Strategic Directions

Drop Shadow

Scheduling – Event Support: Proposed Action Plan

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Proposed action objective:

Provide more efficient, simplified procedures and structures for the university’s internal and external customers of events at USD by:

  • articulating clear expectations for each scheduling-event support department;
  • streamlining functionality among the 30+ academic and event schedulers and service providers;
  • creating standard protocols for academic and non-academic events;
  • updating policies, procedures and pricing structures;
  • improving communication and understanding within and among campus units;
  • expanding staffing and technical support of events beyond the traditional workweek to include evening and weekend support; and,
  • implementing one electronic system for users and customers to access and share information.

How does this objective contribute to one or more of USD’s overall strategic goals?

For USD to achieve its strategic goals, the university must address foundational issues that underlie that effort. This action plan broadens employees’ understanding of “university space,” reducing silo-thinking that limits full space utilization. Student learning and development opportunities are woven into this action plan through internships and student support positions. Outreach to community, regional, national and international partners is facilitated through adequate and cost-effective support of the wide array of events that occur on campus. This encourages a diverse and inclusive environment; integrated learning opportunities; outreach to educational, international and business partners; fundraising and community events; and student and alumni gatherings.

Who is responsible for implementing and monitoring this objective?

This task force would propose the following institutional structure:

  • Identify project champion(s) on the vice presidential level.
  • Establish a project task force reporting to the project champion. The task force must represent the diverse array of campus stakeholders (i.e., academic and event stakeholders; resource providers; directors; users and customers).
  • Involve directors whose employees are schedulers or event support: discussing expectations, project workload and priority, and report-back strategies.

What steps are necessary to achieve this objective?

  • Establish broad institutional buy-in (administration, faculty, and staff) and financial support.
  • Establish institutional structure which will set direction (e.g., institutional priorities), broaden resource support, establish expectations (e.g., timeline, levels of service) and monitor progress.
  • Research best practices, review current staffing and resource costs, and project future expenses based on the priorities and direction established by executive management.
  • Implement one electronic system that will address the needs of academic and event schedulers, resource providers, and internal and external customers.
  • Create standard protocols and written policies and procedures.
  • Educate community on protocols, policies and procedures.

What measurable indicator(s) can be used to monitor progress?

  • Increased revenue: track evening and weekend events - number of events and attendance.
  • Increased repeat business, customer satisfaction and referral business.
  • Improved service levels for evening and weekend events.
  • Improved staffing and event support: reduction in overtime paid out and use of outside vendors; expanded hours of support.
  • Efficient use of resources by evaluating production costs for all stakeholders.
  • Increase in student activity and programming.
  • Decrease in events being turned away or lost revenues (e.g., due to refunds when services were not available).
  • Reduction in support costs (e.g., phone bill; paper usage) when requests and confirmations are on-line.
  • Usage of master calendar: used as planning tool; reduced overlap of key events; number of events planned farther out.
  • Customer satisfaction: fewer customer complaints.
  • Space utilization reports.

Proposed timeline—what is to be accomplished by:

2005-06
  • Board of Trustees and Executive Management commitment and financial support. (Set direction: e.g., expanded service levels.)
  • Establish institutional structure to implement plan and communicate progress.
  • Implement master calendar with academic and non-academic events. Train community on use of tool in planning future events.
  • Implement Resource 25 for academic schedulers. Make decision on how to move toward one system for all users.
  • Begin process of drafting standard protocols and reviewing policies, procedures and pricing structures.
  • Schedulers and resource providers have on-going input during the planning of new buildings and renovations; address impacts on events and support.
  • Evaluate progress and establish goals for Years 2-5.
2006-07
  • Begin multi-phase implementation of one system for academic and event schedulers.
  • Address cost efficiency issues and finalize resource needs (e.g., staffing, new equipment, technology upgrades) to be implemented over next 3 years.
  • Address event-related issues (e.g., off-campus partnerships to attract new business and revenue; campus event limits; levels of service).
  • Begin discovery phase of on-line requests, confirmations and workflow; document variations between different departments.
  • Conduct space utilization study of event space (benchmark for future studies).
  • Finalize standard protocols and policies and procedures.
2007-08
  • Implement standard protocols and policies and procedures.
  • Complete phased-in implementation of one system (e.g., all users and resource providers are using one system).
  • Roll out on-line requests, confirmations and workflow.
  • Increase staffing per plan developed in 2006-07.
2008-09
  • As new buildings come on-line, re-evaluate system and resource needs, and improve processes. (Important to streamline processes and reassess current resources without duplicating scheduler and resource provider roles.)
  • Increase staffing per plan developed in 2006-07.
2009-10
  • Increase staffing per plan developed in 2006-07.

What resources will be required to accomplish this objective?

Financial
  • Review and address after executive management sets direction on service levels, space utilization limits and priorities.
Personnel
  • Review current staffing for scheduling and resource providers: reclassify specific positions, re-examine positions across divisions and reapportion to achieve proposed university service standard goals.
  • Create event coordinator position(s).
  • Establish administrative positions with oversight over and coordination of campus scheduling and communication.
Space
  • Reviewing and reapportioning event scheduling functions may require additional space in expanded UC.
Technical
  • Wireless campus.
  • Upgraded academic and event spaces.
  • Information kiosks in strategic locations throughout campus.