Higher Education Board Salutes Efficiency Initiative
Aug. 4, 2011
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has honored UT Dallas’ drive to streamline business operations by saluting the University’s Lean Initiative program at a recent meeting in Austin.
As part of the board’s Recognition of Excellence on July 28, Senior Vice President for Business Affairs Calvin Jamison outlined the University’s success in implementing lean management practices, as well as the University’s related Catch Comet Pride Service Excellence program.
The Lean Initiative was introduced in 2007 to improve UT Dallas business processes and to instill a service excellence mentality among employees. The initiative operates in concert with Catch Comet Pride, which trains employees in customer service best practices. More than 650 UT Dallas employees have been certified in the customer service program through Human Resources Management.
“The Lean Initiative is aligned with the University’s Strategic Plan to improve operating efficiency, and we’re proud of the results we’ve achieved to date,” Jamison said. “Any progress the University has made is a result of our dedicated employees who continually look for ways to improve our business processes.”
Two improvements have been using technology to help streamline lab and fire safety inspections and by reconfigure the scholarship award process.
“An important part of UT Dallas’ success will be driven by our continued efforts to improve all of our processes,” UT Dallas President David Daniel said. “The Lean Initiative and focus on service excellence is an important step in the right direction.”
Coordinating Board Vice Chair Harold Hahn praised the program after the Austin presentation: “Your ideas could be used in any number of areas. We’re considering implementing Lean [at the Coordinating Board].”
“From the board’s previous exposures to Lean in 2009 and 2010, we have been aware of the initiative,” said Dr. Mary Smith, assistant deputy commissioner in the Board’s Office of Academic Planning and Policy. “It has captured our attention. With what’s happening right now with state budgets, we wanted to present specific things universities can do to develop cost efficiencies.”
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board consists of 10 members appointed by Gov. Rick Perry – including one student member – to provide leadership and coordination to achieve excellence for the college education of Texas students.
The Lean Initiative seeks to streamline processes campuswide. Above: Parking staffer Ishan Shah helps a student with her account at the Bursar’s Office service window.
An emphasis on customer service excellence has gone hand in hand with the Lean Initiative program. Above: Business Affairs staffers offer directions and refreshments to students arriving on campus for the fall and spring semesters.
The UT Dallas Police Department is hiring civilians for non-sworn positions where appropriate to increase officer visibility on campus.