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Thursday, July 21, 2011 - Registrar’s Office wins magazine award for streamlined process
By Dan Bodene, contributing writer

OU's Office of the Registrar has been honored as a Model of Efficiency.
Oakland University’s Office of the Registrar has been recognized with a Model of Efficiency award by University Business magazine.

University Business is a magazine for senior administrators at two- and four-year colleges and universities throughout the United States. Its mission is to serve as the leading provider of smart management solutions for higher education administrators.

The magazine’s Model of Efficiency awards are for “an administrative practice or procedure that uses technology and smart business processes to provide superior service to students, while optimizing resources.”

OU’s award-winning entry for the recognition program is for the Registrar Office’s new grade change process, said Registrar Steve Shablin.

The grade change process was converted this past spring from a manual operation into a more convenient and efficient online process. The change was initiated by Dave Vartanian of OU’s Internal Audit, who reviewed the university’s grade change process and made recommendations for improvement.

From there, a student team from the Lean Principles and Practices in Organizations class, offered through the Pawley Lean Institute, streamlined the process of changing grades at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to six steps from more than 30.

The Registrar’s Office worked with University Technology Services and Academic Affairs to create a Web form to act as a poke-yoke (mistake proofing) for the process. With this poke-yoke, errors would be detected at the beginning of the process and wouldn't be able to go any further.

Shablin also said the new process significantly reduces the amount of time to make grade changes, especially for faculty.

The award was presented at the 2011 National Association of College and University Business Officers conference, held July 9-12 in Tampa, Fla. As an award winner, OU is featured in the current issue of University Business magazine.