Category 6: Supporting Institutional Operations

 

Reacting
Systematic
Aligned
Integrated
Isolated tasks and
activities address
immediate needs
Repeatable, proactive
processes with clear
and explicit goals
Stable, consciously
managed, regularly
evaluated
Regularly improved
through analysis,
innovation and sharing

As a major function of the Student and Administrative Services area, Supporting Institutional Operations continues to be a strength of MCC.  Operations in the areas of the Office of Physical Plant (OPP) and Campus Safety are regularly evaluated for improvement and continue to be recognized as functioning at a very high level.  For this reason, we believe that the current status of MCC's systems and processes in this area to be at the level of Systematic or Aligned.

Given the physical location of the main campus in Flint, which is situated in a distressed community with declining property values and high crime rates, MCC is widely recognized for its excellent campus safety program (which was cited as a Significant Strength in the 2009 Systems Appraisal) and the beauty and continued maintenance of its campuses and locations.  Many of the campus buildings were constructed in the middle 1950s, yet they continued to be maintained at a very high level, as are the grounds and other facilities.

MCC has also continued to invest in best-in-class technology for supporting the efficient management of college processes and resources.  A continuing strength is the support provided by Information Technology Services (ITS) to a comprehensive system of computer support services, including business intelligence/data warehousing, desktop and mobile computing, campus WiFi and web services, as well as state-of-the-art e-mail, electronic collaboration, and telephone services.

For the first time since becoming an AQIP institution in 2005, MCC has selected an Action Project dedicated to a Category 6 issue suggested by employees: green and recycling initiatives on campus.  Building upon the work of an existing grassroots campus organization, the Green/Recycling Action Project has used the CQI process to study the current state of conservation and recycling efforts on campus.  As described in 6I2 below, the team visited other best practice institutions in this area and is poised to make recommendations to the Executive Cabinet on ways to transform MCC's waste stream into revenue streams.  As it has preformed its work, this Action Project has provided an example to other work groups on campus to adopt more sustainable operational practices.  In addition, the high visibility of the team's efforts have resulted in the rollout of a college-wide paper and plastic recycling system.

In summary, the activities and results described for Supporting Institutional Operations indicate that MCC is performing in a Systematic or Aligned manner that is repeatable, has clear and explicit goals, and is consciously managed and regularly evaluated.

6P1 Support Service Needs of Students and Stakeholder Groups. Student Services uses student surveys, solicits input at time of registration and admissions and encourages employees to identify needs and reports those needs to their supervisors.   In 2009, the Systems Appraisal for MCC highlighted an opportunity to identify and document student support processes.  Student support service needs are identified in Workforce Development in a variety of ways.  During Intake sessions the Individual Service Strategy (ISS) is utilized to identify barriers and obstacles; at this same time, Educational Development Plan (EDP) assessments are administered to provide guidance towards areas of potential employment interest.  Orientation provides a platform for delivery and discussion of course pre-requisites and requirements.  Instructors through pre-course and mid-term testing help to identify entry points and progress in the classroom.  Additionally, while in session, students meet and discuss progress and challenges with their Client Services Representative (CSR) and/or Program Coordinator.  Several programs also have in classroom Program Assistants as an additional resource.  The infusion of Job Development Specialist (JDS) in the curriculum (Essential Employability Skills) is a key factor in identifying how to best address needs; the JDS establishes working relationships that help to foster student aptitude and capacity for successful placements.

The MCC Board of Trustees receives support directly through the Office of the President; meeting agendas, executive summaries, and general clerical support are provided by the manager of the President's Office, who also serves as Assistant Secretary to the Board.  Support service needs of the alumni association are provided by the Foundation for Mott Community College (FMCC).  Information about the Foundation and Alumni association may be accessed here:
http://www.mcc.edu/foundation/fmcc_index.shtml

6P2 Identification of Support Service Needs. MCC conducts regular budgeting and job evaluation processes to evaluate support service needs.  In addition to routine management of support services, Athletics identifies needs through monthly administrative support meetings between the Associate Athletic Director and the support staff.  Student Services analyzes student traffic to identify needs and surveys administrative staff.  Workforce Development administrative support service processes are identified initially by the Leadership team.  In working directly with the staff at all levels, challenges are identified, key strategy/resolution is developed then presented to the Executive Dean for implementation and/or approval when/where necessary. In most cases, the Leadership team is able to work directly with peers in other Division/Departments to bring about resolution, i.e. facilitation of Accuplacer, students' registration, orientation, providing Instructors and class space, ordering books and other classroom materials.  With subjects that impact Organizational Governance, such as credit Articulation, the Executive Dean of Student Services works through the offices of Vice President of Student & Administrative Services and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

