Efficiency Comments and Suggestions Provided to the Facilities Sub-Committee
The comments and opinions submitted to the Efficiency Task Force were obtained from respondents who submitted feedback either directly to the Efficiency Task
Force website or through focus groups and interviews. The chart below contains statements provided by the respondents, all of which were reviewed carefully by the
task force. However, not all comments were included in the final recommendations provided.
Ref
Area
Topic
F-1
Facilities
Energy
F-2
Facilities
Energy
F-3
Facilities
Energy
F-4
Facilities
Energy
F-5
Facilities
Energy
F-6
Facilities
Food Services
F-7
Facilities
Maintenance
F-8
Facilities
Maintenance
F-9
Facilities
Painting
F-10
Facilities
Study Areas
F-11
Parking
Lots
Summary of Issues
Encourage to keep indoor temperature a little bit higher in summer and cooler in
winter to save energy. The Air Conditioning and heating could and should be reduced a
few degrees in all campus buildings.
Hayley Center in particular uses light bulb energy and all rooms appear to have lights
on at all manner of nights. My suggestion to update a green friendly initiative to reduce
the power bill and to be realistic for the amount of time the facilities are being used.
Note: I proposed this to SGA in 2008 without any fan fare by them via e-mail.
try to plan beyond the Dr Gouge implementation of alternative energy with more solar
panels on campus or to retrofit existing buildings on campus and if you haven't
changed the dated bulbs to newer updated energy ones that can be considered
Encourage to keep indoor temperature a little bit higher in summer and cooler in
winter to save energy. The Air Conditioning and heating could and should be reduced a
few degrees in all campus buildings….Reducing energy costs truly is a way to bring
efficiency in the most efficient matter.
The Jumbotron is always running and we could always sell more adds to cover the
security and maintenance cost and just close it at night.
Another big thing is tiger dining – it would be great if, in addition to the restaurants, we
had a big cafeteria that was open all day long and served breakfast, lunch and dinner
all day long and wasn’t overpriced like everything else.
In the College of Business, the cleaning staff comes in at about 5:30am and works until
7:30 am. They are then unseen until they clock out at about 1 pm. How can a staff get
paid full time wages for part-time work?
Preventive maintenance would help greatly in decreasing waste in being responsive to
"emergency" situations which could have been prevented with proper, timely
maintenance. For example, pipes in our building have leaked for years. They have
constantly been patched up. Over the break a major break happened, and our space
was flooded. We are still not put back together in our offices due to problems with a
carpeting contract. However, rather than replacing the pipe system years ago when
the leaks started, they waited until a major catastrophe happened to replace the
pipes...which has still not happened completely.
It seems wasteful to me to have more than 2 people assigned to jobs like painting.
More training and accountability needs to happen so that painters can come in, get the
job done, and get out without overwhelmingly long socializing or long, frequent
breaks. I have a 10x10 workspace which recently "required" 3 men to spend 4 hours
painting my space...which had neither furniture nor items on the wall. It was a onecoat job, and not all the trim was repainted. No one came to see that they were doing
a good job. They talked a lot. Had they been focused on their work, they could have
been done in half the time.
With the exception of the Library, there are not enough general study areas for
students between classes or even otherwise. The College of Business only has about 12
lounge seats for all students in the entire building. Most major buildings on campus
should have some sort of study room for all students
A Zone PARKING. The University's habit of building over existing parking lots, then
opening buildings before they make provision for the parking problems thus created, is
getting worse, not better. Furthermore, residential students are treated better than
staff/faculty when it comes to parking. We have heard all the suggestions: "Come
early," "Use the shuttle," "Get a life and walk," "You'll just have to get used to it," and
most of the time, silence. There comes a point when the administrative madness just
A u b u r n
F-12
Parking
General
F-13
Parking
Zones
F-14
Parking
Policy
F-15
Sustainability
Energy
F-16
Sustainability
Energy
F-17
Sustainability
General
F-18
Sustainability
General
F-19
Sustainability
General
F-20
Sustainability
Recycling
F-21
Transit Services
Efficiency
F-22
Transit Services
Efficiency
F-23
Transit Services
Efficiency
F-24
Transit Services
Route
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 45
makes one want to explode. There are solutions to this, including a money-making
one for the university. You should do what the University of Florida did 40 years ago,
and sell actual parking places to those who want their own space. There are some Azone "hunters" who would willingly pay $300 (or more) for the guarantee of a space.
Life would be a lot more efficient, and you could increase parking revenue as a result.
