2023 Innovation Challenge Award Winners
Independent submissions from:
Jessica Black (UTK) and Cynthia Vincent (UTHSC)
Summary: The submitters recommended that UT create a centralized platform for all job-related training. Subject-matter experts would collaborate to create and maintain content for the platform. The platform would combine training materials for policies/procedures; DASH transactions; links to forms; etc… This type of training platform does not exist, currently. Many times, the new employee does not know how to run certain reports, etc. Implementing this idea would create a uniform onboarding process. Also, this idea would reduce “help desk-style” questions that end users send to various subject-matter experts.
Shenika Hudson (UTHSC)
Summary: The submitter recommended that UT create a centralized process for invoice entry and routing. Implementing this idea would reduce duplicate payments, improve UT’s on-time payments to vendors and improve UT’s relationships with its vendors.
Independent submissions from:
Shakalle Milam (UTHSC); Bethany Morris (UTK); and Katrina Parnell (UTHSC)
Current State: Many UT departments have hard-copy forms that they use internally, such as the form for tuition discounts for employees’ children. Further, these forms often require an ink signature.
Summary: The submitters recommended that UT implement digital forms with digital workflow routing, which would allow UT to get rid of its paper forms. Allowing for and advocating for digital signatures would reduce the University’s environmental impact and save money over the long-term due to a reduced need to pay for paper.
April Jordan (UTHSC)
Current State: The current inventory (equipment/asset) verification process involves someone in each department physically looking at all tagged items and verifying that they saw the items. While some tags have barcodes, the University does not have barcode readers or a software that captures the barcode and ties it back to an asset.
Summary: The submitter requested that UT implement a barcode system that would allow for a smoother inventory process. Moreover, requiring a barcode system would ensure that the person doing the verification actually scans the object. This change would save time and it would ensure that the inventory verification process is comprehensive.
Robert Martin (UTK)
Current State: UT keeps items that require an asset tag (under FI0600—Equipment Sensitive Minor and FI0605—Equipment) on its inventory until the department that owns the item sends the item to surplus. UT’s Equipment Policy (FI0605) contains a depreciation schedule, but UT’s policies do not allow for equipment to be removed from the inventory, even if the equipment has depreciated to $0. Departments are required to physically observe and verify each piece of equipment that it owns.
Summary: The submitted recommends that UT configure DASH such that DASH removes from inventory those equipment/asset items that have depreciated to $0. If UT were to buy the item for its used value and the value was below $5,000, UT would not need to put it on inventory at that time.
Chad Gentry (UTSA)
Current State: UT System has excellent BE ONE UT values and the values could be strengthened and further embedded in the culture by being included in the annual evaluation process. Currently, the values are not part of the annual evaluation tools.
Summary: Having come to UT from a multi-national corporation, the submitter noticed that UT does not sync its BE ONE UT values with its overall performance-review culture and its HR processes, whereas his previous employer tied its core values into daily behaviors and annual performance reviews. The evaluation process has little-to-no connection to the BE ONE UT values, currently. Making a connection between the values, HR processes (including evaluations), and daily life would help further instill the BE ONE UT values. The submitter suggests that UT be much more intentional about its communication and its actions to promote adoption of the BE ONE UT values.