PORTAL ZONE CREATION

DESCRIPTION:

The project team, comprised of two employees from the Arts and Sciences Budget Office and one from the Arts and Sciences IT department, collaborated to create 5 “portal zones” in the Arts and Sciences portal. These portal zones are applications that improve how the Budget Office manages and processes the College’s financial commitments or agreements. An individual zone was created for each of the following types of agreements: Faculty Retentions, Faculty Start-ups, Recruitment, Equipment Matching and Library.

Background: The Arts and Sciences “portal” is a framework tool that interfaces with the financial and human resource systems of the university. This portal is a powerful tool that was created by the College’s Budget Office and IT department over the last decade. With a focus on continuous process improvement, the college endeavors to create new applications that leverage technology and optimize our operations. The portal is continually evolving in response to our ever-changing work environment. The project described in this submission is an add-on application that was developed for the Arts and Sciences portal.

Historically the College maintained “agreements” for start-up packages, retentions, recruitment allowances, library packages and equipment matching’s in hardcopy format in various decentralized locations (i.e. in binders and filing cabinets in different offices). This made these documents difficult to search, not readily accessible by all and susceptible to version control issues. It was necessary to reference these documents when making the necessary cash or budget transfers. These agreements were not stored electronically and they were not linked to budget or cash transfers. There was no centralized electronic archive to allow these agreements to be readily accessed by the entire budget team.

Because these agreements impacted different individuals within the Budget Office there were several employees managing redundant hardcopies of these agreements. Agreements were stored physically in different locations. This decentralized filing made the organization susceptible to version control issues: Who had the most recent version of the agreement or had institutional knowledge regarding an important component of the agreement?

The previous manually-intensive process relied on individuals each maintaining hardcopy files for their area of responsibility. There was no efficient mechanism for the Budget Office staff to share visibility regarding the status of all commitments. Employee turnover was painful as the loss of institutional knowledge made it especially cumbersome and time intensive to research the various agreements and/or transfers.

In an effort to create visibility for the entire Budget Office team, streamline operations, enhance research capabilities and improve the documentation trail for budget and cash transfers, the project team created 5 portal zones to manage financial commitments and transfers for the College.

Each zone uses a dashboard to efficiently and very effectively illustrate which commitments are completed, upcoming or overdue. Each commitment that is loaded into the portal links the electronic agreement with the budget of cash transfer in the financial system so that supporting documentation is readily accessible to, thereby creating an efficient electronic trail for the transfer.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE UNIVERSITY?

The team designed the tool to have several different functionalities to address the process issues mentioned above. These functionalities of this portal application impacted Budget Office operations as follows:
Functionality:
A. Streamlines how the Budget Office uploads commitments and performs budget and cash transfers. Multi-year commitments are loaded once with future transfers queued up.
Impact:
• Improves efficiency
• Improves transparency

B. Converts paper-based processes (for start-up, retentions, library, equipment matching and recruitment) into electronic processes. All Budget Office staff can quickly access from their computers.
Impact:
• Improves efficiency
• Improves visibility for Budget Office staff
• Utilizes technology
• Minimizes paper usage

C. Saves supporting documentation electronically for enhanced search and research capabilities. Creates centralized access of all relevant communications/notes or versions of key documents.
Impact:
• Enhances research capabilities
• Improves efficiency
• Eliminates version control discrepancies
• Minimizes the footprint required to store physical documentation
• Streamlines and improved the College’s documentation/record retention
• Minimizes the risk of damage to document s (backed-up on server)

D. Links supporting documentation to transactions (i.e. budgetary commitment agreement linked to start-up and library budget journal entry record, recruiting authorization form linked to recruiting budget journal entry record, retention offer letter linked to retentions budget journal transfer, cost share agreement is linked to equipment matching budget journal transfer)
Impact:
• Increases efficiency (easy to find/reference supporting documentation). Complete electronic trail to follow.
• Enhances research capabilities
• Improves visibility for Budget Office staff
• Improves organization and succession planning for the unit (agreements are linked to transfers, centrally saved)
• Mitigates the risk of the loss of institutional knowledge by creating a tool that provides snapshot transparency regarding the status of the College’s financial commitments.

