Strategic Plan

Business And Finance

Strategic Planning Priorities and Goals

Aligned With the Aims of the N2025

Student Experience Process Impact Diverse Partnerships Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Team Growth Stewardship of Resources
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Business and Finance (B&F) initiated a Strategic Planning and Inclusive Excellence Roadmap process in Summer of 2019 with an end goal of identifying Business and Finance Strategic Priorities that are aligned with the goals and priorities of the university by the Fall of 2021. The major milestones and inputs of this process included: A Climate Survey conducted across all B&F departments; B&F leaders held workshops using data from climate survey, N2025 draft and Diversity and Inclusion Special Report to establish a common set of Values and Principles for Business and Finance; B&F staff conducted department promise workshops to set departmental level Customer Service Strategies; B&F leaders began a Diversity and Inclusive Excellence (D&IE) education series hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and established an Inclusive Excellence Statement for Business and Finance; B&F leaders established a Business and Finance Strategic Plan that includes priorities that directly align with the goals of the university and support the Principles and Values of Business and Finance.

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  • Business & Finance Climate Survey
    Summer 2019
  • University 2025 Goals & Inclusive Excellence
    Fall 2019
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  • Business & Finance Principles and Values
    Winter 2019
  • Department Promise Workshops
    Spring 2020
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  • D&IE Education Series Begins and IE Statement Development
    Winter 2020
  • Business & Finance Strategic Priorities
    Spring 2021

What follows are the overarching Strategic Priorities within Business and Finance that integrate the Aims of the N2025 Strategic Plan. In addition to this plan, each individual department manages additional strategic priorities of their specific operations.

N2025 Aim 1: Innovate student experiences that prepare graduates to be life-long learners and contributors to the workforce in Nebraska and the world.

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B&F Goal: By providing a safe, smart, and reliable environment for learning and research in world-class facilities, we deliver innovative opportunities that are customer-focused and strategic to help enrich the student experience.

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Smart and Healthy Buildings

  • Department(s) Responsible: Building Systems Maintenance (BSM) and Automation & Energy Management (AEM)
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: BSM and AEM, through ongoing innovation, will create Smart and Healthy Buildings across the UNL campus by defining evaluation metrics (FY22), providing a consistent scoring method (FY22), implementing benchmarking tools and dashboards (FY24), and converting pneumatic building controls to intelligent digital controls (80% by FY23).
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Next Generation Building Automation System

  • Department(s) Responsible: Building Systems Maintenance (BSM)/Automation & Energy Management (AEM)
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: BSM and AEM will leverage students to develop approachable and competitive services, provide unique learning opportunities, use data to support operations, and partner with industry leaders to bring cutting-edge strategies to the UNL campus as well as improve services (networking, scheduling and security) and reduce costs by implementing an open protocol building automation system (software implementation FY22, complete deployment FY24), harnessing data analytics, and integrating automation with broader campus infrastructure.
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Expand Landscape Services Student Internship Program

  • Department(s) Responsible: Landscape Services and Waste Management (LSWM)
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: LSWM will provide opportunities for UNL students to become lifelong learners and contributors to the sustainability workforce in Nebraska and the world by adding internships (FY21), designing projects and timelines, and helping students meet their development goals.
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Sustainability Learning Lab Program

  • Department(s) Responsible: Office of Sustainability
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: By identifying key facilities personnel to find pathways to connect to UNL sustainability master plan goals, and establishing partnerships with Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, the Office of Sustainability will establish a sustainability program (FY22) to provide learning opportunities for students within the campus physical environment to accomplish sustainability master plan objectives.
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License Plate Recognition and Occupancy System

  • Department(s) Responsible: Parking and Transit Services
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Parking and Transit Services will innovate by replacing the current parking permit and enforcement management system with a license plate recognition system (FY22), creating a virtual permit using the customer’s vehicle license plate (eliminating standing in lines and reducing customer permit order time) and implementing a campus wide occupancy system for parking lots (FY24) by studying and investing in technology that enhances space management, customer experience and service delivery.
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Parking Lot Infrastructure and Safety Enhancements

  • Department(s) Responsible: Parking and Transit Services
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Parking and Transit Services will replace 50 surface lot lighting poles and fixtures annually, renovate aging surface parking lots, implement storm water strategies for 10 parking areas annually, and add an electric vehicle charging station to create a safe, sustainably accountable environment (FY23 and Ongoing) by investing in an infrastructure plan (FY22) to enhance safety as well as updating environmental responsibilities.
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Enhance Parking and Transit Services Customer Experience