6P3 Processes for Physical Safety and Security.Identified as a "significant strength" in the 2009 Systems Appraisal, MCC's public safety efforts are based on a philosophy of community oriented policing.  The MCC Department of Public Safety effectively coordinates and reports results from multiple safety-related prevention programs.  Crime continues to be a major concern in the surrounding community, as the City of Flint is routinely ranked among the most violent cities in the United States by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement agencies.  MCC has continued to build on this strength by maintaining a comprehensive Crime Prevention program which is based upon the dual concepts of eliminating or minimizing criminal opportunities, whenever possible, and encouraging the college community to be responsible for their own security and the security of others.  Community Oriented Policing (COP) is the philosophical perspective that guides the Mott College Department of Public Safety in its daily operation.  COP is a process of building relationships between the police, the campus community, local government, and community members to identify and address issues of crime, disorder, and other quality of life issues.  MCC's 2013 Annual Security Report may be read here:
 http://www.mcc.edu/16_pubsafety/reports/annual_security_report.pdf

6P4 Key Support Service Processes.MCC's key student, administrative, and organizational support processes continue to be managed on a day-to-day basis by the Student and Administrative Services area of the college.  Under the direction of the Vice President for Student and Administrative Services (VPSAS), this area provides leadership, direction and coordination for MCC's major administrative support functions including all Student Services and Workforce Development activities.  For a listing of key institutional processes directed by this area, see Figure 2-1 above.  A complete listing of the day-to-day management of these support processes may be found here:
http://www.mcc.edu/Stnd-Adm_Serv/sa-serv_index.shtml

6P5Documentation of Support Processes.MCC documents its support processes in the form of online tutorials, job aids, and other forms of process documentation.  These forms of documentation are particularly useful for computer-oriented processes such as online grading, attendance reporting, data entry, and e-mail usage.  Such documentation is written and revised by on-campus users and is usually demonstrated in person at workshops or training sessions in an effort to encourage knowledge sharing, innovation, and employee empowerment.  An example of an online directory of information on a key support services in Academic Affairs—including documentation for course creation, missing grades reports, section availability, and other key Datatel functions—may be accessed below:
http://www.mcc.edu/job_aids/ja_acad_affairs.shtml

A recent example of a prepared Job Aid from 2012 for using the newest release of MCC's business intelligence platform, Cognos 10.1, may be accessed here:
http://www.mcc.edu/job_aids/cognos/JA_Intro_to_Using_Cognos_10-1.pdf

6R1 and 6R2 Results for Student and Institutional Support Services. MCC regularly collects and analyzes measures of performance data on a variety of student services through the Student Satisfaction Survey.  The following table illustrates performance data for 2012 in a number of key student support services:

  Very Satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied Don't Know/Not Used
Advising 106 144 110 53 28 13
Bookstore 92 165 95 62 29 11
Career Center 67 89 70 15 5 208
Counseling & Student Development 77 118 102 28 15 114
Financial Aid 90 133 77 50 54 50
Job Placement 38 39 80 18 20 259
New Student Orientation 80 131 106 20 9 108
Peer Tutoring 49 68 72 9 7 249
Cashier's Office 71 168 87 18 8 102
Registration Office 83 177 107 33 13 41
Figure 6-1 Fall 2012 Support Service Results from Student Satisfaction Survey (selected)

In addition to student support services, the Office of Physical Plant (OPP) collects and regularly analyses its Work Order Log, looking at number open, age, supervisor responsible, type and unusual conditions/issues.  Student Services analyzes student traffic, budget analysis and needs assessments.

6R3 Results for Administrative Support Services.In the past, performance results for administrative support were often collected informally within departments.  Recently more specific and repeatable processed have been designed for monitoring results.  Thus far, there have been significant improvements in student/athlete achievement.  The results of analyses of Work Order Log data, for the past six months, indicates that the Office of Physical Plant (OPP) handles approximately 50-60 Work Orders per month, roughly 85% of which are Maintenance related (as opposed to Grounds or Custodial or Other).  Approximately 75% of Work Orders are closed within 30 days and 90% within 60 days.  The remaining 10% are usually the result of extenuating circumstances such as long lead times for parts, design and bidding requirements, etc.  Rarely do work orders stay open over 120 days.  Student Services opportunities are identified and cross functional teams meet to improve low areas.  The results of Workforce Development's student support service processes are students that acquire skills, certifications and credentials as a result of program completion, thereby making the students more employable, strengthening the aptitude of persons in the workforce; and improving the overall quality of life in a multicultural community.

6R4 Use of Information to Improve Support Services.Student, administrative, and organizational support areas utilize a number of indicators to improve services.  One example of using information to improve services is the Student Satisfaction survey results in Figure 6-1 above; results are monitored and used on a regular basis to improve services.  Another example of using information to improve services may be found in reference to MCC's call center in 2R1 and 2R2 above.