E. Provides a dashboard for Budget Office staff to quickly assess the status of financial obligations
Impact:
• Improves financial reporting
• Improves transparency

The creation of these zones transformed how the Budget Office operates. As mentioned above, previously these 5 different types of financial commitments were managed, stored, and referenced in physical files. Redundant filing systems were necessary. Budget and cash transfers were not electronically linked to supporting documentation. Research was time-consuming and obtaining a snapshot of the status different agreements was cumbersome. The project team combined finance/accounting knowledge with software development expertise to create a new portal application that impacts the Budget Office operations in the following ways:
• Streamlines how the college manages and processes financial agreements
• Decreases the cycle time from document approval to transfer thereby accelerating budget and cash transfers to departments
• Improves the Budget Office’s ability to research agreements or transfers
• Allows full visibility for all individuals in the budget office (with access controls)
• Eliminates the redundant filing systems and duplicative efforts of maintaining these files
• Reduces the Budget Office’s vulnerability to the loss of institutional knowledge (from employee turnover)

IMPLEMENTATION STATUS:

The 5 portal zones went live and were fully operational in the fall of 2012.

Submitted by Amy Lavens and Vivien Roach, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, with Louis Dimmitt, Arts and Sciences IT Administration, University of Colorado at Boulder

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CREATING A VIRTUAL DESKTOP ENVIRONMENT ***

DESCRIPTION:

Robert Dixon and his small IT staff are in the department of Housing and Dining Services. 14 Years ago there were two databases and 150 computers. Now there are 177 databases, of which 25 are critical business database systems, plus 500 computers, 200 laptops, and 100 tablets. Over the last 3 years Housing IT (HIT) built and deployed a Virtual Desktop infrastructure. They have now replaced almost all of the computers with a virtual desktop client that consists of a 2″ cube that’s solid state that uses only 11 watts and runs PCoIP. The experience for the 600 department staff looks and feels identical to the familiar Windows desktop, But this cutting edge change has huge implications for saving energy. By running only one version of the software, we’ve eliminated the need for support staff running around, fixing and replacing PC’s. It also allows department staff to be truly mobile using a tablet or laptop to access powerful large system databases.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE UNIVERSITY?

Deploying a virtualized desktop would have a very significant positive impact for the university. Using Housing & Dining Services department as a successful model the university could save energy, IT administration, initial cost of computers for staff, reduction for funding used in R&R, extension of new and existing equipment, reduction of IT support staff, increased mobility for all faculty and staff, and increased security for computers.

IMPLEMENTATION STATUS:

The implementation for the university would be on the same scale or better than HDS department.
HDS has reduced the energy of a computer workstation from 200 watts to 32 watts or about 70% savings in energy which translates to about $30,000 savings annually just from computers. A reduction of initial costs of workstations went from $1200 each to $400 each including a 24″ monitor. The VM endpoints are  2″ cube solid state boxes that don’t break and have a much longer useful lifespan. Staff can use a laptop or tablet to access large computer systems anywhere they can get to the internet. They can even use older computers or Apple. They can login from home or when on the road at conferences. The IT support staff doesn’t need to replace hard drives or computers because there’s nothing to fix anymore. System Admins and Database Admins need to support only one version of the software on the server, which runs the software faster and more efficiently. There’s more security because System Admins have greater control over applications that are allowed on the virtual desktop.  viruses can be removed instantly by deleting the user’s VM and spinning it up again, which takes only 2 minutes. This successful deployment has demonstrated that virtual desktops can now replace standard Windows desktops without sacrifices and with enhanced features and functions. If this were deployed campus-wide, there would be immediate and direct savings and efficiencies. The HIT team made this happen last year and we’ve been presenting this model at numerous professional conferences.

