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themes and initiatives
Theme: Deliver Effective and Innovative Services

Strategy: Optimize the ability to deliver efficient, well-integrated services to students, faculty and staff anywhere and at any time.


Providing students, faculty and staff with easily discoverable, well-integrated, consistent and efficient services is a core enabler of multiple facets of the university strategy. The particular goals and strategies that are required to meet the challenge of Forward Thinking to deploy operational best practices are highlighted here, but they could easily be apportioned to each of the other themes of the plan. Anticipated growth in online learning and international engagement requires principal university services to be available online and increasingly on-demand. The continued growth of the research portfolio requires delivery of a well-integrated set of support services that are logically organized, easily accessed and holistically integrated among research center, management centers, and university organizations. Improved services also play a role in recruiting and retaining an outstanding and diverse student body. Innovative technology and service strategies establish new benchmarks for service that shape customer expectations of the university and redefine what constitutes quality service.

Service delivery must also be efficient and effective. Resources are limited and technology must help to boost productivity and automate services. There are many existing technologies in place that are underutilized. A key goal of this plan is to create the capacity to continuously improve processes and optimize the use of available technologies. The strategies that streamline our services will also make them more relevant to constituents. Self-service solutions, paperless processes and electronic workflows improve overall efficiency and will make services more accessible to those working off-campus and after hours.

US Ignite


In the next three years, the university will:

  • Improve efficiency and meet the expectations of mobile constituents who work around the world and often around the clock.
  • Enable access to an increasingly broader scope of services through self-service mechanisms.
  • Simplify the process by which constituents discover and access the services available to them.
  • Provide a consistent technology experience to all Case Western Reserve constituents regardless of where they live, work or learn.
  • Deliver services online to constituents using a variety of devices and in areas with a broad range of network capacity.
  • Establish processes and competencies to enable the continuous improvement of services.

To realize these objectives, the university should pursue the following initiatives:

  • Look at the design of services holistically across management centers, research centers and university administration. Make it easier for individuals to discover and experience services. Deploy websites or mobile applications that enable services to be discovered using terminology and organizational constructs that mimic how faculty, students and staff work, rather than the university’s organizational structure. For example, create an online hub for research-specific functions that organizes and provides access to administration, computing, compliance directives and center services.
  • Support online learning, faculty and staff teaching and conducting research around the world using processes that are “mobile and international friendly”.
  • Create a one-stop service center experience providing access to services and expertise required to travel, live, take classes and conduct research abroad.
  • Integrate electronic workflows, paperless processing, digital signatures and enhanced self-service in all processes required by online students and international travelers. Priority process improvement opportunities include reimbursement requests, procurement, payables and human resources.
  • Improve service to students and create a greater capacity to proactively identify students at-risk by deploying a constituent relationship management solution. Leverage this technology to enable student service and student support offices to track contacts, monitor engagement and track at-risk scenarios.
  • Improve productivity and efficiency by creating an internal capacity to continuously improve business processes and services. Train all managers and staff in basic process analysis and improvement skills. Create a business analyst team to train departments to identify and implement service improvement opportunities. Develop and implement tailored performance metrics for all key service units and processes. Provide professional development in customer service for areas that are forward- and student- facing.
  • Continue to expand the availability of 24/7 support for a broadening array of institutional services through the ITS service desk. Cross-train ITS service desk staff to answer more business process questions and troubleshoot non-technology issues as well as IT issues after hours.
  • Implement quick wins to improve existing practices and optimize the use of existing technologies.