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Driving performance excellence during challenging times

Transformational Leadership Program kicks off cohort six at UMTC

By Stephanie Vine

December 2, 2009

The challenges of improving performance, reducing costs, and generating revenue are of utmost importance in today’s difficult economy. And the challenges the University of Minnesota faces in the upcoming years will undoubtedly be even greater than they are today (see "Report of the Future Financial Resources Task Force").

To meet these challenges, 18 talented University employees are tackling process improvement projects that will benefit departments and colleges well into the future. The sixth cohort of the Office of Service and Continuous Improvement’s (OSCI) Transformational Leadership Program (TLP) completed week one of training in October at the Twin Cities campus.
Several of the projects aim to streamline department processes and reduce unnecessary steps and costs. The Office of Information Technology (OIT), for example, has five process improvement projects under way. Wade Alto, OIT project manager, identified a "streamlined switch/port harvesting process" as an improvement opportunity for Networking/Telecom Services

Several of the projects are to promote student excellence. Transfer student success, online education, and grant processes are being analyzed by employees from speech-language-hearing sciences, public health, and health policy and management.

OSCI director Scott Martens describes the importance of TLP for the University: "Not only do TLP projects help drive success of particular strategic objectives, but the new skill set, language, and energy that is created through participation in TLP will be critical tools in driving a University culture committed to continuous improvement and overall performance excellence."
Cohort six participants will resume their training in January and complete the program in spring 2010.
Program trainer Alisa Salewski is excited to see the results of this year’s projects. "We have a talented group of people tackling great process projects," she says. "I’m sure the University will experience numerous benefits as a result."

TLP Cohort Six Participants

Project TLP Participant University Unit
Switch/Port Harvest Wade Alto OIT/NTS
Work Flow Process & Metric Michael Balak CFANS
Engaged & Empowered Alumni Mary Bushette CFANS
Virtual Private Network (VPN) Replacement Michelle Christiansen OIT/NTS
Roadmap for Transfer Student Success Mark DeRuiter Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences
Output Client Appointment Experience Deanette Hagg Veterinary Medicine
CLA Process Improvement Jamey Hansen CLA
AV Event Billing Standardization Janet Hawkinson OIT/NTS
Prioritize Stakeholders Morgan Hennessey National Center for Food Protection & Defense
Fee Request Process Improvement Chuck Hippman Academic Support Resources
Video Conferencing Philip Kachelmyer OIT/NTS
Risk Impact Analysis Apeckchya Karki CPPM
Peering Process Development Kate Knapp OIT/NTS
Job Evaluation Tool Improvement Dan Lu OHR
Quality Assurance in Online Education Joe Mayo-Cullen Public Health
Database Revamp Melissa Peick Extension Youth Work Institute
Support Systems for Interdisciplinary Grant Process Tatyana Shamliyan Health Policy & Mgmt