Creighton University is one of seven colleges and universities nationwide being honored by University Business magazine in its spring 2013 "Models of Efficiency" national recognition program. Sponsored by Higher One, a leading company focused on creating cost-saving efficiencies for higher-education institutions and providing high-value services to students, the Models of Efficiency program recognizes innovative approaches for streamlining higher education operations through technology and/or business process improvements.
"Creighton University's online parking permit system is extremely efficient, allowing the program to scale while at the same time generating savings in both spending and employee time," said Tim Goral, editor in chief of University Business. "It is also a great example of what can happen when departments collaborate to achieve a universal goal."
On freshman move-in day, students have enough to deal with. The last thing they need is to have to stand in line to register their car with public safety. But at Creighton University, that was part of the process. Then, after lining up in the student center over the weekend to complete their vehicle registration form, new students flooded the public safety office the following Monday to buy parking permits, adding to a space that was already crowded with faculty and staff doing the same thing.
What's more, all of the information had to be entered manually into Creighton's various computer systems and the entire process took three temporary staffers three full weeks.
Recognizing the existing process' inefficiencies, public safety approached the division of information technology, known as DoIT?and asked for help. DoIT split the project into two components, student and staff, and set to work.
Consulting with public safety, payroll, the business office, and other internal stakeholders, DoIT developed in-house online solutions to handle vehicle registrations and parking permits. The faculty and staff system came first, in 2011. Paper mailings that sent instructions and forms for employees to register their cars and buy permits were replaced by emails, while in-person applications were replaced by electronic submissions, with permits delivered through campus mail shortly thereafter.
The following year, DoIT implemented its student solution. Students now are emailed reminders with a link to the vehicle registration page, where they can also apply for parking permits.
Public safety is realizing savings of $1,700 in printing costs and $1,100 in personnel, and the feedback has been enormously positive.
Models of Efficiency is an ongoing recognition program. Higher educational institutions can participate in upcoming rounds by visiting www.universitybusiness.com/moe.