Where do the University of Virginia’s opportunities for the greatest institutional cost-savings occur?
So far, more than 145 ideas have been submitted by University employees as part of the “Paying Forward: Investing in the Future” project, which is designed to create savings through efficiency and help advance President Teresa A. Sullivan’s goal of making U.Va. the premier public university in America. Employees have submitted a wide range of ideas, including suggestions on energy conservation, ways to achieve better prices on goods and services and streamlining processes to save time.
This is the last call for suggestions for this competition. Ideas will be accepted through April 15. Suggestions should be submitted through the Paying Forward Web page, by clicking on the “Submit an Idea” tab at the top of the page.
The team evaluating the submissions is judging the ideas for feasibility and possible cost-savings. Winners will be determined after all submissions are received and evaluated; final prizes, including iPads or e-readers, will be awarded in May.
“It’s exciting to see ideas come in from across the University,” said project lead Lee Baszczewski, director of process simplification. Baszczewski is impressed with the range of suggestions: from simple acts like turning off a computer at the end of the day, to ways that departments can operate more efficiently. “This program is an open invitation for employees to describe cost-savings opportunities they see every day, and know that their ideas will be appreciated and evaluated.”
Recently, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Hogan met with members of the EVP-COO Employee Communication Council and encouraged representatives to scour their areas for suggestions to improve operational efficiency.
“My experience is that the best ideas come from people who everyday are involved in driving our operation,” he told the council members, who represent a broad range of administrative and operational areas. Hogan said that in his years of working with a global organization, he found that the best ideas were not generated in corporate headquarters but from employees on the ground. “Sometimes you just need to shine a light on that idea,” he said.