Submitted by Robert Dixon, Director, InformationTechnology, University of Colorado Boulder, Housing – Technology Services

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JOB PROCESS TRACKING SPREADSHEET

DESCRIPTION:

In Ortho we strive to do work in line with our mission statement. One of our values is transparency, which proves to be very beneficial to the communication within our department. Striving to keep in line with the mission and values of my department, I began keeping an excel spreadsheet entitled “HR Processes” in order to create my own step-by-step process guides for each of my job functions and for each of the processes my position is responsible for. In the course of the year that I’ve worked in Ortho, this spreadsheet has grown to house an individual tab for each function or process that my role is responsible for (around 30 tabs). Examples include Faculty Hiring, Monthly and Bi-Weekly Payroll, Clinical Faculty Appointment, PET Corrections, Recruiting, JobsatCU, Onboarding, Off-boarding, Processing Leave Adjustments, Processing Additional Pay forms, Maintaining a POI, and on and on. Every time I am tasked with a new request or start a new project, I create a tab for the assignment or project in my Excel spreadsheet and begin documenting the steps in the process. Once I’ve completed the steps, I test them the next time I complete the process in order to ensure accuracy and revise them as needed. This comes in very handy for job duties that I only do once every couple of months, because it allows for consistency and compliance with University policies and procedures, and serves to refresh my memory when I haven’t done a certain task or duty for an extended amount of time.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE UNIVERSITY?

This impacts the university by giving me a handy resource that I can revisit and revise and that allows me to be consistent and compliant with University policies and procedures. It helps me meet deadlines with Central HR and Faculty Affairs, by not having to do rework for missing a step and having to go back, for example. If I ever receive feedback that I’m doing something wrong, or skipped an important approval, I can go back to my HR Processes spreadsheet and update it to improve the process and avoid making the same mistake. I also can share my steps and processes with other co-workers or other department administrators to help others become more organized, whether they’re taking over a job function of mine, or enhancing their own position processes. If processes are shared among co-workers, it’s almost like being cross trained on someone else’s duties and allows us to fill in for each other as needed. Another great perk of tracking the processes of my position is that it becomes a great training tool for the next person that takes over my position. I am expecting my first baby in September, and will be going out on maternity leave for a couple of months. Having this system in place, not only leaves a step-by-step trail for the people covering my position while I’m out, but spares me from having to plan and prepare everything before leaving. Because I’ve been proactive, all I’ll have to do is quickly review the processes for accuracy, and provide my co-workers with the file path to where they’ll find steps to complete every job function I do. In a sense, if the steps are followed exactly, it will be like I never left.

IMPLEMENTATION STATUS:

I have been building this spreadsheet since about two or three months into my position with Ortho which began in January of 2012. I have shared my idea with my Director (who loved the idea) and some of my co-workers. I have also shared some of my step-by-step process guides with another department HR Manager, who found them helpful.

Submitted by Ashlee Powers, HR Senior Professional, University of Colorado School of Medicine (Orthopedics)

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SHARED SURVEY DESIGN SERVICE

DESCRIPTION:

The Office of Institutional Research uses our subscription to an online survey program called Qualtrics to administer surveys for other UCCS offices. By extended our services, we improve campus efficiency and save time and money. We improve efficiency by offering our expertise with survey design and methodology, analysis and reporting, FERPA and IRB related concerns, and by providing contact information for potential respondents. Having administered numerous surveys over the years, we are able to build and distribute a customized survey in a few hours, allowing for immediate application of results to encourage data-driven decision-making and to improve the quality of services those units provide to students and employees. We also save time as our campus colleagues need not spend an inordinate amount of time reinventing the wheel by researching the variety of online survey programs, training employees how to manage such programs, or developing questionnaires. We save money as other units need not pay for our labor, the subscription fees, or the costs associated with administering a survey; we offer these services free of charge to all campus offices.

The Institutional Research Office consists of Dr. Robyn Marschke, director, Dr. Wendi Clouse, senior analyst, and Janet Van Kampen, analyst.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE UNIVERSITY?