6R5 Benchmarking Support for Organizational Operations. The College has not formally benchmarked its Physical Plant operations with other institutions.  However, as part of APPA, the Office of Physical Plant (OPP) has completed several national surveys regarding physical facilities operations. Anecdotally, and comparing our performance to the dashboards of such surveys, Mott Community College ranks in the high upper middle of institutions in our Carnegie Classification. For instance, our cleaning level, as measured by APPA, is approximately 2.2 on a scale of 1 to 5. In addition, drawing on our participation in organizational conferences related to physical facilities, we believe that we compare favorably with our peers.  Student Services often solicits information from list serves by email, communications with administrators at other organizations.   With regard to Mott Community College - Workforce & Career Development as a Michigan Works! Agent in Genesee/Shiawassee Counties, our results compare favorably with our peers and organizations within our community.  We receive as much, if not more, funding support as other agencies that respond to similar grant solicitations.

6I1 Recent Improvements in Supporting Organizational Operations.MCC continues to build on the significant strength identified in 2009 concerning Information Technology Services.  Prior to 2009, information technology functions were located in two separate functional areas of the college.  Since that merger, an aligned and comprehensive set of technology support solutions has served the entire college community.  Recent improvement to the SAN (ESOS) Open source Storage Area Network replaced roughly 1/3 of the existing proprietary storage area network at roughly 1/5 the cost.  Mott will continue to expand the usage of the open source storage area network, and retire the proprietary vendor supplied solution over the next 3 years.  An Optiman circuit to Lapeer, Livingston, Hispanic Center provides network connectivity to these location replacing the aging T1 infrastructure while at the same time  providing over 25 times the performance.  An additional circuit leased from Comcast for our functions at the off-campus DisAblity Networks provides a dedicated point to point connection to the DisAblity Network located on Dort Highway.  This solution provides a network connection which offers additional bandwidth for additional services and great stability.  Redundant Internet Connections provide MCC with a highly redundant connection to the Internet while also expanding the overall bandwidth to the college.

ITS has also implemented a number of emergency notification upgrades.  Emergency notification monitors provides for visual dissemination of emergency notification to students, faculty and staff. The system consists of over 60 monitors placed in highly traveled pathways across both main campus as well as extension sites.  While not actively displaying information messages during an emergency the monitors are used to provide information regarding class offerings, registration and campus and local events.  Emergency call boxes have also been upgraded to a digital solution, providing for an increase in volume as well as reliability and monitoring.

A number of additional services to provide network access to students, staff and public stakeholders have taken place since 2009.  The wireless upgrades to campus are in a response to the growing need for wireless availability and bandwidth both on main campus as well as extension centers.  MCC increased the number of access points from 150 to over 240 to accommodate thousands of simultaneous connections.  ITS also provided 20 new stations for students to charge cell phones as well as other micro USB charging devices.

As part of the Main Library renovation, both facilities and technology were expanded by ITS in the building.  The building's wiring was completely replaced with high speed cabling, providing the ability to extend 10-gigabit networks to the desktops when needed.  The data closets were renovated and are now actively cooled. The AV abilities of the building have been greatly extended with easy to use Crestron devices located in the classrooms as well as conference space.

A significant revision to MCC's ERP/website interface has been undertaken in the form of a portal service that connects to our Datatel ERP system.  The "MCC4Me" portal was rolled out to over 300 faculty and staff and will be rolled out to all students before the Winter semester.  This new website allows a customized and personalized view of information for students, faculty, and staff and provides more direct communications to students with information related specifically to them.  The look, feel, and even the name "MCC4Me" was created as part of a stakeholder engagement process; the name was chosen from employee suggestions.

Finally, greater flexibility for connection to MCC networks for faculty and staff have increased productivity.  The virtual desktop solution developed by ITS has been greatly expanded, offering greater connectivity from off campus, while also providing the computer needs of almost 1,000 of the desktops on both main campus as well as extension centers. These desktops now represent roughly 1/3 of the desktop computer resources used by the college community.

In other areas of MCC, a comprehensive maintenance management system was installed in the Office of Physical Plant to track routine maintenance as well as asset management.  All spaces on campus are assigned a FICM Room Use Code.  These codes are set by the Postsecondary Facilities Inventory and Classification Manual (FICM).  The asset inventory includes 93 asset types and 513 subtypes.  At present, more than 75,000 assets are tracked by the Office of Physical Plant, and all are assigned to an FICM location.  Assets are identified by ASTM Uniformal II alphanumeric codes.  Under this system, assets are scheduled for planned or deferred maintenance; assets are also assigned a numeric condition code:

1 New or like new condition
2 Good condition with little obvious wear
3 Fair condition with some obvious wear
4 Poor condition with major wear
5 Essentially worn out and at end of life (on its last legs)
Figure 6-2 Asset Assessment Ratings

Below is an example of the asset management plan applied to MCC's parking lots.  Like all assets, parking lots are assessed for condition, planned replacement timelines, and costs.  This allows for financial and facilities planning for future projects and expenditures.

