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Volume 12 Number 2, February 2009

Hot Topics

YaleNext Program to Improve Administrative Services

YaleNext is a campus-wide program designed to improve the administrative services provided to faculty, staff, researchers and students. Its purpose is to change the way services are delivered, making them simpler, more helpful, and more accurate, while at the same time, ensuring Yale’s resources are used more thoughtfully.

Although the economic challenges facing the University may alter the pace and scope of YaleNext, the program will continue to drive towards the overall objectives set forth by its executive sponsors and the Yale Corporation.  The program will progress in multiple phases and take about four years to complete.

There are four major workstreams included within the YaleNext program: Human Resources, Finance, Research Enterprise, and Infrastructure Capability Enhancement Project (ICEP). These are supported by three “enabling workstreams” that will support major workstream initiatives: Service Delivery, Technology Integration, and Change Management.

Each program workstream is in varying phases--from design to solution deployment. If you would like to learn more about YaleNext or if you have ideas for improving our efforts, please contact Karen Polhemus at 436-8422. Your support and input are critical to our success, and we welcome your feedback and participation.

As time goes on, further updates about the progress of the program will be shared with Yale staff members through an array of vehicles, including a website, town halls, staff meetings and briefings, publications and broadcast messaging.

A snapshot of the current initiatives of the YaleNext workstreams appears below.




Human Resources

Nancy Creel-Gross

The Employee Service Center, which will go live this summer, will provide the Yale community with a central place to ask questions about and receive assistance with payroll, time and attendance, and benefits. Enhancements to systems and employee self-service are high on the list of HR initiatives. 


John Mayes

The Finance team is reimagining accounting operations and processes to improve the timeliness, transparency, reliability, and visibility of financial data.

Research Enterprise (RE)

Cynthia Kane

Research Enterprise (RE) is focused on developing a detailed design of pre-award business processes and related compliance linkages, and implementing InfoEd proposal development and tracking.

Additional initiatives addressing the research business processes include budget development, award set-up, research assistance, pre- and post-award reporting, and enhancements to the conflict of interest process. The related technology will be integrated with the overall RE solution.

Infrastructure Capabilities Enhancement Project (ICEP)

Marc Ulan

The ICEP workstream will build a foundation of technical capabilities that will support the ongoing work efforts of the University.

Technology Integration (TI)

Brian Wolson

Technology Integration (TI) will develop and build a foundation of technical capabilities that will support the ongoing work efforts of YaleNext.  TI comprises four initiatives that include ERP Redeployment Planning, Portal, BPM Workflow, and IT Methods.

Service Delivery (SD)

Rick Smith

Working with Technology Integration, SD is assessing the business requirements to meet the customer needs of the Faculty First Portal. SD will also build a fully functioning F&BO Contact Center to support University-wide functions.

Change Management

Karen Polhemus

Bob Davis

Change Management will develop and execute a comprehensive change management strategy to engage the administrative staff and ensure that they are ready and able to achieve the goals of the YaleNext program.

Top 10 Cost-Cutting Measures for 2009 from Yale Travel Services

Yale Travel Services offers 10 tips for controlling the cost of travel for your department.

  1. Eliminating non-essential travel
  2. Reducing number of meetings/conferences
  3. Ramping up policy compliance to ensure lowest available air fares are purchased when travel is deemed essential
  4. Reducing number of employees traveling to conferences/events
  5. Using university contracts and preferred vendors where applicable
  6. Booking mid-priced hotels and searching for discounted rates on Orbitz for Business
  7. Tightening scrutiny of hotel folio charges
  8. Refueling car rentals before returning; renting compact or midsize vehicles
  9. Centralizing negotiations of essential meetings within your department to gain economies of scale
  10. Reducing direct purchases from travel vendor web sites and other non-preferred travel agencies

Health Care Management Training Course Enters Its 2nd Year

Now in its second year, a new class comprising a dedicated group of staff from the Yale School of Medicine meets every other Wednesday evening in an effort to prepare participants for the challenges of today's health care environment.

Developed by the Department of Internal Medicine and the Finance & Administration training group at the Yale School of Medicine, the course provides an extensive overview of health care management issues and best practices.  The course is administered by Jonathan Tamir, Associate Chair of Finance and Administration at the Department of Internal Medicine the course and its curriculum, who has provided similar training on the business of health care at Boston College, Brown University, and Montefiore Medical Center.  Initially proposed to support staff development goals at the Department of Internal Medicine, the course was opened to the entire medical school once others recognized its value for their departments.

Taught as a seminar, the class currently comprises nine students and two auditors.  To enroll, prospective students engage in a fairly intense process that includes submitting an application, sitting through an interview, and soliciting a formal recommendation before receiving an invitation to attend. While the year-long class for 2009, which began on January 14, is closed, applications to the 2010 class will be accepted beginning in November 2009.

According to Tamir, the course fills a certain gap for Yale employees: “I noticed a lack of management training opportunities at Yale in the area of health care management.”  According to Tamir, this type of training is critical for the development of staff, especially those seeking promotion into new management positions.

The course encourages students to take a panoramic view of the healthcare environment in which they work. As a result, the two-and-a-half hour class is highly interactive.  It adopts a case-study approach, one in which students are assigned roles representing the interests of various health care constituencies: government officials, hospital administrators, insurance providers, staff doctors and uninsured patients. The point, according to Tamir, is to encourage the participant to think dynamically about the needs of these groups and the tension they raise between health care costs and health care obligations.

Tamir does not teach the class entirely on his own. He also has the assistance of Penny Cook, Director of Grants and Contracts, who introduces students to the grant management process, and Denise Eltouny, Assistant Director of Training, who provides instruction on management and leadership self-assessment and ethics training.  Tamir notes that expansion of the class to other departments and the inclusion of guest lecturers has also encouraged seminar participants to look outside their departments and breach some of the walls between different operating units. “Breaking down these walls,” Tamir adds, “is exactly what students need to experience in order to get that ‘wider’ view of how health care works.”