Since 2010, we have conducted over 100 surveys and collected information from 16,000 respondents. Thus, even with a conservative estimate of $5 per respondent, we figure we have saved the university at least $80,000 and possibly as much as $250,000 in potential survey costs. This year alone, the Student Government Association was able to re-allocate $2000 typically spent on a third-party vendor for student elections. We also use the program and offer our services for Faculty Assembly elections, administrator performance evaluations, customer satisfaction surveys, student and faculty surveys often needed for accreditation purposes, exit surveys for departing employees, mandatory VETS 100 reports about employment of military veterans, conflict of interest data collection and compliance, graduating senior and alumni surveys, and for gathering metrics required for both the Annual Diversity Report and the CU Performance Contract.

IMPLEMENTATION STATUS:  We began implementation of shared survey practices in 2010 and significantly ramped up our services in 2011.

Submitted by Dr. Robyn Marschke, Director, Dr. Wendi Clouse, Senior Analyst, and Janet Van Kampen, Analyst, Institutional Research Office, University of Colorado Colorado Springs

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VIDEO-BASED TRAINING ***

DESCRIPTION:
 
In the fall of 2011 the College of Arts & Sciences made the decision to migrate the departments that were supported by the Financial Service Centers to the newly introduced MyLeave time collection solution that CU System was rolling out. This move was consistent with other large employers in both public and private sectors seeking to modernize and improve accuracy and reliability of paper time reporting methods, such as spreadsheets and card-fed time clocks. The FSC recognized that quality training was vital to successfully implementing the MyLeave solution and took on the role of working with departments to migrate their procedures to this new application.On one particular occasion I was asked to lead a My Leave training workshop for students and supervisors in the Department of Theater and Dance. Planning the training, reserving a space and equipment (laptop, projector) and finally, presenting, required approximately 1.5 -2.0 hours of my time. Unfortunately, when I began the training presentation, the MyCU info website went down. Consequently the training could not proceed as intended. I did my best to talk briefly through the major steps and also spent time answering questions; however, this training was not the best use of anyone’s time and I have my doubts about how much of our “MyLeave conversation” was retained long enough to be of any use when students and supervisors finally sat down to use the application on their own. This experience motivated me to seek alternatives to in-person workshops, but still provide quality training that would teach a student how to use the program in the shortest time possible. Asking “What can we at the FSC do to make training better?”, led to the question: “How do they, the student employees, prefer to learn?”It should come as no surprise that our target audience is highly adept at using the web to find information. YouTube reports 800 million new users each month, many of which are in our target group age range. A recent search on YouTube using the phrase, “How to tie a tie” revealed 12.9 million views. YouTube statistics show that videos are watched for instructional purposes, not just for entertainment.
(Note: I was assisted by my coworker, Joshua Firestone joshua.firestone@colorado.edu)
 
HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE UNIVERSITY?
I proposed to my FSC management that we create an instructional video on how to use the MyLeave application. After obtaining the approval to proceed, I recruited my coworker, Joshua Firestone to assist me in this endeavor. We selected the student employee population because more time is spent training these employees throughout the year due to a high turnover rate (they are continually graduating).We utilized a free trial of screen filming software called Camtasia Studio 8 and in January 2013, we had our first “rough” version of the new MyLeave training video. It is a five-minute video that demonstrates to a new student employee how to configure the MyLeave application and record and report time. The video can be accessed from any computer, 24 hours a day and viewed on-screen thus allowing a student to learn and implement instructions simultaneously. Following several reviews the video recently “went live” and this training is now available on the College of Arts and Sciences Financial Service Center website.http://artsandsciences.colorado.edu/facultystaff/fsc-video-tutorial-mycuinfor-leave/
Implementation status
 
