UW Today

This is an archived article.

October 2, 1996

UW rewarded for efficiency UW News Release: 02 October, 1996

News and Information

The UW has once again carried off honors in the annual Higher Education Awards Program sponsored by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). The awards are given to recognize programs within colleges and universities that save their institutions money through new measures of efficiency and productivity. This year, the UW is being honored for its Faculty Grants Management Training Program and its U-Pass Program.
The UW has won awards in 14 of the 16 years in which it has participated in the NACUBO competition. This year, two of the UW’s three entries were awards winners. Of the seven programs from across the country receiving cash awards this year, two were from the UW.

“I would like to congratulate the staff members responsible for developing and The UW has won awards in 14 of the 16 years in which it has participated in the NACUBO competition. This year, two of the UW’s three entries were awards winners. Of the seven programs from across the country receiving cash awards this year, two were from the UW. maintaining these impressive programs,” said UW President Richard L. McCormick. “These awards are indicative of the efforts that are underway continually at the UW to improve the efficiency and quality of our services to faculty, staff and students.”

The Faculty Grants Management Workshop was sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Financial Management and coordinated by Training and Development. A mandatory program for all faculty investigators having externally funded grants and contracts, the workshop covers the grants management process from preparation of a grant proposal to fiscal report preparation and final audit. Because the grants management process is complex and the regulations often not well understood, mistakes had been made in the past, leading to costs in time and money. After the training was instituted, the UW was able to save $64,977, mostly representing staff and supervisory time used to correct errors. An additional savings of $31,815 in interest was realized, thanks to prevention and/or prompt resolution of deficits on grants.

The U-Pass Program began in 1991 as a three-year demonstration project to meet several goals, including providing better transportation services to UW students, faculty and staff, and mitigating potential traffic and parking impacts of University growth. In 1990, just prior to the U-Pass program–which provides unlimited rides on Metro and Community Transit buses, free carpool parking, subsidized vanpool fares and other alternative commute options–the University subsidized transit passes to the tune of $792,000. It was projected that to meet trip mitigation goals the University would need to significantly increase transit subsidies, which could have pushed the administration’s annual contribution to more than $2.2 million per year by 1996.

The U-Pass, however, is funded through a combination of sources: parking fees, U-Pass sales, and the administration’s contribution, which is capped at just over $1 million per year. Because it was so successful, the program was renewed for an additional three years at the end of its original term.

The Faculty Grants Management Training Program received a $5,000 award from NACUBO, and the U-Pass Program a $2,500 award. The money is given directly to the University as an unrestricted gift.