You offer it to students (RH), so why not to faculty?
Build more parking. Lots more parking. I recently found a copy of the master plan
online and while we seem to be progressing very well on building green spaces and
closing roads, someone has all but completely ignored the large number of parking
decks in the plan. We now have a very broken system where many building lack any
parking at all (Forestry has spent years parking on a bike lane!)
Parking zones should be re-striped to accommodate a larger number of cars. Some
spaces (especially parallel parking) could be shorter for compact cars, and you would
get more vehicles into existing spaces. There is a striped section in a row of a very
crowded, now high-demand parking lot that is there for no discernible reason other
than there originally were two handicapped places with a striped space between them
for wheelchair access. Those H/C spaces were moved, but the stripes remained.
Those 2 spaces + the striped area between them could become 3 spaces.
Ultimately we need a policy requiring a reasonable amount of parking (or alternatives)
for each building. Something like 1.1 spaces per full time employee or a transit stop
within 100 feet of the building with new parking located somewhere else on that
transit route.
Installation of more smart grids, light sensors and temperature controls to better use
energy.
Lights and computers always running in Haley Center and other buildings.
Participants felt that there is too much waste of paper products and electricity.
Furthermore, computers in the labs and Haley run nonstop. Also, custodial staff often
dump recycling goods alongside trash into the same container.
Look at energy efficiency at Auburn University buildings for proper time to reduce
electricity bills and the possible affect of climate change in our environment via co2
emissions into the environment.
I really like the “hydration station” idea in the student center and I’ve heard a lot of
great things about that. We definitely need to expand that across campus.
Are we or are we not recycling on our campus? We have been told that the University
no longer recycles paper, plastic, etc...if so, why is there a recycling center on campus?
Sometimes its packed but most of the times it operates with just one or two people
onboard. And with gas prices rising that’s not good. Maybe we should cut back on the
number of buses operating during non-peak hours. That would be a great way to save
money. I seems really empty in the afternoon.
Improve building to building transit services (including off site campus locations such
as the airport and vet school) and launch an advertising campaign to make faculty and
staff better aware of the system.
Tiger Transit vehicles are often idling, sometimes over 20 minutes. For example, every
morning from 6:30am-7:00am in the past 2 weeks, a Tiger Transit shuttle has had its
engine going outside my apartment complex (on Debardeleben St). At the major stop
on Mell St over the past 2 years it has very rare that all of the vehicles parked are not
idling when I walk by. Typically there are no students in these idling vehicles. Idling
wastes fuel, & generates pollution from its exhaust and noise. Preventing drivers from
idling their vehicles will save costs and improve efficiency through reduced fuel use. It
also improves the campus environment: less exhaust, less smog, less noise.
Although the park and ride system is generally reliable, there are not enough stops
in/around the Village. Travelling from far end of the village to the rest of campus is
tedious and cumbersome.
A u b u r n
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
F-25
Transit Services
Route
A faster Transit bus/route specifically for on-campus commuters.
F-26
Transit Services
Route
Additional Transit stops near Magnolia Hall area (including parking lot)
F-27
Transit Services
Schedule
F-28
Transit Services
Schedule
F-29
Transit Services
Schedule
Increased speed and service needed before class (ex: from 9:35 to 9:55)
F-30
Transit Services
Schedule
Time schedule for buses like in big cities
F-31
Transportation
Bicycles
F-32
Transportation
Bicycles
F-33
Transportation
Bicycles
F-34
Transportation
Bicycle
F-35
Transportation
Crosswalks
F-36
Transportation
Crosswalks
F-37
Transportation
General
F-38
Transportation
Pedestrian/
Parking
F-39
Transportation
Pedestrian/
Parking
R e p o r t | 46
Maybe if we just had a bus run once or twice an hour but with a set schedule and time
frame for arrival/departure. Building off of that, instead of worrying about parking, if
we had very regular buses we could promote more programs like Park and Ride.
Participants felt that fewer buses should be running during the afternoon hours which
would save resources and money. Before any such decision is made, however, Transit
needs a set time schedule for their buses so students aren’t waiting outside for them
longer than needed.
The only alternative to driving or transiting would be to bike and I know auburn has
come a long way but we really need to expand on it. Making sure there are enough
bike racks is especially important.
Bike Racks are misallocated, too many at Village dining (next to Wallace) and not
enough around Parker, Student Center and Haley Center. We should have bike rental
stations across campus such as at [University of] Mississippi.