  • Department(s) Responsible: Parking and Transit Services
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Parking and Transit Services will expand and modify key services to enhance customer parking experiences by identifying and implementing additional parking permit and hourly locations to serve campus parkers, and maximize parking space utilization by identifying alternative locations for users in underutilized garage spaces and surface lots using expanded customer data by expanding the use of existing data sets (FY23) and adding new data sets to the data warehouse (FY22) to develop predictive models (FY23).
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Increased Participation in Student Programs and Outreach Opportunities

  • Department(s) Responsible: Student Accounts
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Student Accounts will develop training and outreach opportunities for students in order to teach and promote financial responsibility for their long-term financial health and well-being by updating communications to strategically increase effectiveness and participation (FY22 and ongoing).

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N2025 Aim 2: Establish a culture at Nebraska committed to increasing the impact of research and creative activity.

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B&F Goal: By reimagining and designing new systems and processes, we will empower the campus community to make informed, efficient decisions that enhance UNL’s trajectory as a leading Research university.

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Incentive-Based Budget Implementation

  • Department(s) Responsible: University Budget
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: University Budget will create an integrated data structure to allow for campus-wide analysis and decision support, including acquisition and implementation of a cloud-based budget solution (FY24). In collaboration with campus stakeholders, they will also support an IBB governance structure with necessary planning, process and reporting tools for successful implementation and operation (FY22) by designing an incentive-based resource allocation budget model (IBB) that is simple, transparent and adaptive to the University’s evolving strategic missions.
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Improve Business Process Efficiencies through Software solutions

  • Department(s) Responsible: Business Systems
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Business Systems will increase the promotion of efficiencies across campus, empower data-driven decisions and streamline business center processes reducing those that are paper-based (ongoing) by utilizing current software to analyze data to support the IBB implementation (FY22) and implementing electronic forms using Frevvo for various business functions across campus.
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Service Delivery Initiative

  • Department(s) Responsible: Business Systems
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Business Systems will provide better customer service, enhanced career growth opportunities, improved compliance, increased accountability, increased data governance, and consistent/accurate data entry by transitioning from generalist staff within each college who conduct administrative and business operations, to specialized business centers that will support several colleges or departments, staffed by people who bring a deep knowledge in a certain area or process, enhanced use of technology, reorganization of workflow, and effective use of metrics to guide day-to-day work efforts. Learn more on the SDI site.

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N2025 Aim 4: Broaden Nebraska’s engagement in community, industry, and global partnerships

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B&F Goal: By increasing collaboration across the city, NU System, state, country and the world, we will form even stronger and more diverse partnerships.

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Increase collaboration with city of Lincoln to improve waste diversion, start Recycling Pilot Project

  • Department(s) Responsible: Landscape Services and Waste Management (LSWM), Custodial, Recycling
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: By improving the ability to identify recycling procedures, outcomes, and determining what items within the waste system can be recycled, LSWM will engage with LPS and the City of Lincoln to better understand and improve waste diversion for the good of the community. As part of this priority, a Recycling Pilot Project is operating in eight pilot buildings on city and east campuses (FY21-22). All participating buildings are utilizing custom Clean River Transition TIM waste stations. Through the alignment of containers and collection processes, the pilot project aims to reduce contamination within recycling streams, increase recycling efforts, and decrease overall landfill waste. These positive outcomes will be used to promote waste diversion results through UNL Communications and social media (Ongoing).
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Increase collaboration with NU Campuses

  • Department(s) Responsible: Business Systems, Emergency Preparedness and Security
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: By expanding the relational network of experts across all NU campuses and working together on initiatives such as Procure-to-Pay, the Business Systems and Emergency Preparedness and Security teams will collaborate with community and industry partners to gather and regularly learn new software and systems (ongoing) to standardize and create consistent policies and best-practice procedures across the NU system. The multi-campus collaboration (FY24) will also create new workshops/conferences, data experts group meeting (FY22), establish SDI Governance Groups and a budget/analyst group (FY23).
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Diversify community, industry and global partnerships with the public sector

  • Department(s) Responsible: Custodial Services, Inventory and Key Shop, Moving Services and Asset Management, Print, Copy, Mail and Distribution Services, Fleet Management
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: The departments of Custodial Services, Inventory and Key Shop, Moving Services and Asset Management, Print, Copy, Mail and Distribution Services, and Fleet Management will be intentional about broadening engagement to control costs and add value to the community as a whole (FY21) by focusing on diversity with every partnership.

