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UWG Takes Bronze University Award for Service Excellence

by Adrian Greer

UWG Takes Bronze University Award for Service ExcellenceThe University of West Georgia was one of the top three institutions in the state honored by USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby. UWG received the bronze Chancellor Service Excellence Award for Outstanding Institution of the Year and President on Friday, October 10 at a ceremony held at Kennesaw State University.

“I am thrilled that UWG has been recognized as one of the top three institutions of the year,” UWG President Kyle Marrero said. “Our commitment to development of our institutional leadership and a culture of high performance as part of our Engage West! initiative has already impacted student success and is helping us become the best comprehensive university in America, sought after as the best place to work, learn, and succeed.”

The Chancellor’s Service Excellence Awards were created to honor employees who have gone “above and beyond” their normal job responsibilities, but a special award was created for the overall university that went above and beyond.

To qualify, an institution must demonstrate the ability to adopt a continuous-improvement methodology that emphasizes student and employee satisfaction as well as quality of service. The institution’s efforts must result in improved satisfaction and student retention, according to the chancellor’s office.

The university was nominated by Chair of the Psychology Department and Service Excellence Ambassador Don Rice. Dr. Rice stated in the nomination letter that the university had made great strides, and in no small part, due to the leadership of Dr. Marrero in his first year.

“He (Marrero) immediately formed a faculty and staff advisory committee that was comprised of individuals at all levels at the university that he actually met with several times a month,” Dr. Rice said in his nomination statement. “Through this committee he was able to quickly get a sense of the culture of the university, both good and bad.”

After forming the committee and getting an idea about the community, Dr. Marrero then took action to make needed changes.

“He resurrected the Strategic Plan committee and provided appropriate leadership that ultimately resulted in a new strategic plan,” according to the nomination. “While this is not unusual in and of itself, what is significant is that he held numerous ‘town hall’ meetings that gave everyone, faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to weigh in on the plan.”

Dr. Marrero also started the Engage West program to reach out to the faculty, staff and students. Part of the program was hiring an outside consulting firm, The Studer Group, to assess the level of engagement through an employee survey. After the survey, the university used the results to create a new Strategic Plan to align the “employees’ values, goals, and aspirations” with those of the institution, according to the nomination.

Dr. Marrero has also developed programs to support technological enhancements, support adult learning, encourage community enhancement and create a Leadership Development Institute retreat.

UWG also received an Honorable Mention Award in the Outstanding Process Improvement category for a program called “Business Process Redesign to Address Changes With Deliveries on Campus.” The program was developed by the Central Stores, Receiving and Delivery – It’s All in the Packaging Team, which during a four-month period reduced the amount of unidentified packages from 1.8 percent to .47 percent and the number of researched packages from 31 percent to 14.3.

Associate Director of Auxiliary Services Ely Elefante along with the Assistant Director of the Center for Business Excellence Tricia Durrough were on hand to accept the award on behalf of the team. Other team members included Manager Van Edwards, Assistant Manager Seth Cowart, Shipping and Receiving Clerk Josh Reece, Center for Business Excellence Executive Director Dan Lewis, Assistant Director of Purchasing Shelly Parker, and Director of Purchasing Paul Williams.

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Posted: October 30, 2014

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