Staff Editorial: Employee suggestion box will cut red tape

By Shira Weissman

A yearlong program recently proposed to the Board of Trustees may be the smartest thing to come from this University yet.

It’s a suggestion box, which seems simple enough. But more than that, it’s an online program that will not only allow employees to make suggestions but will give them the chance to track their requests and ensure their implementation. Once an employee makes a suggestion about University policies, procedures, or operations, the program manager would pick the top three wide-ranging issues and take suggestions on how to fix the problem.

The virtual suggestion box, designed by members of the University Administrative Fellows program, promises to cut red tape – a task that seems daunting but is important for an organization the size of our University.

The major expectation of the program is that it will eliminate the need for multiple programs to work on a single, simple task. The end result, however, is not just more efficiency but also implementing changes based on the recommendations of the people who know best; the employees who do the work.

Additionally, the program manager would talk to other major universities for advice on similar issues they have faced, utilizing a previously untapped resource to make things on campus work better.

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The program poses some complications. Concerns over employees abusing the system to condemn the actions of a co-worker is an example. Employees are all going to have to do their part to use the system responsibly to make it an effective tool to strengthen our University. But it is a risk that is worth taking if it means greater efficiently. It will also be important to ensure that all employees, from student assistants, building service workers to tenured professors, will have equal access to the program.

The implementation of an employee suggestion box stems from B. Joseph White’s commitment to making the University run more efficiently, a promise he made upon being named president in 2005. We could think of no better way to do it.