More bike racks needed around the Quad Dorms, Haley Center and the Student
Center.
Specific bike lanes on campus for cyclists to bypass pedestrians. Designate bike only
lanes on the concourse.
Cross walk signals at major crossings on Donahue. Currently students have complete
right of way and a large number can easily back up traffic. We need a system where
students have to push a button and wait for a signal to stop traffic (or else put it on a
timer) so that both forms of traffic can have an opportunity to cross safely. Our
crossing guards do an awesome job, but they aren't always there.
Expand the student crosswalk education to other roads than just Magnolia. For every
one student I see use the crosswalks on War Eagle way, 10 cross wherever they please.
I've even had a guy step backward into the street in front of me.
One of the busiest times of day is during lunch. Faculty and staff have to deal with a
large amount of traffic and significant risk of not being able to park when lunch is over.
My suggestion is to designate space in each major building (or between major
buildings, wherever it makes the most sense) for people to eat lunch. Then, build an
online ordering system where employees can order from the dining facilities on
campus and have those meals delivered to their designated eating area. This plan
reduces traffic and leverages our on campus dining system while also bringing
employees together during lunch where they can communicate and get to know one
another.
The sorry state of transportation and parking on campus is one of the areas where we
could greatly improve. I often have meetings and other tasks that require me to travel
across campus or sometimes even to locations off main campus such as the airport or
vet school. Most of the time I can walk the 20+ minutes it takes to get to my
destination, but many places are just too far to walk, and the transit is not an option
for some trips (especially when moving equipment) and often slower than just walking.
For faculty who have offices in a building removed from their teaching classrooms, or
who have to move across campus for meetings, etc in the course of the workday, the
loss of work time (much of which is caused by the parking difficulties) is significant.
The shuttle still requires waiting time (up to 20 mins), and so does not improve the
overall loss of time to travel. The University pays me roughly 70 cents a MINUTE in
direct salary cost, or about 93 cents a minute when you take a 25% fringe benefit
factor into account. I lose at least 45 minutes of productive time each teaching day as I
travel from office to classroom and back again. That means that every day I teach, I
am costing the University at least $41.85 in travel time, or over $4600 per year. As a
A u b u r n
F-40
Transportation
Pedestrian/
Parking
F-41
Transportation
General
U n i v e r s i t y
E f f i c i e n c y
T a s k
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 47
result, I have cut back on my willingness to contribute service time to the university,
and do considerably more work on my own time to compensate. It is inefficient to
provide "remote" offices for faculty without also providing an EFFICIENT way to get
from point A to point B. (Our request for a golf cart-type vehicle was flatly denied, yet
the Athletic Department and various other entities zoom all over campus in these
vehicles.) It makes it difficult for us to be accessible and "connected" to students, to
feel as though we "belong" to our College/School, we have lost morale/motivation,
and it wastes a lot of salary $$$.
Driving on campus is a nightmare. Only one internal road goes north to south across
all of campus (Donahue) and this road has so many traffic lights, four way stops, and
over used cross walks, that it is almost nonviable. Then once I get to my destination,
there is almost never any parking nearby. I've had several meetings where I arrived,
couldn't park, and just had to go back to the office and either walk (arriving very late)
or missing the meeting entirely. Of course, there is often not any parking available at
my building either so it is possible to drive 10 minutes, circle a parking lot 10 minutes,
drive back 10 minutes, circle my parking lot 15 minutes (if lucky) and then walk 20
minutes to arrive more than an hour late. This is why I usually just walk, but walking
isn't always an option. If it is raining and a meeting is 20 minutes away without good
parking, I have to miss the meeting. A lot of the solutions I have heard for improving
efficiency involve greater collaboration between the different groups on campus. How
are we supposed to meet and coordinate when we can't even park at the same
facility?
One of the busiest times of day is during lunch. Faculty and staff have to deal with a
large amount of traffic and significant risk of not being able to park when lunch is over.
My suggestion is to designate space in each major building (or between major
buildings, wherever it makes the most sense) for people to eat lunch. Then, build an
online ordering system where employees can order from the dining facilities on
campus and have those meals delivered to their designated eating area. This plan
reduces traffic and leverages our on campus dining system while also bringing
employees together during lunch where they can communicate and get to know one
another.
