Overview and Purpose:
During this challenging economic time, University leadership has been heartened by efforts of faculty and staff to conserve resources in ways that don’t detract from our mission. Dozens of suggestions have led directly to savings or improvements. While the economy will improve – perhaps that is beginning to occur now – the need to use University resources wisely will only increase over time. To facilitate future engagement, we are launching the UM Responds Faculty/Staff Suggestion Program which is designed to stimulate and recognize innovative cost savings ideas.

The purpose of the Program is to encourage faculty and staff to identify specific challenges and propose viable solutions that will enhance University operations through increased productivity, reduced costs, safer working conditions, and improved services to our internal and external customers.

The Program does not replace regular dialog between employees and supervisors/managers about opportunities for improving departmental performance. That’s still the preferred route since it’s both simple and timely. This program will provide another outlet for staff and faculty ideas to be heard.
Procedure:
Suggestions should be submitted using the appropriate Faculty/Staff Suggestion Form. Two campus-specific Suggestion Forms will be located on the UM Responds website, one for Coral Gables/RSMAS; the other for the Miller School of Medicine. Suggestions should be realistic, cite a specific area for improvement, include a brief description of the intended results, and recommendations for potential implementation strategies. The Form is submitted electronically and submitters will receive an automated response thanking them for successfully submitting their suggestion. All University faculty and staff are eligible to submit suggestions.

Suggestions should be creative and benefit the University by:
  • saving money, resources or time;
  • eliminating inefficiencies, waste or duplication;
  • streamlining procedures and processes to reduce costs, increase productivity and/or efficiencies, safer working conditions, and/or improved service.
  • Suggestions will be routed to the Faculty/Staff Suggestion e-mail address and reviewed by campus specific UM Responds Evaluation Committees, consisting of representatives from Operations, Financial and Human Resources, and others as deemed appropriate. The Committees will forward suggestions to the appropriate senior administrator unless the Committee concludes that a suggestion is not feasible in which case, a response will be provided to the submitter directly.
    Evaluation Committee Responsibility:
    Within two weeks of suggestion submission, the designated Evaluation Committee Member will contact the appropriate senior administrator to apprise him/her of the suggestion submission and obtain an estimated timeline for consideration and response. The Committee Member will follow-up with senior administrators as appropriate, however it is incumbent upon the respective senior administrator to bring closure to suggestions. Closure includes obtaining specific information, i.e. approval or rejection of suggestion, cost savings, quantifiable efficiencies in process time, the creation of new processes or elimination of redundant processes, etc. In addition, the Committee Member will ensure a response is provided to the faculty/employee who submitted the suggestion.
    Suggestion Consideration Process:
    The senior administrator should take the appropriate following actions:

    1. Convene a team to further evaluate the suggestion
    2. Approve the suggestion for implementation
    3. Reject the suggestion or
    4. Contact submitter for additional information
    Once a final decision is made, the senior administrator or designee will communicate personally with both the Committee and the faculty/employee who submitted the suggestion. A summary of the best ideas will be posted on the Program website and shared with senior University leadership.
    Recognition/Rewards:
    Recognition is an important aspect of the program. Recognition can include spotlighting the employee in e-Veritas, on the UM Responds Faculty/Staff Suggestion Program website, and/or in releases of notes from Joe Natoli, Bill Donelan or the President in Dialog communications. Based on the results of suggestions, University leadership may modestly reward the faculty/employee as may be appropriate.
    Communication/Website:
    Communication is key to success of this Program. The UM Responds website has been developed as a vehicle to communicate with both internal and external constituencies of the University. However, the expectation is that the primary visitor to the site will be University employees. The navigation bar located on the left margin of the UM Responds website will contain a link to the UM Responds Faculty/Staff Suggestion Program and a link to the Faculty/Staff Suggestion Form. These web pages will be designed and maintained by Human Resources. The Program website will include:
  • Overview and purpose of the program
  • Procedure information
  • Suggestion consideration process
  • Recognition/Rewards
  • Page highlighting most beneficial suggestions implemented
  • Employee recognition page