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February 18, 2014

Purdue developing process to assess ideas for operational, financial performance

As Purdue continues to prioritize affordability, efficiency and effectiveness, a consistent, standard process is being developed for the ongoing evaluation of opportunities for improvement in operational and financial performance.

"Over the past several months, we have received an abundance of input from across campus regarding ways to save and improve via our savings@purdue email and various other means," says Rob Wynkoop, managing director in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Business and Finance, Treasurer. "As we continue to move forward with evaluating the feedback we've received and begin looking more closely at our various services and operations, we need to be sure we are being consistent in asking the right questions and making the best decisions possible."

Over the next three months, a Purdue affordability and efficiency working group will team up with Huron Consulting Services to develop a quantitative and qualitative process designed to ensure consistent and effective decision-making while looking toward improved service and savings.

"As we gathered ideas and suggestions, we realized we should take advantage of what we are learning in our ongoing efforts at continuous improvement," Wynkoop says. "This step will help us better coordinate and prioritize our response to all these suggestions and help us continue our ongoing focus on providing the highest value education for Purdue students."

Consultant teams also will assist Purdue in identifying areas where improvements may be found and help launch assessments in priority areas. In each instance, individual internal project teams will work with consultants to identify how the area helps in Purdue's missions of teaching, research and engagement. Among other points, evaluation will include how or whether the operation or service could be improved, whether the operation or service has undergone recent assessment, components of revenue and cost, and what other campus operations are dependent upon it.

Recent assessments of the value of parking from a value standpoint have indicated that at the present time Purdue should continue to operate its own parking operations. As part of its consulting arrangement, Huron is working with Purdue Parking Facilities on internal operational improvements, a project that will help inform the overall continuous improvement evaluation process. Once the process is outlined and other areas for evaluation are prioritized, additional communication will allow for further feedback.

"With parking services, we are examining the best ways to improve internally," Wynkoop says. "What can we do to be sure we are providing the best service possible? The template we are developing with Huron will provide the road map we need to further improve our operations and provide the best service possible."

Faculty and staff who would like to provide additional input on possible efficiencies are asked to send ideas to savings@purdue.edu.