Higher Education | Laserfiche News Portal

Category: Higher Education

One of the top entomology departments in the U.S., Texas A&M University (TAMU)’s Department of Entomology offers outstanding academic programs for undergraduate and graduate student preparation for careers in research, extension, business or industry. In fact, in May 2007, the department began offering a new degree in Forensic and Investigative Sciences, accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Science – the only accredited program in Texas and the Southwest.

But with state facilities in College Station, TX, a major USDA entomology research laboratory, and members of the department’s graduate faculty stationed in nine major agricultural areas in the state, sharing information efficiently had become problematic for department staff.

Texas A&M University (TAMU) is one of the largest universities in the U.S., both in terms of enrollment and physical size. With nine system schools and two campuses, as well as a main campus with over 100 buildings on over 5,200 acres, TAMU faces a unique challenge in sharing information.

Relying on paper was an inefficient use of TAMU’s monetary and staff resources. In addition, board requirements frequently limit the amount of office space to conserve space for classroom and labs, so space used for paper storage was at a premium. What little space was available could have been better used for professors’ offices.

Texas A&M University Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) is known as “the island university” because it’s surrounded by Corpus Christi Bay and the Oso Bay. But before implementing Laserfiche, though, the nickname could have just as easily have been applied because TAMU-CC was surrounded by a sea of paper.

Dennis Raulie, Manager of Administrative Computing Technology Services, recognized that the university had outgrown its existing document management system. He realized that what staff really needed was an enterprise content management solution that would comply with the university’s records management retention schedules, better secure documents and decrease the cost of handling paper.

Raulie saw a demo by Laserfiche reseller SMARTfiles and was impressed. “Other document management systems didn’t fulfill our needs very well, while others just seemed rudimentary,” he recalls.

Monica Baccardax, IT Project Manager for the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University Medical School, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, finds Laserfiche a solid improvement over the school’s old system of managing records with paper and custom software applications. Relying on custom databases and spreadsheets was fine—as long as a programmer was available to keep the system current. Laserfiche is not only much quicker and much more reliable, but gives her many more options to collect, store, search and import data.

Not that she wants to reinvent the wheel. “The Medical School has been collecting student and resident records for many years,” she says, “and has developed a workable filing method. Rather than change something that works well for them, I created the Laserfiche system to follow their method.”

“We consider our faculty to be our greatest asset,” says David Haugland, Associate Vice Provost of the University of Southern California (USC). Trouble was, spread out as USC faculty were among its 17 schools and colleges, for the Office of the Provost, faculty records were increasingly the university’s greatest pain in that asset.

Each day, students submit a number of documents—from aid applications, scholarship acceptance letters and promissory notes to copies of birth certificates, passports and tax returns—to the University of Utah’s Department of Financial Aid & Scholarships. Prior to installing Laserfiche, staff spent hours sorting, routing and filing these forms—and service suffered as a result. (more…)