IMPLEMENTATION STATUS
The FSC supports more than 60 departments within the College of Arts and Sciences. Individual meetings and phone calls are not always the best ways to disseminate training because it is neither time effective, nor cost effective, and it cannot be referenced later on. Our solution allows users to watch the video whenever is most convenient for them and to re-play the training as often as needed. This has improved the support we provide to our student employees while significantly reducing man-hours spent designing and conducting training. This video is now utilized across all of the FSC supported departments as well as by other Colleges and departments. We have received very positive feedback about this exciting, scalable solution. Due to the favorable feedback we have received we have initiated the creation of a training video for My Leave time collection for both classified and university staff as well.The FSC leadership is most excited about this endeavor for the following reasons:
• We are able to provide a better service to our departments
• We are able to do so using substantially less man-hours
• We are able to leverage low-cost technology
• We are able to continuously update and improve our videoSubmitted by David Nicoll and Joshua Firestone, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder
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LABORATORY REGISTRATION PROGRAM

DESCRIPTION:
 
The Laboratory Registration Program was implemented as a process whereby Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) (Ron Honn and Cynthia Norton) could collect a variety of information about lab type environments on campus. These lab type environments include traditional research and teaching labs in biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. It also includes photo labs, art studios, shops, theatre works, etc. Any area where there are chemical or physical hazards on campus. Principal Investigators or departmental lab managers were provided with an electronic registration form to complete as well as an electronic chemical inventory form. The departmental lab managers were able to complete one registration form for all academic labs within their department if the hazards present in the various labs were fundamentally the same. Otherwise they could group labs together on registration forms (e.g. chemistry lab, biology lab, anatomy & physiology lab). Once completed, the forms were submitted electronically to EHS. The information on the registration form was then reviewed, clarified as needed and transferred to an access database. From the database, various reports can be generated:
• A list of emergency contacts including home/cell #s is provided to police/dispatch operations. This information is useful in the event of power outage or system failure, allowing appropriate individuals to be notified so research is not lost or compromised.
• It provides emergency contact information that is readily available to emergency responders in case an emergency requires that we contact a person knowledgeable of the operations in the laboratory.
• It provides EHS with accurate information regarding the operations of the lab so that we can ensure that UCCS is providing a safe work/learning environment for our faculty, staff and students.
• It provides a listing of individuals (faculty, staff, student and volunteers) working in the labs. This list can then be utilized to establish and track training requirements for these individuals.
• Based upon the hazards identified on the form, EHS may recommend that the laboratory needs to establish additional safety protocols such as a Laser Safety Plan, noise, etc.EHS will review the registration form with the PI in an effort to verify that appropriate engineering controls, standard operating procedures, personal protective equipment and emergency equipment are in place to provide a safe work environment for the individuals working in the specified Laboratory.On an annual basis, EHS will send out a verification copy to the PI or departmental lab managers, who can then update any changes (particularly personnel and chemicals) and/or verify that nothing has changed. This will assist in having accurate, up-to-date information.
 
HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE UNIVERSITY?
 
Historically PIs and lab managers were asked for the same information from multiple sources (i.e. EHS and Police dispatch) or to meet various compliance related issues (i.e. CS Fire Department reports, CDPHE reports, etc.). Now the PIs/lab managers only have to complete the form one time. They are provided with a completed form and inventory annually to verify/update. This saves time for PIs and lab managers.In the event of an emergency, it provides a one-stop source for information on lab operations and hazards present.It has provided an identification and tracking mechanism for personnel involved in lab operations. Because we now have a baseline for who needs trained, we have been able to pursue individuals to ensure that they have received the proper training. Trained individuals are less likely to act in a way which may endanger themselves or their fellow workers or damage property.We have increased our compliance with federal, state, city and local regulations by having accurate up-to-date information.

It has helped EHS to focus its attention on those areas which pose the most risk for the university.

 
IMPLEMENTATION STATUS:
 
The program was rolled out in April 2012. Originally we identified 152 labs which required registration. Since that time 11 additional labs have been identified bringing the total number of labs to 163. As of April 15, 2013, 145 (89%) of the 163 labs have completed registrations. Efforts are under way to complete the remaining 18 lab registrations. Feedback from the PIs and lab managers has been generally positive. Re-certification/validation of the registrations will occur during May – June 2013.By utilizing the personnel lists provided with the registrations, we have trained 164 individuals in lab safety. This compares to a previous high of 84 in 2009 (2010-67, 2011-57). This is directly attributable to the fact that we knew who needed to be trained and could chase them if necessary.Our compliance rate with the requirement for a chemical inventory is lower at only 80%. Currently, 61 inventories are in place, 70 spaces are either vacant or do not require inventories and 32 locations needs to submit inventories. The majority of places needing to submit inventories coincide with those locations which need to complete registrations.The entire registration and inventory process has been used as an educational tool to increase the knowledge of personnel working in labs about the hazards and precautions required to safety work in a laboratory environment.