Lot Area Condition Last Paved Age
(due)
DUE Capital Cost Status
S 68,637 5 1980 28 2008 $53,384 Deferred
G 102,633 4 1985 28 2013 $92,408 Scheduled
F 19,030 4 1987 28 2015 $17,991 Waiting bond vote
E 38,503 4 1987 28 2015 $38,221 Waiting bond vote
O 11,110 1 1992 28 2018 $12,767  
N 17,850 1 1993 27 2020 $21,538  
L 37,072 2 1993 27 2021 $46,967  
M 15,160 2 1993 27 2022 $20,167  
Q 35,378 2 2002 20 2023 $49,415  
R 140,930 1 2002 22 2024 $206,690  
P 10,589 1 2002 24 2026 $16,306  
A 68,472 1 2012 19 2022 $58,715 Completed 2012
B 111,363 1 2013 27 2022 $121,877 Completed 2013
C 20,235 1 2012 18 2022 $16,525 Completed 2012
D 8,923 1 2012 23 2022 $9,300 Completed 2012
Figure 6-3 Example Asset Replacement Parking Lots

6I2 Improvement Efforts for Supporting Organizational Operations. The annual AQIP Action Project process continues to foster a culture and infrastructure to address support operations in a cross-functional manner.  The most significant current improvement effort for supporting our organizational efforts is the current Green/Recycling Action Project team.  The goal of the Green/Recycling Action Project is to study and recommend college-wide recycling and green initiatives.  Prior to the end of the 2012-2013 academic year, the Green Initiatives/Recycling team completed its charter, which was approved by the Executive Cabinet (EC).  The sponsor for this team is the Chief Financial Officer, who helped keep the team focused on a strategic/cultural problem statement that did not have the potential to dictate or micromanage facilities planning and spending.  During the early part of the team's work, selection of "recycling" as an AQIP Action Project accelerated the institution-wide implementation of a bottle, paper, and waste recycling program that is now in full force.  All employee offices now contain a green paper recycling container that is emptied by custodians on an as-needed basis during their regular runs.  Bottle/can, paper, and waste containers are placed in the public hallways of all buildings and a promotional campaign is taking place on closed-circuit "InfoChannel" screens in all buildings.  The team also visited a "best practice" community college within the State of Michigan that has moved forward with a comprehensive recycling program.  After a final step of working with managers to finalize the Step 2 inventory of current practices, the team will schedule a formal presentation of its final recommendations and report to EC.  The Green Initiatives/Recycling team has involved employees and external stakeholders in a variety of ways, including:

  • Broad inclusion on the team itself from facilities, Student Services, and Academic affairs staff
  • Regular communication with the existing GRiT (Green Recycling Initiatives Team), including members and officers from that group serving on the team
  • Online research of best practices from other community colleges, especially those that participate in Recyclemania, a competition and benchmarking tool for recycling efforts in higher education (http://recyclemaniacs.org/)
  • Members of the team have also consulted informally with employees and students in all areas of the college as they have performed their work on Steps 1-4 of the CQI process.

After coming to agreement on the "big picture" items facing recycling at MCC, the team is currently working to take what it has learned about MCC's current practices and the "best practices" of other colleges to create a formal recommendation for the Executive Cabinet (EC).  Specifically:

  • The team requested time during the monthly leadership meeting of the college; this is a gathering of all managers at MCC.  A "Poll Everywhere" presentation was conducted to utilize the time at the meeting to efficiently finalize the "current state" inventory of recycling practices.  Managers used their cell phones to generate answers to questions about current recycling practices in real time; the results appeared on the screen instantly and these results were added to the team's final report.
  • A formal presentation to the Executive Cabinet will be scheduled.  The team's recommendations will focus on ways to change the culture of MCC to one that embraces reuse, reduction, and recycling of consumables.  In addition, the team plans to recommend that MCC investigate ways to transform waste streams from being college expenses to become sources of revenue for the college (a best practice discovered during the team's work).

In addition to these steps, the team continues to support current recycling efforts on campus and leads by example by using green processes to do its own work.  Perhaps the most effective practice used by the team was an off-site visit to Washtenaw Community College, a state-wide leader in college recycling.  While the review of best practice at other schools yielded significant results that the team will share in its report, the Washtenaw CC visit inspired team members to change their thinking about the task of their team and to formulate "big picture" recommendations for the Executive Cabinet.  In addition, the team has also attempted to "walk the talk" on their area of study.  The team immediately went paperless in an attempt to lead by example for other teams and work groups on campus.  Each set of agendas and minutes is distributed in PDF format and contains a green frog sharing the tag line "Communicate, coordinate, educate, leverage and sustain."