Improving the University, one project at a time

Author: Angela Knobloch, OIT

Clockwise from top center, Jessica Brookshire, Sue Prister, Melissa Fruscione, Robert Casarez, Lori Bush and Patricia Herrity Clockwise from top center, Jessica Brookshire, Sue Prister, Melissa Fruscione, Robert Casarez, Lori Bush and Patricia Herrity

In late May, the University awarded Green Belt Certification to six staff members who participated in the Green Belt Program offered by the Office of Continuous Improvement. To achieve Green Belt Certification, candidates must complete both online and classroom training, as well as lead a successful project using continuous improvement methods and tools. The newly certified Green Belts successfully met all requirements and delivered measurable improvements.

Jessica Brookshire, Public Affairs: Developed new process for matching interested faculty and staff with board positions to increase engagement in local nonprofit organizations.

Lori Bush, Auxiliary Operations: Established new cemetery payment collection process, reducing the delinquent amount by $25,000.

Robert Casarez, Auxiliary Operations: Reduced touch time for annual laundry inventory audits from three weeks to one week.

Melissa Fruscione, Law School: Reduced average time for law school admissions decision from 45 days to 16 days.

Patricia Herrity, Development: Improved methods for capturing donor employment data for matching gifts resulting in more than $50,000 in outstanding matching gifts in the initial year.

Sue Prister, Development: Cut the time in half (from four to two days) to thank or acknowledge a donor gift, while also reducing the number of staff hours required.

During the recognition event in May, the Green Belt Leaders presented project summaries to senior leadership and their project teams. Sarah Misener, associate vice president for campus services, was impressed by the presentations. “It was obvious the Green Belt leaders had gained much more from the experience than just a redefined process. They developed skills they’ll continue to use in a variety of situations throughout their careers.”

Bush believes the Green Belt Program taught her skills that transfer beyond a Green Belt project. “I knew the Green Belt tools would be useful for my current project, but I also learned how to use the tools for more effective problem solving generally.”

Twenty-eight Green Belt Certifications have been awarded over the past three years for a variety of improvement projects across campus, says Misener. “Green Belt projects vary in scope and impact. Both minor and major process improvements are important to sustaining a culture of excellence at the University.”

Bush agrees. “The results our team achieved primarily impacted our operations. However, now we’re equipped to continue to examine processes and partner with others on campus to support continuous improvement.”

Green Belt training is offered twice each year. For additional information, contact the Office of Continuous Improvement, or call Carol Mullaney, 631-1293.