 
Submitted by Cynthia Norton and Ron Honn, Environmental, Health and Safety, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
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SOM ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TOOLBOX ***

DESCRIPTION:

The team of Cheryl Welch, Madeline Sembrat, Lisa Stanford, Chris Scanlan, Peggy McIntosh and Terri Carrothers identified that there were severe knowledge deficits throughout the AMC campus in the areas of HR hiring, salary setting, multiple components of pay, finance, procurement, contracting, sensitive expenditures, SOM policies, ICR policies, and Fiscal reporting (to name some of the areas) – we created a monthly training program entitled: SOM Administrative Professional Development Toolbox and we present topics that are timely, important and in which we are seeing knowledge deficits in order to help people, “Do it right the first time, don’t ask for forgiveness later”. The goal is to increase their knowledge, decrease mistakes, enhance fiscal compliance and provide them with the tools to do their jobs better. We expose them to training topics they might not normally have access to and tie the sessions to the correct time of year so they are timely for the work the administrative people are trying to accomplish.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE UNIVERSITY?

It is imperative that administrative people have the right tools to do their jobs correctly, efficiently and adhere to University and School policies and procedures. By having the knowledge to do things correctly in the first place it decreases redundancies in work, avoids fiscal errors, saves University dollars and minimizes audit issues. We have experts in the content areas presenting timely and important fiscal and HR topics. We show the attendees how and where to find the information needed. We augment this by putting the ‘tools’ on the SOM Administrative Toolbox website along with other information and links to important information to assist them with their work.

IMPLEMENTATION STATUS:

We began the monthly 1.5 hour sessions in September of 2012 and plan to continue on an ongoing basis. Our team meets regularly to assure we are providing the most up to date and appropriate content areas. The response to this has been very positive as evidenced by the monthly evaluation surveys we receive and we are noticing a significant decrease is people having to call around try find information and a decrease in the amount of errors our finance, procurement, human resource and administrative team in the SOM Dean’s office are seeing. We average 150-170 attendees per month. We also accept other AMC School administrative employees as our goal is to just provide training and help to as many people as possible. Our goal to help and provide training and based on the attendance response – there is a real need for this knowledge.

Submitted by:  Terri C. Carrothers, Associate Dean, Administration and Finance, University of Colorado School of Medicine, in conjunction with the team of Cheryl Welch, Madeline Sembrat, Lisa Stanford, Chris Scanlan, Peggy McIntosh

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LABORATORY MOPPING SYSTEM EVALUATION PROCESS ***

DESCRIPTION:

Our project developed the steps needed to evaluate and ultimately implement a new mopping system for the vivarium at the Anschutz Medical Campus, as part of our effort to decrease labor time and chemical and water usage, while maintaining bioexclusion requirements. A further description of the evaluation process can be found in the attached poster, which highlights a presentation the team made at the national meeting for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science national meeting. Mopping System Poster

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE UNIVERSITY?

Per year, we save 3,900 hours of labor (which translates to $108,030.00), 619 gallons of chemical (which translates to $8,365.91), and 40,794 gallons of water with the new system.

IMPLEMENTATION STATUS:

We’ve been using the new system for a year and a half and we are still loving it.

Submitted by:  Michelle Wallace, Jamie Tackett, Laura Richardson, and Jori Leszczynski, Research Services, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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RESEARCH ADMINISTRATORS MEETINGS ***

DESCRIPTION:

This submission describes a specialized peer group on the Boulder campus. The Research Administrators Meetings (RAM) is an informal group of employees who have come together to discuss relevant and timely issues related to administering sponsored research projects and contracts. It was started by Carolyn James, currently Director of Operations for the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, when she was with the Center for Integrated Plasma Studies. Carolyn continues as RAM’s primary organizer.

