March | April - Issue 2 TB Connects

WHAT'S ON OUR AGENDA...

The Board of Directors spent time last year defining a new mission and strategic direction for The Boston Consortium based on the very dynamic environment in higher education. The Board identified a number of strategic priorities based on the recommendations of the board’s Strategic Planning Committee, which is comprised of the CFOs of Berklee, Boston University, Holy Cross, Harvard, MIT and Wheaton. There are five key areas of focus over the next three to five years. In no particular order, they are:

  • Existing Services and Programs
  • New Services and Programs
  • Communities of Practice
  • Communities of Practice
  • Organization and Governance

Over the next several months, we will be exploring ways to strengthen our current services including Internal Audit, Risk Management, and Travel. We will also be looking to you for feedback and guidance on enhancing our Communities of Practice. You’ll be hearing more on that from our Executive Director, Kitty Kennedy. From a thought leadership perspective, we’ve hit the ground running in keeping TBC informed with seminars on Tax Reform and Workday - with more to come. We are off to a great start!

As always, thank you for participating in strengthening TBC’s mission of empowering its member institutions to thrive in a dynamic and challenging environment. Our goal in defining our strategic priorities is to provide ongoing value to all of our member institutions, helping each to thrive in a very challenging environment in the coming years. I’m looking forward to working together to make this happen.

Mac Hisey
Chair, The Boston Consortium for Higher Education
CFO, SVP of Administration and Finance, Berklee College of Music

Project Management: One Member Institution's Story

Wheaton College found itself facing cultural, political, and tactical challenges in successful project management within information technology (IT). This group, involved in virtually all IT projects, was plagued by scope creep, lack of buy-in, resistance to change, and inconsistent project success. Exacerbating the challenges, IT staff had no formal project management (PM) training, and the college has no PM office nor certified project managers on campus. In an effort to mitigate these challenges, IT leadership decided to leverage IT staff’s critical role in projects and use this as a driving force to introduce PM tools and techniques throughout the campus. Wheaton partnered with TBC to co-develop a PM training program for more than twenty IT staff. The six-day program leveraged the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and introduced best practices in PM methodologies and tools through readings, learning labs, and real-life projects that occurred at the college. The program finished with a capstone project presented to senior management.

Trainees graduated with a strong understanding of the tools and techniques required to improve the PM methodology used by Wheaton. Another win - the program was co-developed to meet Wheaton’s specific needs and was accomplished at a fraction of cost, thanks to partnering with TBC.

If you have questions about this program and PM, contact Paul Tumolo, Director of New Initiative Development & Implementation, ptumolo@boston-consortium.org

Communities of Practice: Spotlight on Employment Managers

At a recent TBC Employment Managers meeting, Theresa Holland, Manager of Talent Acquisition, and Paula Doherty, HR Administrator & Assistant to VP Human Resources, Babson College, shared their model for success for disability inclusion in the workplace. Partnering with social service agencies which provide post-employment vocational support, they have hired five differently-abled employees to date, and they aim for more. “Everyone thinks what we’re doing for the individual is so great; but what the individual is doing for our community is above and beyond what we can do for them,” explained Theresa. In fact, with the support of senior leadership, they were able to secure funding for their initiative.

Their journey began four years ago, when a client from Jewish Family & Children’s Service, one of Babson’s partners, approached them for assistance in finding a job. Paula and Theresa carved out a role that was the right fit for the client and the College based on her unique skill set and abilities. An offer of employment was accepted, and so began the successful partnership between JF&CS and Babson.

Diversity is one of the core values of Babson College. Paula states, “It’s who we are. We are simply living our values.” Exposure to individuals with disabilities increases compassion, empathy, and the importance of inclusion. Babson is demonstrating what the workforce of tomorrow looks like to the next generation of business leaders. “We provide jobs that make sense for each individual and work hard to ensure individuals with disabilities are matched with positions that fit their skill set. We start with the abilities of the person to identify the right role, not the other way around,” says Theresa.

Recently Babson College was recognized as a CHAI Champion by JF&CS for living their values and increasing disability inclusion awareness in the workplace. Click here to see a highlight video shared at the CHAI Championship Gala.

To learn more about the program please contact Theresa Holland, tholland@babson.edu

Travel Policy - Best Practices!

Did you know that travel spending is typically an institution’s controllable expense? And, one of the best ways to get started is to review your internal travel policy and communicate all policies to your community. Here are some ideas to use as a guide to craft a better policy and improve the bottom line!

  • Be comprehensive. A travel policy should cover all elements of your travelers’ trips, pre-booking to return. Develop policies on air, ancillary costs, hotels, and ground to ensure that your travel policy offers complete coverage for maximum savings.
  • Communicate! When it comes to "enforcing" a travel policy, following best practices of effectively (and regularly) communicating the policy to your travelers, is key to success. Enlist the help of senior administration to communicate the policy and explain why it is important to the whole community.
  • Share – Report. Continue to improve your travel policy (your bottom line) by sharing success stories; provide important actionable insights about your company’s travel habits, helpful tips that tie compliance to greater savings. Encourage travelers to share their experiences with you and make tweaks based on local knowledge.

Did you know that your institution has access to a competitive travel program that consistently offers discounted travel to your community? The TBC Academic & Healthcare Travel Program is an easy way to implement/encourage best practices for institutional travel both in the US and around the world. For further information: Contact AHTP Director, Susan Chase, at schase@boston-consortium.org.