On March 26, 2014 the 7th annual Northwestern Best Practices Forum brought together 206 staff, faculty, and administrators to share practical examples of successful technology, process and people solutions throughout the University.

“Across the University, staff are generally so busy with their day-to-day work that they sometimes don’t have time to reflect on how the best practices they have developed and are using could be beneficially shared with their colleagues,” said Jake Julia, associate provost for academic initiatives and associate vice president for change management.  “We hope the forum is one opportunity, at least once a year, to step away from the daily work to do this.”

William White, professor of industrial engineering and management sciences, delivered the keynote address entitled “Why Many of the Things You Know About Best Practices May be Wrong.”  Attendees participated in a number of concurrent breakout sessions where staff from across the University presented on what they’ve learned about best practices in a variety of different areas.

View Gene Sunshine’s Welcome Remarks – Interviewed by Bob Rowley

The 2014 presentations included:

Bottom-Up Collaborative Approach to Process Improvement


Chris Moores, Research Administrator, Chemistry; Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Kelly Morrison, Grant and Cost Share Officer, Office for Sponsored Research

Bringing Student Forms Online: A Federated Collaboration


Adam Finlayson, Business Systems Analyst Lead, Information Technology; Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Ann Dronen, Director of Student Enterprise Systems, University Enrollment

Keri Disch, Associate University Registrar, University Registrar

Content Strategy for University Websites: Planning Useful and Compelling Web Content


Anastasia Masurat, Web Communications, University Relations

Andrea Albers Sarther, Web Communications, University Relations

Panel: Engaging Industry and Fueling University Research


Elizabeth H. Adams, Executive Director, Office for Sponsored Research

Coleen Burrus, Senior Director Corporate Relations, Office of Alumni Relations & Development

Jeff Coney, Director of Economic Development Innovation and New Ventures (INVO)

Richard A. Hay, Jr., Director of McCormick Office of Corporate Relations, Office of Corporate Relations; Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Jeff Masters, Senior Director, Corporate Partnerships & Business Development, Office of Development and Alumni Relations; Feinberg School of Medicine

David C. Tiemeier, Ph.D., Senior Director, Innovation and New Ventures (INVO) – (Co-moderator)

Jonathan Cummings, Assistant Director, Corporate Relations, Office of Alumni Relations & Development – (Co-moderator)

Kellogg’s Approach to Holistic Staff Training


Alexa Starr, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, J. L. Kellogg School of Management

Deborah Garcia, Assistant Director, Finance & Planning, Administration, J. L. Kellogg School of Management

Lorraine Runge, Financial Assistant, Administration; J. L. Kellogg School of Management

A Collaboration Project: Mobile Student Data Retrieval Application for Student Affairs “Deans on Call”


Anthony Kirchmeier, Director, Off Campus Life, Dean of Students Office

Christopher Walker, Web Applications/Software Developer, Student Affairs IT

Stephen John Brawn, Systems Analyst/Programmer Senior, IT Management Systems

Performing Yourself: Choices for Effective Communication


Peter Civetta, Director, Office of Undergraduate Research

Procurement Best Practice:  The Benefits of Collaborating on the Request for Proposal Process


David A Grosskopf, Manager of Construction Projects, Facilities Management

Dennis Hareza, Chief Finance and Administrative Officer, Kellogg School of Management

Julian Koh, Acting Associate Director, Telecommunications and Network Services Information Technology (NUIT)

Jim Konrad, Director of Purchasing

Reducing Administrative Burden (as possible!) in an Age of über Compliance


Julia Campbell, Director, Conflict of Interest, Office for Research/Human Resources

Elizabeth Earl, Business Systems Analyst Lead, Office of Human Resources, Faculty and Staff Information Systems (Human Resources/NUIT)

Gretchen Talbot, Assistant Dean Research & Graduate Studies, Administration; Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

The McCormick Advising System (MAS) Re-engineers the Advising Process for Undergraduates


Joseph Holtgreive, Assistant Dean, Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science

Steve Carr, Associate Dean (Academic), Administration; Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Alan Wolff, Senior IT Director, Administration; Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Yee Wai, Web Applications/Software Developer; Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Working Better Together: Streamline Your Technology Support by Using the IT Support Center as Your Front Door


Wendy Woodward, Director, Technology Support Services, NUIT

Todd Nelson, Project Manager of Information Technology, Management Information Systems; Feinberg School of Medicine

Bob Davis, Associate Director User Support Services, IT Technology Support Services, NUIT