Models of Efficiency is a national recognition program created by University Business magazine to showcase colleges and universities whose business savvy and technological expertise create the most innovative, effective, and successful solutions for their students, faculty, and campus communities.

Join more than 80 college and university departments that have already been recognized as Models of Efficiency.

Applications are being accepted for the Summer 2014 program.
Deadline: April 15th

Apply now

Watch the 2013 Honorees

2014 Spring Honorees

Instrumental in implementing the new online payments system were  (left to right) Allison Foltz, Mike Boolukos and Melody Baker from the  information technology office.
Salisbury University Program Category: Finance/Advancement

Cash flow is as important to nonprofits as it is to corporate entities. That’s something officials at Salisbury University in Maryland had in mind when they engaged outside help several years ago to provide students with online payment gateways, tuition payment plans and electronic bills.

The steps resulted in increased efficiencies and more timely payment. But with enrollment up a third over the last decade—and no increase in accounts receivable staffing—officials knew it was time to take the next step.

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Fifteen-minute, biweekly “scrum” meetings allow colleagues to quickly exchange necessary updates before getting back to business on project completion.
The Extended Campuses of Northern Arizona University Program Category: Communications/Alumni Affairs

For years, The Extended Campuses of Northern Arizona University used a traditional marketing model. The four-person marketing team would create an annual budget and tie its goals and specific projects to it. Freelancers and local advertising agencies provided support for the 50 or so marketing pieces produced throughout the year.

That model worked fine until around 2010, says Ann Marie deWees, director of strategic marketing. “Then things began to change with increasing digital expectations.”

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Generating lab inspection reports for a campus used to take more than a week, but that time has been reduced to 1.5 business days.
Texas A&M Health Science Center Program Category: Safety and Security

The Texas A&M Health Science Center’s Environmental, Health and Safety Office is responsible for inspecting facilities and laboratories across eight campuses in the Texas A&M University System.

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A bookstore renovation gave officials the chance to reimagine how  technical support is provided to students and make changes for the better.
University of Pittsburgh Program Category: Information Technology

Tech support is rarely fun—even, apparently, if it’s a lot closer than an overseas call center. Despite 24/7 help desk availability and in-person technical consulting, Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) staff at the University of Pittsburgh believed their services were being underutilized by the main campus’ 26,000-plus students.

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A look at the big picture of mobile use throughout campus revealed  hundreds of service plans, and it became clear that consolidation was in order. Now there are just 12 accounts.
University of Massachusetts Program Category: Information Technology

When was the last time you took a good, long look at your wireless bill? What it contains might surprise you. An international roaming plan used for a trip last year that you neglected to cancel, perhaps. Scores and scores of unused minutes that roll over into infinity. Or 411 calls made despite your smartphone’s ability to search the web.

In taking a look at a year’s worth of wireless invoices, administrators at the University of Massachusetts found the system was spending a lot of money it didn’t have to.

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University of Colorado System Program Category: Finance/Advancement

Picture the amount of paper associated with almost 42,000 travel reports and 300,000 procurement card transactions. That’s how many expense-related documents the University of Colorado’s four campuses generate in a single year. Besides the sheer challenge of filing and storing so many receipts, a few years ago there also were major hurdles for reconciling and auditing.

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Customization and automation are key elements  of the new administrative system developed for the Distance Learning Center, located in Ullsvik Hall.
University of Wisconsin-Platteville Program Category: Student Services

In the past, University of Wisconsin-Platteville staff had to manually enter the records of any student pursuing an online degree. With more than 2,500 students enrolled, this was no easy feat—especially considering staff also had to manually enter course registration, financial aid and even basic contact information. This effort required approximately 500 hours of staff time each semester—or 1,500 hours a year—to accommodate the university’s three-semester system.

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University of Iowa Program Category: Information Technology

When you think about the blinding pace of technological change, it’s a wonder the University of Iowa’s student information system worked for as long as it did.

More than 30—yes, 30—years old, Iowa’s SIS was less an integrated series of data processing functions and more a collection of individual siloed systems that didn’t work very well together. Because the underlying technology and architecture were so old, enhancements were difficult. Data were redundant and difficult to synchronize. And manual, paper-based processes frustrated users.

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