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N2025 Aim 5: Create a climate at Nebraska that emphasizes, prioritizes, and expands inclusive excellence and diversity.

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B&F Goal: By creating an inviting, inclusive community of respect, kindness, and encouragement, we will spark our imagination through diverse ideas and open exchange. We are committed to diversity, inclusion and equity as a purposeful and conscious fabric of our daily existence and will demonstrate a welcoming and engaging workplace culture centered on civility, respect and understanding.

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Implement App-Based incident reporting on campus 

  • Department(s) Responsible: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: By analyzing/researching the existing TIPs incident reporting system (FY20), the VCBF Office will create (FY21), test (FY21) and implement (FY21) an app-based Incident Reporting System with an efficient and streamlined user interface called UNL Report. UNL Report will “go live” (FY22) and be promoted continually to the campus community (FY22, Ongoing).
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Infuse diversity and inclusion principles in the physical campus environment through the current campus master plan update

  • Department(s) Responsible: Campus Planning
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Campus Planning will identify specific inclusion principals and strategies to set diversity and inclusion as a key priority and initiative within the campus master plan update (FY21-22) by identifying how other campus communities are infusing diversity and inclusion into the physical campus environment (through research of various professional organizations and networks).
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Incorporate Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Staff Evaluations and Professional Development Training

  • Department(s) Responsible: Human Resources
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Human Resources will create a systemic way to evaluate the campus climate and embed inclusive excellence and development into our systems (FY22) by updating the Human Resources performance evaluation template and through professional development and communication to include Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives (Ongoing).
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Review and Update Translation and Special Needs Services for EAP

  • Department(s) Responsible: Employee Assistance Program
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: The Employee Assistance Program will communicate more effectively with customers with English as a second language or special needs by identifying two new translation resources and completion of forms in 1-3 new languages (FY22) by exploring translation and special needs services that are currently being used on campus and further exploration into translation and service providers in Lincoln.
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Enhance Diversity and Inclusion efforts in recruiting

  • Department(s) Responsible: Employee Relations and Compensation
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Employee Relations and Compensation will increase diversity in the applicant pools, providing units with opportunities to interview a larger number of diverse candidates with the ultimate objective of having a more diverse employee population (Ongoing) by reviewing Academic Affairs applicant flow data (FY22), reviewing/creating benchmarks for pool numbers (FY22), partnering with Academic Affairs on job posting/advertising Diversity and Inclusion initiatives (FY22), and refocusing outreach efforts (diverse publications and remote work possibilities).
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Implement Stay and Exit Interviews

  • Department(s) Responsible: Employee Relations and Compensation
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Employee Relations and Compensation will build trust, measure engagement and job satisfaction, and intentionally seek feedback about how to be a better, more diverse, and inclusive employer by creating and implementing a stay/exit interview process (FY22).
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Community Policing

  • Department(s) Responsible: University Police
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: By assessing current initiatives and level of engagement (FY21), University Police will enlist a diverse pool of campus members to provide input regarding police engagement, identify specific populations and campus units with which engagement has been previously lacking and develop initiatives to improve engagement. This will also allow University Police to extend communication and collaborative partnerships to additional campus units and restart officer engagements with Residence Life to enhance student safety experiences (FY21). It will also allow the ability to institute the Procedural Justice philosophy (Fairness in process, Transparency in actions, Opportunities for voice, Impartiality in decision making) into interactions with the campus and larger community, including video reviews to evaluate police/citizen contacts. (FY22, Ongoing).
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Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

  • Department(s) Responsible: All departments in Business and Finance
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Each department within Business and Finance has committed itself to prioritizing diversity, inclusion, and equity, within their departmental strategic plans. Some of these departmental efforts include: Increasing diversity and inclusion training for staff, fostering a supportive work environment, demonstrating inclusiveness, leveraging campus resources to expand inclusive excellence and diversity, expanding campus outreach and recruitment with a focus on diversity, and exploring new opportunities to engage in campus communities of diverse backgrounds.

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N2025 Aim 6: Prioritize participation and professional development for all Nebraska students, staff and faculty.