Meetings often include a panel discussion with experts internal and external to the group. It has been fortunate to have the support of the Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG), Accounting and Business Services (ABS), Vice Chancellor for Research’s office (VCR), Procurement Service Center (PSC), International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), and the Office of University Controller (OUC). Discussion topics have included demystifying DA-ICR, M-Fin reports, export controls, research faculty personnel issues, U.S. Visa options for foreign nationals, CU Marketplace, and intermediate Excel skills. Members also share best practices and discuss how they do things in their home units.

The RAM member e-mail list is available 24/7 for anyone in the group to pose a question. The list includes people with an invaluable wealth of knowledge and experience. Members of the list have been generous with sharing their ideas, successes, and lessons learned.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACTTHE UNIVERSITY?

This group provides added value at no additional cost to the University. RAM provides a sense of community for a disparate set of employees who may have felt isolated and alone struggling with complex issues. RAM provides a forum for mentoring, networking, and sharing among the various employees who administer sponsored grants and contracts.

Research awards on the Boulder campus totaled $380 million in fiscal year 2012. The need for expert administration of these awards is paramount and the ongoing activities and contributions of RAM help increase the level of professionalism within the ranks of research administration. The benefits extend to Principal Investigators and their departments, OCG and SPA, the university, and the sponsoring agencies.

RAM has developed ad hoc subcommittees. In 2011, the Boulder campus controller, Laura Ragin, reached out to RAM for volunteers to discuss issues and concerns regarding the Travel System piece in the Expense System, specifically with respect to sponsored projects. In February 2013, there was an internal movement among RAM members to create an ad hoc working group to meet and discuss the proposed changes to the OMB Uniform Guidance for Federal Financial Assistance in March and April.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/financial/grant_reform/proposed-omb-uniform-guidance-for-federal-financial-assistance.pdf  

The discussions and comments are being summarized and submitted to Kathy Lorenzi, Associate Director, OCG Boulder campus. This collaboration between OCG and RAM will only strengthen the campus response.

IMPLEMENTATION STATUS:

The resadmin@lists.colorado.edu  list was created in October 2010 by Carolyn James and the group began meeting monthly in January 2011. Since then, the group has met 11 times per year, not meeting in December. Ideas for topics come from RAM members. Carolyn James contacts experts in the relevant topics and invites them to meet with the group. She then arranges the room reservation and any technology needed for the speaker/panel members. Meeting locations vary across the campus to make it convenient, accessible, and to enhance interest.

The group has continued to grow and thrive. In July 2011 there were 93 subscribers to the list and that has grown to 151 as of March 2013. This list includes department, institute, and center research administrators as well as our partners with ABS, SPA, OCG, and the VCR.

While RAM’s focus is research administration, the overall concept can be utilized by others who recognize a need or benefit of getting together with a group of peers to discuss matters of mutual professional interest.

Please see the link generously provided by ABS:  http://www.colorado.edu/abs/node/31  

Feel free to join us on the list!

Submitted by:  Carolyn James, Director of Operations, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder

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ONLINE CAPSTONE SCHEDULING FORM ***

DESCRIPTION:

This form was created to allow students to schedule their capstone presentations online;  it notifies the coordinators of the capstone program when a presentation is scheduled, and identifies any media needs the student may have.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE UNIVERSITY?

This online form has significantly streamlined administration of capstone presentations by reducing both the time and paperwork necessary to fulfill a presentation request. Capstone scheduling requests previously required completion of a paper form. Upon submission, the presentation information was entered into an unstable excel spread sheet and processed. The new online form makes scheduling easier and allows staff to efficiently accommodate students’ presentation needs.

IMPLEMENTATION STATUS:

The form has existed online since November 2012 at http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/SPA/CurrentStudents/CapstoneSeminar/Pages/form.aspx

Submitted by Eric Howell, IT Professional, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado at Denver

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