New report highlights efficiencies and innovation at Ontario universities

Toronto, May 25, 2011

Ontario universities are improving administrative efficiencies that result in innovative ways of employing public funds for the benefit of students, according to a new report released by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).

The report, called Innovative Ideas: Improving Efficiency at Ontario Universities, covers five areas: Streamlining Operational Processes, Innovation and Partnerships, Managing Facilities Efficiently, Making Smart Purchasing Decisions, and Planning for Safety. The report was released at a forum hosted today by COU that will explore administrative and financial efficiencies and share best practices, not just in universities, but in all of the broader public sector (BPS).

“Individually and collectively, Ontario universities are making the most of their existing resources and finding innovative ways to deliver their services,” says Sheldon Levy, Chair of COU and President of Ryerson University. “They are focused on ensuring that every public dollar is maximized for the benefit of students.”

By implementing new and modern technologies, and partnering with other organizations, universities are able to eliminate many time-consuming steps and increase their response times to institutional processes. Some examples include better document management, increased safety and a more sustainable campus. Partnerships are with both private and public sector organizations.

"Innovative partnerships at universities across Ontario are lowering costs, optimizing space and stretching our resources," says Bonnie M. Patterson, COU President and CEO. “Group purchasing agreements have also helped to save money without sacrificing the quality of services and products procured."

The forum, at which the report will be presented, will take place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall at Victoria University (University of Toronto). Keynote speakers include Ron McKerlie, Deputy Minister of Government Services, and Leslie Behnke, Vice-President of Process Improvement and Service Quality at TD Canada Trust.

The event will provide an opportunity for attendees and participants from the BPS to learn about projects at other institutions in greater detail than they might have been exposed to otherwise.

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For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Grass
Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs
416-979-2165 x261
jgrass@cou.on.ca