Florida State University employees claimed a total of nine Florida TaxWatch Productivity Awards this year, the most by any institution in the state university system for the fourth consecutive year.
The TaxWatch Productivity Awards recognize and reward state employees and workgroups who find ways to improve services, increase efficiencies and save Florida taxpayers millions of dollars each year.
Florida State’s award winners were honored Sept. 11 at the Turnbull Center.
Collectively, the nine Florida State programs recognized this year save students, families and taxpayers more than an estimated $154 million annually.
“Florida State University is widely regarded as the most efficient university in the country, and these productivity awards are yet another example of the value and benefits that Florida State brings the people of Florida,” said FSU President John Thrasher said. “I’m very proud of the FSU employees recognized with these awards, and I appreciate TaxWatch and its commitment to acknowledging excellence among state employees.”
TaxWatch awarded three of its top productivity awards to FSU:
- An innovative program to identify, readmit and support students who had left Florida State close to graduation but without completing a degree received one of TaxWatch’s top awards for saving taxpayers an estimated $66 million. (Read more about FSU’s reenrollment program.)
- An online curriculum-planning tool for K-12 teachers developed by Florida State University’s Learning Systems Institute and the Florida Center for Research in STEM received a top award for saving the state an estimated $45 million. (Read more about how the CMAP tool helps teachers.)
- And a Florida State University-produced web platform and application designed to aid in the early diagnosis and intervention of autism received a top award for potentially saving families and the state an estimated $1 million for each child with autism over their lifetime. (Read more about the FSU Autism Institute’s Baby Navigator tools for parents.)
Florida State also was recognized in the Agency Initiative award category, which honors teams of more than five employees for across-the-board excellence. Rabieh Razzouk and the Learning Systems Institute/CPALMS Team were recognized for the development of 800 free, interactive online tutorials for K-12 students designed to support students’ learning in mathematics, science, English language arts and social studies. The effort is estimated to produce an annual cost savings of $42 million.
Florida State also earned five plaque awards:
CSL Lab Air Reduction Team (Facilities – Utilities, Maintenance & Engineering)
With the support of Environmental Health & Safety, the air change rate settings of every lab in the Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) Building were optimized and, as a result, the building achieved annual energy savings of more than $76,900.
Information Technology Services / University Technology Administration/ Microsoft Enterprise Applications and Systems
Information Technology Services developed a compromised account password reset solution that automated a previously manual process and reduced the average time to resolve a case from three hours to 30 minutes per account. As a result, 12,354 automated password resets between August 2015 and August 2018 saved 30,885 work hours and an estimated $56,000 annually.
The Student Resilience Project Team
College students nationwide report increased rates of stress and mental health problems that can interfere with their adjustment to college, academic success, retention and transition into adulthood. FSU President John Thrasher and Provost Sally McRorie requested the development of a universal prevention program available to all enrolled students, resulting in the launch of the unique online website that teaches students how to build resilience. Savings are difficult to quantify, but project makes the campus community healthier and provides tools for students to build skills they can use now, later in the workforce and throughout their lives.
Sponsored Research Administration
The Office of Sponsored Research Administration consolidated three separate yet nearly identical management forms into one. The new form is more intuitive and user-friendly, which helps departmental staff and others who don’t work on grants on a regular basis. Use of the new form is estimated to save $8,900 annually.
Smart Onboarding – Office of Human Resources and ERP
Smart Onboarding is a new HR customer service initiative to bring clarity and efficiency to the FSU onboarding process. The previous process of onboarding new employees required manual, labor-intensive tasks with some hard copy paper documents. The FSU onboarding portal combines pre-employment requirements in one streamlined process, including integrating background checks into the electronic workflow.
This year’s Florida TaxWatch Productivity Awards program received hundreds of nominations, and TaxWatch presented nearly 200 awards to approximately 550 employees and 17 large teams from 25 different agencies for their achievements and efforts.
Originally known as the Davis Productivity Awards and most recently as the Prudential Productivity Awards, the TaxWatch Productivity Awards is a nationally unique program.
Florida TaxWatch is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog and taxpayer research institute. Its research recommends productivity enhancements and explains the statewide impact of fiscal and economic policies and practices on citizens and businesses. Florida TaxWatch is supported by voluntary, tax-deductible donations and private grants, and does not accept government funding.