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B&F Goal: By actively seeking to enhance individual and team capabilities and looking at each day as an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to delivering value, we believe in the team by valuing the unique strengths and abilities of individuals.

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Professional Development of Staff

  • Department(s) Responsible: All departments in Business and Finance
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Each department within Business and Finance has committed itself to prioritizing the professional growth of their team members within their departmental strategic plans. Some of these departmental efforts include: Creating a formalized structure to invest and instill professional development within the department, increasing diversity and inclusion training for staff, fostering career development and self-leadership for all department members, creating a career advancement program, developing a culture of participative decision-making, enhancing employee development and training, developing and implementing career paths for each work group, engaging in Clifton Strengths Training to promote team success, enhancing staff development and department agility, prioritizing staff growth and development, supporting staff through professional development, and career planning and improved performance management.

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"Aim 7" Responsible Stewardship of Resources. To achieve the N2025 aims, the university must commit to responsible stewardship of resources to reinforce institutional priorities. Responsible stewardship requires organizational and operational effectiveness, proper investment in physical and technological infrastructure, and commitment to sustainability.

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B&F Goal: Our plan adds "Aim 7", which builds on the “Responsible Stewardship of Resources” section in the N2025 plan. We see this added Aim as an essential component of our operation and Strategic Planning efforts. In response to this Aim, we will strive to be organizationally and operationally efficient and effective, commit to maximizing our value to meet the mission of the university, invest in physical and technological infrastructure, and be committed to sustainability in every department.

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Enhanced Delivery of Services, Communications, and Collaborations with Stakeholders

  • Department(s) Responsible: Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Environmental Health and Safety will expand use of technology to facilitate campus stakeholders access to EHS services and data, and support EHS resource allocation and planning (FY22-24), thereby strengthening EHS communication and collaboration with faculty and staff, and aligning EHS programmatic actions to support the broader University mission and identified grand challenges by organizing in a manner that best supports campus needs, maximizes efficiency and provides long-term stability (FY22-23).
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Implementation of Business and Finance Business Center

  • Department(s) Responsible: Business and Finance (BF) Business Center
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: The BF Business Center team will create areas of expertise, build a framework for continuous service and process improvement, provide training and development as well as service agreements with customers (FY23), and establish a qualitative and quantitative scorecard to measure performance and improvement for business operations by combining and integrating the Business and Finance business offices into a single business center (FY22).
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Improve the Viability of the NCard Program

  • Department(s) Responsible: NCard Office
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: The NCard Office will hire a program manager (FY23), research options and opportunities, develop and implement a marketing strategy to promote the program (FY24), create engagement proposals with academic deans (FY24) and establish campus partnerships (FY25-26), all in an effort to improve the viability of the NCard program on campus through intentional engagement with the UNL academic community.
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Review of Human Resource policies to identify opportunities for increased efficiencies

  • Department(s) Responsible: Human Resources (HR)
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Human Resources will create a new hire document portal (FY25), assist Nebraska Business Information Systems (NeBIS) with implementation of a new ESS (Employee Self Service) time clock system, create electronic payroll forms and utilize newly created business centers (FY23) to focus training of personnel to improve payroll processing (SDI) by reviewing processes to improve efficiencies and streamline procedures with a focus on electronic processes for gathering of information and storage of documents as well as partnership and support of the Service Delivery Initiative (SDI).
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Improved communication (Internally and Externally) from Human Resources

  • Department(s) Responsible: Human Resources (HR)
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Human Resources will address the climate survey at HR meetings (including holding weekly staff and one-on-one meetings), create formal links from UNL HR to unit HR partners (including a baseline survey), and explore an additional formal communication system for faculty, staff and students regarding HR issues (FY22-23, Ongoing) by creating additional opportunities for campus stakeholders to connect and discuss HR strategy and operations with HR staff members, expanding external communications to HR partners and being more transparent and effective with external communications to the UNL campus.
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Sustainability Efforts

  • Department(s) Responsible: Automation and Energy Management (AEM) & Business Systems Maintenance (BSM)
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: By building energy benchmarking, integrating sustainability goals set forth by the Environment, Sustainability and Resilience Master Plan into campus design guidelines (FY22-23), and developing a list of “shovel ready” energy projects, AEM and BSM will attain a common method to identify Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of every building on campus including identifying a baseline EUI of each building per ASHRAE standard 100. Additionally, AEM and BSM will develop a dashboard/visualization report identifying the differential between current EUI and the target EUI to help identify and prioritize campus energy projects (FY22), integrate specific items into the campus design guidelines, and develop quantifiable progress on a project list (to attain $2-to-5 million worth of projects) to begin work as soon as funding is available.
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Establish KPIs and Goals in regard to utility use to inform decision making