A u b u r n U n i v e r s i t y E f f i c i e n c y T a s k
Efficiency Comments and Suggestions Provided to the Information
Technology Sub-Committee
F o r c e
R e p o r t | 48
The comments and opinions submitted to the Efficiency Task Force were obtained from respondents who submitted feedback either directly to the Efficiency Task
Force website or through focus groups and interviews. The chart below contains statements provided by the respondents, all of which were reviewed carefully by
the task force. However, not all comments were included in the final recommendations provided.
Ref
IT-1
IT-2
Area
Campus
Labs
Campus
Labs
Topic
Location
Student Usage
IT-3
E-mail
Tigermail Directory
IT-4
General
Sustainability
IT-5
OIT General
OIT website
IT-6
OIT General
Browser
IT-7
OIT General
Exam Scoring
IT-8
OIT General
Policy
IT-9
OIT General
Textbooks
Issue Summary
We need to better publicize the location of computer labs.
There is a misallocation of computer labs, like the Foy Computer Lab that not used when
more computers are needed in Student Center.
Is there a way to search by middle name / modify names in address book/computer?
Many students go by second or middle name, address books in Tigermail should
somehow reflect this.
There are hundreds of campus directories and yellow pages stacked up in the student
center and I would love to know how many people actually pick one up and use it.
OIT FAQs online should be more clear and accessible.
Explorer is clunky, outdated and less secure. Firefox and Chrome should also be available
in all OIT labs.
I am deeply concerned about the impending move of OIT exam scoring services from a
central campus location to a site out on Lem Morrison Drive. It has long been one of the
great efficiencies of campus that one could give a multiple choice exam using scan forms,
drop it off on campus, and either wait a few minutes for the result or come back in a few
hours. Now we are told that not only is this key service for core-teaching faculty going to
move to a remote location, but that the hours will now strictly be 8 to 5 weekdays. Also,
there will be a mandatory 24 hour wait time for exam scoring. What this means for an
average faculty member giving a machine scored exam is that he or she will have to walk
10 to 20 minutes out to a vehicle and then drive to Lem Morrison Drive and then come
back and try to find a parking place. This is so because the new exam scoring facility will
not be open outside normal work hours. We will have to leave our work place and go out
there specifically for this task. Then the exams have to be left for 24 hours, so we will
have to go back the next day to get them - again during work hours. If there is no way to
leave this facility in the central campus, why not have hours for the facility arranged so
that a faculty member can at least drop off exams on the way to or from home at the
beginning or end of the day? Also, why is it now necessary for a 24 hour wait time? Has
OIT cut staff so much that this is now the case? Why waste hundreds of hours of
collective faculty time per term when only a few hours could be added to the OIT work
schedule for one or two persons. Exam scoring should be made as efficient as possible,
so this is clearly a step backwards. Surely something can be done to change this scheme
prior to implementation on March 15?
We have a departmental internal procedure/policy which requires ANYTHING to do with
IT to be requested through one person in our office. So rather than being allowed to call
IT Support, I have to go through the Office Manager, who in turn calls another person
within the Outreach Division, who in turns calls someone in IT. As you can imagine, the
original question often either gets lost in translation the further down the pipeline it goes,
OR it comes back to me asking questions to clarify. Much of my time ends up being
wasted. As a more specific example, I have been given the task to develop a centralized
database in MS Access and to convert our multiple Lotus databases to it. On occasion I
have needed to call IT Support but am bound by the internal office procedure. The Office
Manager and the Outreach Person neither have Access knowledge and/or limited
database management experience. So I've not had much success getting the information
I've needed. To work around this situation, I've called on colleagues from other
institutions outside the AU environment on my own time. After talking with workers in
other offices on campus, I find my situation is not unique. If the campus has IT support,
then employees should be able to access it directly to assist them in their jobs. The
university should encourage their departments to reconsider some of their internal
policies and procedures to make IT support more readily available to employees, without
these constraints.
In addition to selling new and used textbooks, work to make books available on e-readers
such as the Kindle and the Nook. This offers students a way to buy their textbooks
A u b u r n
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directly and not have to wait or search the bookstores for the textbook needed for class!
It also offers a way for students to buy textbooks through a sustainable venue and free up
room on their bookshelves!
It is extremely confusing to understand who handles what in terms of websites. Certain
aspects of websites have to be approved by OCM and parts are updated by OCM, but
then other components have to go through OIT. Trying to update a departmental
website is incredibly frustrating and you get passed back and forth between the two.
IT-10
OIT General
Web Support
IT-11
Printing
Color Printing
More color printing options needed in key buildings.
IT-12
Printing
Student Printing
The printer cover page is useless and wasteful; people know what they’re printing.
