SPAM Strives to Increase Efficiency, Productivity

Posted: June 26, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Patty Snellings

The Special Projects and Analysis for Management (SPAM) team continues to work toward its mission to “improve administrative and operational policies and procedures to become a best practice institution.” Since its formation in July 1998, the team has addressed such issues as support services, administrative activities and services, event management and schedule coordination, the employee exit process, equipment inventory, cell phone usage, telephone billings, charge backs, and food and beverage expenditures.

Issues under consideration include conflict-of-interest controls, telecommunication and utilities cost management, operating costs and revenues associated with the Prince William and Arlington Campuses, usage recommendations for home equipment and pagers, and responsibility center management. A review of organizations affiliated with the university continues, and a new support services survey will be undertaken in the fall.

The team, under the leadership of Senior Vice President Maurice Scherrens and Vice President for Operations Larry Czarda, includes Beth Brock, Fiscal Services; Jeff Brandwine, Legal Affairs; Ken Bumgarner, University Services; Glenn Cyphers, Physical Plant; Ken Hubble, Internal Audit and Management Services; Donna Kidd, Budget/Institutional Research and Reporting; Gerry Mulherin, University Life; Jennifer Murphy, Sponsored Programs; Dave Rossell, Provost’s Office; Keith Segerson, University Computing and Information Systems; Diane Turner, Fiscal Services; and Linda Westphal, Human Resources. Hubble serves as team chairman for 2000-2001.

While SPAM looks primarily at managerial issues impacting overall, long-term operations of the university, it is complemented by Fast Improvements Crossing Institutional Terrain (FIXIT), a team that looks at day-to-day, operational systems within the university. Turner serves as liaison between the two groups. “We stay in touch with each other,” she says, “being careful not to duplicate our activities. FIXIT members are front-line staff. They know what isn’t working and provide invaluable insight into what needs to be changed.”

SPAM also refers projects to FIXIT for action or recommendations, Turner explains. Currently, FIXIT is reviewing campus signage and telephone usage, and both teams will look at the processes of initial student registration and student retention. Sukey O’Donnell, Admissions, developed the FIXIT concept and serves as facilitator of the team.

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