  • Department(s) Responsible: Utility Services
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Utility Services will combine advanced analysis of operational data with stakeholder feedback through an annual survey to drive decision making and provide safe and reliable utility production and distribution (Ongoing) by defining key performance indicators and benchmarking of existing performance (FY23), creating targets for improvement (using goals to prioritize future repairs or upgrades) and communicating/publishing results (FY22-23).
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Develop sustainability training video for Business and Finance and Campus Stakeholders

  • Department(s) Responsible: Office of Sustainability
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: The Office of Sustainability, in partnership with UNL Communications, will create an online sustainability training video to promote a culture of sustainability for Business and Finance and campus stakeholders (FY22) by researching and identifying key training topics through meetings with department leaders and experts, and identifying best practices in sustainability.
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Implementation of SAP Accounts Receivable Module

  • Department(s) Responsible: Accounting
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: By seeking input from department users to understand their needs, gaining input from other functional offices, identifying the project phases, ideal workflow, system capabilities through collaborations (with University of Nebraska Office of the President, other campuses and NeBIS through weekly meetings on a focused topic), and developing process documentation, Accounting will identify a campus business partner who can provide sample data and test the system, provide training for the end users and offer ongoing support, and implement a timely outlay of the SAP Accounts Receivable Module (FY22). Currently, accounts receivable tracking is done at the department level and submitted to Accounting to be recorded in SAP once a year (year-end). Implementing the module will allow the University to understand who owes the University money, how much, and improve the accuracy of the financial reporting. The module will also give departments an automated option to replace previous paper/Excel tracking methods, thus becoming more efficient.
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Refine credit card processes and PCI compliance to fully utilize available technologies and create efficiencies

  • Department(s) Responsible: Bursar
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: The Bursar Office will refine the credit card process and PCI compliance to fully utilize available technologies, thereby eliminating multiple systems performing the same functions thus reducing the burden of PCI compliance, creating efficiencies and saving resources (FY23) by preparing and reviewing a list of credit card software that departments on campus are currently using and identifying a preferred solution for the entire campus, updating the UNL PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance website for current processing options and preferred solutions, and coordinating the transition to the new systems.
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Educate Functional Offices on Campus on the strategic use of data, reporting, technical resources, and systems

  • Department(s) Responsible: Business Systems
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: By reviewing and restricting access to sensitive data by reducing SAP licenses (FY22) and adapting training materials for the new operational structures on campus, Business Systems will develop educational materials for training (FY24), and create Ask the Expert Sessions for various data solutions (FY25, Ongoing), including BI, Tableau, PAF Toolbox and Financial Toolbox.
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Increase collaboration between Student Accounts and campus partners to improve reporting

  • Department(s) Responsible: Student Accounts
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Student Accounts will fulfill data requests timely and fully and track volumes and lead times annually, and deliver on its commitment to diversity training, professional development, and financial responsibility training (Ongoing) by improving and updating existing training materials, using external resources to stay up to date on changes to policy and laws, developing collaboration opportunities, meeting regularly to discuss needs and ideas, and developing needed skills to manage data requests.
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Create a planning resource document that fuses priorities across individual unit planning documents

  • Department(s) Responsible: Campus Planning
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Campus Planning will create a central document highlighting key elements of each Business and Finance units and auxiliaries plan as a single “quick” resource to show where overlaps, gaps, and priorities occur and where efficiencies in resources can be achieved (FY23) by identifying and analyzing current planning documents for various Business and Finance units and auxiliaries to zone-in on key elements/projects/strategies.
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Submit for and attain a Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS)

  • Department(s) Responsible: Office of Sustainability
  • Key Objectives/Strategies/Outcomes: Office of Sustainability will collect data and develop a submission for the STARS v2.2 rating system in Spring 2022 (FY22). By attaining a Gold rating, UNL's commitment to sustainability will be recognized as competitive among Big Ten, national, and international peers (potentially leading to increased national sustainability recognition, ranking, and student recruitment opportunity) and drive further sustainability progress at UNL through increased visibility and infusion within the campus culture.

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