The new fiscal year saw the launch of new agreements and initiatives and progress on a variety of Human Resources projects, as well as the beginning of assessments of the new Shared Services model.
A new Facilities Services Agreement went into effect June 1 between SMU and Aramark, focusing on maintenance of SMU buildings and grounds. Core services include plant operations and maintenance, grounds and landscaping, custodial and housekeeping, and general facilities-related support services, along with a quality-assurance program to be measured quarterly.
Two new initiatives also launched in June. One was an Event Management Initiative, formed to improve the often confusing process for scheduling events on campus and arranging for related services. The team, led by project manager Alison Tweedy of Campus Services, will conduct surveys and focus groups and use the feedback to help streamline procedures for both schedulers and users.
The other was a new Data Warehouse Initiative, led by project manager Patty Alvey, director of Assessment and Accreditation for the University. The purpose is to establish a data warehouse at SMU, bringing together student, financial, alumni, donor and other data from different locations and formats across campus, simplifying and consolidating it, and making it available to managers needing sound data to refer to for strategic research and planning.
The Human Resources Department discussed its progress on a number of initiatives to make hiring, payroll and administrative processes faster and more efficient. These include the use of new Taleo management software, a partnership with Kelly Services, a campus-wide compensation study and an updated employee performance review model.
The Office of Operational Excellence has begun focus groups and surveys to solicit feedback on each of the Shared Service Centers – Finance, Facilities and OIT. Three focus groups were conducted in April with faculty and staff members from across campus to discuss what was going well and where improvements were needed, and the results were provided to Shared Services leaders for implementation this summer and fall. An Employee Engagement Survey was also conducted with the employees of the specific Shared Services areas, and the results were shared with leaders to address issues of employee development and retention. A campus-wide User Satisfaction Survey will be sent to all faculty and staff later this fall to assess the Shared Service Centers after the first year of work.