Administrative Efficiency Project

In February of 2020, Northern Illinois University President Dr. Lisa C. Freeman launched an initiative to identify administrative practices, policies and procedures that could be transformed, simplified or eliminated.

A working group led by Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Sarah Chinniah and Vice President and General Counsel Bryan Perry, supported by former NIU Provost Chris McCord, began the work of identifying as many opportunities for efficiency as possible and then prioritizing those efforts.

The goals: to save time and money while freeing employees from routine tasks and allowing time to focus on higher level thinking.

Through a very inclusive process, more than 70 opportunities for greater efficiency were identified. From that emerged a list of 21 projects that were ready for implementation along with nine others that require policy development prior to implementation.

The 21 projects went through a formal prioritization review by university leadership and were included in regular conversations at monthly leadership meetings, University Council and SPS and Operating Staff Councils to share updates and seek input. That process identified three tiers of priorities. Led by DoIT, detailed implementation plans are now being developed for the top tier projects.

A more detailed description of the projects (DOCX) is available.

Tier I

  • Time and benefit reporting (interim)
  • Registrar/student transactions
  • PeopleAdmin upgrades
  • Inventory
  • Grant management financial tracking
  • Sensitive student financial aid doc.
  • Data for compensation analysis

Tier II

  • Electronic signatures
  • Curricular approval process
  • Vendor Invoice/Voucher Interface
  • Encumbering salaries on grants
  • Purchase order and contract e-signatures
  • Student financial aid forms
  • Manager dashboard

Tier III

  • Retroactive changes to grant salaries
  • Performance evaluation
  • Graduate Student forms
  • User testing
  • Check requests
  • Research joint appointment coding

Contact Dr. Freeman

Office of the President
Altgeld Hall 300
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