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ITF Hosts Showcases of Ideas
October 24, 2011
The Innovation Task Force invites the GW community to weigh in on round three ideas.
By Jamie L. Freedman
After months of rigorous discussion and analysis, the Innovation Task Force will present its third round of leading innovation ideas to the GW community this week at two “showcases of ideas.” Seven proposals will be on the table at the university-wide forums.
The meetings, scheduled for Oct. 25 on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus and Oct. 27 on the Foggy Bottom Campus, are the culmination of months of behind-the-scenes work by the ITF’s Exploration Committee, which evaluated numerous proposals aimed at making university operations more effective, efficient and innovative.
The showcases are designed to solicit community-wide feedback, with the goal of winnowing down the list to six initiatives on which to move forward. Each showcase will feature brief overviews of the top-ranked proposals, followed by breakout sessions focusing on individual initiatives.
The top-ranked proposals will subsequently be presented to President Steven Knapp and his council of senior administrators for final selection in November, followed by implementation planning over the next six months spearheaded by initiative champions.
“The Exploration Committee, led by Ed Cherian and Peter Konwerski, has done an excellent job of identifying the next set of ideas for implementation,” said Dave Lawlor, senior associate vice president for finance and co-chairman of the Innovation Task Force Steering Committee. “These are high-value innovation ideas that will generate between $5 and $6 million in recurring annual savings, on top of the $29 million in ITF savings and new revenue already identified toward the initiative’s $60 million goal.”
The seven innovation ideas that will be spotlighted at this week’s showcases are:
- Moving toward a paperless environment at GW by capitalizing on technologies such as the university’s electronic archival system “Documentum” and the recently created GW mobile app, both of which put a wealth of university information at users’ fingertips in an electronic format.
- Deploying an enhanced customer relationship management program for GW community members aimed at streamlining the information-seeking process.
- Stimulating full usage of GW’s physical resources year-round by promoting wider use of campus facilities during non-peak periods (e.g., promoting the Mount Vernon Campus as a summer conference destination).
- Articulating a roadmap for migration to “the Cloud”—that is, expanding GW’s use of web-based services and infrastructure.
- Leveraging faculty and staff expertise and engaging them as “internal consultants” in select endeavors.
- Optimizing occupancy rates in residence halls throughout the calendar year.
- Enhancing GW’s administrative support service infrastructure both physically and virtually.
Mr. Lawlor said the proposals are a great complement to the 12 innovation ideas already in motion. “By design, this newest group of ideas is heavily oriented toward business processes and support services and positions us well to continue to move forward,” he said.
“We were delighted to announce this month that $11.2 million of ITF funds have been budgeted for investments in the university’s top academic priorities in fiscal year 2012 and each year thereafter,” he continued. “We are excited as we anticipate this number growing quickly as the current initiatives in play mature. As we enter the ITF’s third year, the cooperation between faculty, staff and students continues to be outstanding. The ITF is alive on campus.”
In other ITF news, former steering committee co-chair Jeffrey Lenn, professor of strategic management and public policy, who headed the initiative since its inception, recently passed the gavel to Craig Linebaugh, senior associate provost for academic operations, professor of speech and hearing science and research professor of medicine.
“I am very grateful to Jeff for his leadership in framing ITF, for his willingness to venture with me on this ITF journey and for teaching me many things about the inner workings of academia,” said Mr. Lawlor. “Jeff was completely committed to this critical initiative, President Knapp’s vision, and the people who have given so much to its success so far. I will miss his partnership.”
Recent highlights of Dr. Linebaugh’s 35-year GW tenure include serving as the university’s associate vice president for academic planning from 1997 to 2008 and as the chief academic operating officer of the Virginia Science and Technology Campus for the past five years.
“In my role as associate vice president for academic planning, my team was focused on transforming and enriching the quality of learning opportunities at the university, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience,” Dr. Linebaugh said. During his tenure at the Virginia Campus of Science and Technology, he dramatically transformed both the academic programs and research enterprise.
“I’m excited to continue these transformative efforts through the ITF,” he said. “The Innovation Task Force has brought together all segments of the GW community and ignited great enthusiasm around the effort to generate additional resources to enrich the academic experience at GW. I am glad to be a part of it.”
For more information or to register for one of the showcases, click here.