Reallocating Time to Focus on What Matters, the Students
For years, the Student Activities and Leadership Office at Portland State University (“PSU”) had a paper-based system and struggled with mounds of paperwork that prevented the staff from channeling their efforts towards student development. After implementing OrgSync, the office went paperless and the staff now spends their time focusing on more meaningful programs to support student growth.
INEFFICIENT DEPARTMENT OPERATIONS
Portland State University required staff to process paper forms that students filled out for organization registration and funding requests. As a result of the department's paper-based system, staff spent 4-6 hours per day processing stacks of requests and contacting students when forms were incomplete or not turned in on time. The department also lacked the tools to help them manage student organizations and track student involvement. This limited the amount of information they could gather on student involvement and prevented them from assisting the student organizations in the best way possible.
Unfortunately, the department’s paper-based system wasn’t meeting the needs of the students. Students expected 24x7 access to forms they needed to complete, especially since many forms were time sensitive. The staff was forced to spend their time fielding complaints and processing requests, which became a never-ending process.
As a result of staff focusing on administrative and logistical paperwork, they were unable to allocate time to developing meaningful programs and building relationships with students. “Before OrgSync, my staff felt as if I hired them to push pieces of paper around and were not utilizing their Student Affairs experiences to build programs for our students, ” said Aimee Shattuck, Director of Student Activities and Leadership.
"Before OrgSync, my staff felt as if I hired them to push pieces of paper around and were not utilizing their Student Affairs experiences to build programs for our students.”
How did OrgSync help?
With OrgSync’s paperless forms, the Student Activities and Leadership Office was able to transfer all its forms online and create a virtual office that made the forms accessible to students anytime, anywhere. The department has centralized their most important processes including organization registration, funding requests, and room requests and has the peace of mind knowing that the data is safe and secure.
STUDENT ORGANIZATION MANAGEMENT
OrgSync enabled the department to manage their student organizations online, giving the University accurate, real-time data on its student organizations and student involvement. The communication tools available in OrgSync (text messaging, polls, discussion forums, etc) also allowed the department to more easily connect with students.
BUDGET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
The Budget Management System has enabled PSU to transfer their entire student organization budget allocation and funding request process online. The transition has helped the staff become more responsive to student requests and maintain accurate records for all budget related activity, which can be quickly accessed at any time.
ACCESSIBILITY AND COMMUNICATION
Now that all forms are available on OrgSync 24/7, students have the ability to fill them out and submit requests at their convenience. Students are also better able to stay informed about campus events through OrgSync’s calendar system and news posts, which keeps them active and involved in campus life.
STAFF TIME & RETENTION
Aimee’s staff now spends 30 minutes to an hour on administrative tasks, down from 6 hours prior to OrgSync’s implementation, a savings of more than 80%. The staff morale has risen substantially since they are spending more time utilizing their Student Affairs background. Aimee has significantly improved the retention rates for her staff of nine professionals.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW LEADERSHIP FELLOWS PROGRAM
With more time to allocate towards developing meaningful student programs, the Student Activities and Leadership Office created the Leadership Fellows Program. The program helps more than 100 student leaders develop the understanding, knowledge, and skills they can use in their career and community work, by combining active discussions with activities to explore topics related to the department’s learning outcomes.
"As a supervisor, OrgSync has helped me introduce efficient processes to my department so that my staff can work on more meaningful projects for our students. OrgSync has had a direct correlation with me retaining great staff and doing better work with students.”