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Exceptional work in administrative roles is recognized with awards

April 9, 2019

Three teams and two individuals will receive the university’s 2019 Administrative Improvement Award for their efforts in making substantial improvements to administrative services at UW–Madison.

Award recipients are recognized for their exceptional work in administrative roles supporting academics, research, student services, outreach or administration.

“These award-winning teams and individuals set a high standard for what can be accomplished through innovation, collaboration and a constant striving for improvement,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank says.

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller says the award winners make UW–Madison better for students, faculty and staff.

“The hard work and commitment to administrative improvement of employees like our award winners help UW–Madison provide quality service to the entire campus community, including students, faculty, staff and guests,” Heller says.

The award recipients will be honored at a Showcase preview event Tuesday, April 16, at Union South. The campus community is invited. Showcase, sponsored by the Office of Strategic Consulting, will be celebrating its 20th year April 17.

The 2019 Administrative Improvement Award winners are:

Jonathan Henkel
Student Information and Technology Manager, School of Nursing

The School of Nursing’s Office of Academic Affairs provides important student services to undergraduate and graduate nursing students in the areas of admissions, advising and clinical placement. Administrative processes surrounding this work had been described as burdensome and tedious. Inefficient systems and procedures were not meeting the needs of the school and its stakeholders.

Working in a collaborative manner, Henkel designed alternative options, led demonstrations, collected feedback and held training sessions. He built an “app” infrastructure making it possible for Nursing to carry out its admissions, advising and clinical placement responsibilities efficiently and accurately.

In admissions, applications and review systems have been modernized, and data storage is accessible for average users. Accessible online apps built by Henkel to manage student information also complement the work of advising. Data collected through these systems inform course offerings, national reporting and school policies.

Malinda Constant
Project Manager, Office of Career and Professional Development, Law School

The Law School must report graduate employment data to the American Bar Association to comply with accreditation standards. The school must report whether each graduate is employed in a long- or short-term position, is employed in a position for which a bar license is required or merely preferred, and employer information.

Constant’s goal was to refine and streamline the data-collection process to make it more predictable and efficient. Working collaboratively with stakeholders and benchmarking other schools’ procedures, she developed and implemented an efficient and reliable data-collection process that saves staff time and, most importantly, has led to reporting on 100 percent of Law School graduates.

Productivity improvements resulting from the new processes enable staff to better serve a first-year class that is about 40 percent larger than any other recent entering class. The improvements also allow the school to immediately contact a student about any required information that is missing.

Pre-loaded Debit Card Team
Frank Austin (Business Services), Rochelle Cushman (Business Services), Liv Goff (Business Services), Meghann Grove (Business Services), Susie Maloney (Business Services), Rusty Haines (Business Services), James Muller (UW Athletics), David Rieves (UW Athletics), Jenna Wojcik (UW Athletics) and Ginger Hintz (UW System Administration)

UW Athletics historically distributed student-athletes’ daily meal allowances in cash following a lengthy process. Under this process, coaches would request cash advances prior to sporting events, funds would be deposited in coaches’ bank accounts, and coaches would distribute cash to student-athletes when traveling for sporting events.

Athletics, Business Services and UW System Administration collaborated on a new reloadable debit card. Training was held with card program administration staff in Athletics and Business Services, and numerous sports were selected to pilot the new approach. Currently, 17 sports are using the program, and others will be brought on board this spring.

The collaboration has enabled streamlined processes, introduced stronger financial controls, eliminated the need to carry large amounts of cash and helped student-athletes. Athletics staff and student-athletes have praised the new process as simpler, faster and something they would highly recommend.

School of Medicine and Public Health Biomedical Research Model Services (BRMS) Leadership Team
Richard Halberg, Julie Cnare-Ring, Melinda Oxner, Jim Taubel, Michael Gallardo, Richard Carson, Jody Peter and Bryan Reagan

BRMS provides care for animals on over 300 animal-use protocols involving more than 3,000 investigators. The program is vital to investigators in the School of Medicine and Public Health and across the campus. However, the program in recent years had experienced fundamental problems, including year-end deficits, low staff morale and an inability to meet the growing needs of investigators.

This team has made significant progress in each of these areas. The team worked with staff, researchers, veterinarians and oversight committees to understand needs and determine effective ways to meet those needs.

Using a multi-pronged strategy to address budget issues, the team turned budget deficits into consistent surpluses. It addressed morale through compensation increases, a variable schedule policy, expanded professional development opportunities and improved communications with animal research technicians who primarily speak Spanish. It also has provided additional and more efficient services to meet the needs of investigators.

University Housing Ticket to Take Out Team
Sarah Barnes, Breana Nehls, Patrick Pawelski and Peter Testory

Through the Ticket to Take Out program, all University Housing markets moved exclusively to reusable to-go containers for all carryout food in fall 2018. The goal was to reduce disposable waste and establish a green alternative for anyone wishing to take their food to go.

Previously, Housing tried a variety of compostable to-go containers but found that there is a large misunderstanding about which materials could be composted or recycled and how to do so properly. This led to contaminated waste streams.

Use of reusable containers has saved Housing money, reduced waste and created a more educated and engaged campus community. Students have provided positive feedback and said the program sets the tone for sustainability right when students arrive on campus. Housing staff hope the reusable containers encourage staff and residents to consider where else they could incorporate reusable items into their lifestyle.