IT-13
Printing/Bus
iness
Student Printing
IT-14
Printing
Student Printing
IT-15
Services
Tigerprint
tigerprint.auburn.edu is under-used because no one knows about it.
IT-16
Systems and
Support
AU Access
One central portal needed -AU Access is underused.
IT-17
Systems and
Support
Alias/User ID
IT-18
Systems and
Support
Alias/User ID
IT-19
IT-20
IT-21
Systems and
Support
Systems and
Support
Systems and
Support
Blackboard
Blackboard
Blackboard
IT-22
Systems and
Support
Junkmail handling
IT-23
Systems and
Support
Help Desk
IT-24
Systems and
Support
Help Desk
IT-25
Systems and
Support
Distributed IT
Groups
More banner printing options for student organizations for free or at discount within a
given yearly allowance.
It would be nice if all the documents printed from certain computers were done at the
same printer so we don’t have to scramble around. It would be a lot more efficient and
less confusing.
@tigermail.auburn.edu is long and annoying to type, could the university switch to an
alias systems and just keep using @auburn.edu (which seems more professional
anyways).
It would be beneficial if we only had to log in once instead of putting in our user id and
password for AU access, blackboard, tigermail, etc. One sign in/sign out for all of the
above, and an option to stay logged in for personal computers.
Can we integrate quiz and test due dates with the Outlook calendar so students are less
likely to miss assignments.
It would also be great if everything could access through just one portal rather than a
separate one of Blackboard. It should be fast, simple and compatible with Macs.
The constant security warnings and resets on Blackboard are extremely time-consuming
and annoying.
A number of campuses are addressing junk mail delivery through campus mail for both
efficiency and resource reduction. In addition to the physical resources, there is the
potential for reducing labor demand (potentially freeing for other tasks) by Campus Mail,
AU Waste Reduction and Recycling Department, as well as individual departments (if a
staff member has to further sort campus mail), and for the final recipient. The potential
impact at Auburn would need to be quantified, but it could be addressed with both a
policy decision or with a centralized resource to assist campus members who would like
to reduce their own junk mail (with larger-scale benefits).
The help desk is under used, OIT services such as help setting up email on Androids,
iPhones and Blackberries are not known to most students.
While I am sure the help desk is a tremendous resource for end users on campus, it is
often little more than a road block for those of us in the distributed IT groups. We are
competent, experienced IT people, so when we call the help desk it is almost always for
assistance with technology that is not under our control (such as the email server, Tivoli,
etc.) Yet, many times our calls get routed back to our own departments or to areas
without the ability to resolve the problem.
Most central systems seem to have a single "guru" in charge who is the only person
capable of working on that system. Many times there are problems with a system and
the responsible party is out, either on leave or otherwise and it is impossible to resolve
the problem in a timely and efficient manner. Every system needs at least two people
with the skills and access to manage it.
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Efficiency Comments and Suggestions Provided to the Communications and Marketing Sub-Committee
The comments and opinions submitted to the Efficiency Task Force were obtained from respondents who submitted feedback either directly to the Efficiency Task
Force website or through focus groups and interviews. The chart below contains statements provided by the respondents, all of which were reviewed carefully by the
task force. However, not all comments were included in the final recommendations provided.
Ref
Area
Topic
M-1
OCM
AU Daily
M-2
OCM
AU Daily
M-3
General
Student
Communication
M-4
General
Student
Communication
M-5
General
Campus Speakers
M-6
General
Campus Speakers
Summary of Issues
I read it from time to time but it’s disorganized and I know most students simply delete
it. It would be great if all that information would easily available in a central portal like
AU Access that would be awesome. It’s amazing how few people know what’s going on
at Auburn.
AU Daily is somewhat disorganized, needs an index or thematic arrangement, it should
be better integrated with AU Access for added visibility.
The university is just to spread out. Aim for a handful of majors outlets like AU Access,
email and the Plainsmen. I mean, people know it’s out there and those who really want
it will find a way to get it.
Streamline all outreach methods and use only 3 or 4 major forms of communication –
email, Au Access and Facebook etc.
I know there are a lot of good speakers that come to campus and hardly anyone comes
to hear to them. It’s embarrassing for Auburn when someone famous comes and only 7
people show up. I think it has a lot to do with publicity.
I don’t know how feasible this would be but it would be great if we could have an
occasional excuse from class to attend a major university lecture. I really wanted to see
Greg Mortenson speak but my professor wouldn’t let me.
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