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UCO Earns National 'Innovation' Award For Lean Processes

July 27, 2011

Media Contact:  Tiffany Wilson, University Relations Staff Writer, University of Central Oklahoma, (405) 974-2121,


The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) recently honored the University of Central Oklahoma with its 2011 Innovation Award for the university’s success adopting “lean practices,” which has helped optimize financial and operational resources, saving the university approximately $400,000 annually.           

Central’s submission, “Lean University: Culture Shift to Reduce Employee Stress,” detailed the university’s innovative efforts to improve the campus experience for students, employees and the community using lean processes to boost employee morale, increase productivity and reduce waste.           

For example, the number of work orders processed at Central’s Physical Plant has dropped 70-percent, from 12,000 annually to 3,600, and work time per job has reduced from an average of 24 days to two days or less. Additionally, the Physical Plant is 99-percent paperless, printing only work orders, which saves the university $15,000 annually.           

“Central is among the leading universities in the nation in finding innovative solutions to campus needs,” said Steve Kreidler, Central’s executive vice president.           

“We will continue to find ways to decrease costs, maximize resources and boost morale and productivity in this tough economic climate. It is a great honor to be selected for the third time in five years as an Innovation Award recipient.”           

Central is the only university in the nation to receive NACUBO’s Innovation Award three times, including recognition in 2010 for the university’s partnership with Mercy Health System to operate its campus health clinic and in 2007 for its sustainability program.           

Of the 2,100 NACUBO member universities, Central was one of four institutions to receive this year’s Innovation Award. The award recognizes higher education institutions that achieve process improvement and resource enhancement by successfully responding to a campus need while improving service delivery, reducing costs, increasing revenues, or improving productivity.           

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