Project Delta Begins To Make Impact

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

Project Delta is beginning to have an impact on Boston College's management and business style, say Delta representatives, pointing to this summer's relocation of the University ID and Parking Office and reorganization of vice presidential divisions as examples.

These and other Delta initiatives outlined by Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella at Faculty Convocation yesterday are creating a new environment, the representatives said, that will better serve the needs of both its customers and employees.

Delta teams of administrators and staff are refining new models for student services and faculty and staff support, while others are working in areas of human resources, technology implementation and short-term initiatives. The transition to the new models will take place through a gradual "migration" of services and functions, Project Delta Manager James Kreinbring said, rather than through immediate implementation.

"This phased-in approach will allow us to make broad, sweeping changes without the risk of abrupt, overnight transformations," Kreinbring said. "The direction of Project Delta will become readily apparent this year. We've moved from a pure planning stage to the first stage of implementation, and we've begun to see how Delta principles can be applied on a daily and weekly basis.

Project Delta Manager James Kreinbring presented a laptop computer to sophomore Raquel Webster in July. Webster was the winner of a lottery conducted among students who responded to a Project Delta survey last academic year. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
"We are using technology to assist us in creating a self-service environment," he added, "resulting in coordinated and improved services for students and the elimination of unnecessary forms or procedures."

One example of migration involved the transfer of several services to the University Registrar's Office over the summer as part of the student services model. The office will now provide the University's identification services and distribution of parking permits, areas formerly administered by the Boston College Police Department, and has assumed some tasks from Dining Service.

"The Registrar's Office is becoming a 'one-stop' area," Kreinbring said. "Instead of having to go to two or three different locations, students can now select optional meal plans or add to their Eagle One card Dining Service account at the same place where they go for course registration, parking and ID services."

As part of this migration, one employee has moved from the previous ID office site to Lyons Hall and Registrar's Office staff members are providing the new range of customer services, Kreinbring said. The office will encourage students to provide their own pictures for Eagle One cards, he noted, and as more University systems become automated students will use the card to perform some tasks instead of relying on staff.

In another instance of fostering greater efficiency, the Faculty/Staff Support Design Team is examining the processes that help faculty identify, obtain and use external research funds, and will develop a proposal to streamline them, Kreinbring said.

Other Delta-related innovations have come through adoption of new strategies and policies. This summer, the University established a slot management strategy which entails a review of any open staff or administrative position by the Human Resources vice president or the director of employment in consultation with the appropriate vice president, dean or administrator. The open slot is analyzed in relation to Delta objectives, and the University will consider a range of options as to how, or whether, the position should be filled.

The new strategy guided the reassignment of departments to other vice presidential divisions with the appointment of Vice President of Administration John Driscoll as a special consultant to the president, Kreinbring said. It also resulted in several vacant full-time positions being changed to temporary or reduced-hour positions, thus offering flexibility in employment pending changes from Delta.

Another new policy shifted responsibility for the year-end residence hall review from the Housing Office to Buildings and Grounds. Students are no longer charged for routine damage to their room through normal use, thus eliminating the bills generated by Housing and data entry necessary to process them.

Technology's prominence in Delta is evident in many recent initiatives, Kreinbring said. Beginning this month, he noted, prospective students can request Boston College-related literature, such as the undergraduate admissions bulletin, via the World Wide Web. The information provided by these prospective students will be uploaded to the Undergraduate Admission Office's system, thus eliminating the need for staff to re-enter it.

Through the introduction of a new option on the U-View system, undergraduates can complete the medical insurance waiver on line. Students also will soon be able to use a Web-based form to apply for study abroad, regardless of which international program they desire.

The fall semester also will see the introduction of a "cybercafe" to enable students to access the Internet and campus intranet in a more leisurely environment, Kreinbring said.

A pilot program for the procurement card, a system through which selected employees make small-dollar purchases with a special credit card, also will begin shortly, he said.

In other Delta news, Judith Canty, former administrative secretary in the Office of the Financial Vice President, was appointed Project Delta specialist. Her duties include documenting Delta team activities, tracking project details, and writing summaries and reports concerning team progress. Canty will research Delta-related topics such as business redesign and emerging technology issues, and coordinate Delta's World Wide Web activities.

The Project Delta specialist slot is a temporary one, Kreinbring said, and Canty's former position also is being filled on a temporary basis.

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