Merging For Success
The University of Kentucky's Karen Willmott watched her responsibilities skyrocket as the university consolidated its services under her umbrella.
by CHRIS BAUER
The successful reorganization of two departments at the University of Kentucky was a major reason Karen Willmott was chosen as Manager of the Year in 1994. In 1993, while director of publishing services, she took on responsibility for the University Extension Print and Graphic Design Shop and the Public Relations Graphic Design Shop.
Though it was no small feat to incorporate three print shops into one, it pales in comparison to what Willmott has tackled since she was named Manager of the Year. The university has since decided other departments should also be consolidated—and put under Willmott's control.
"Anything that had a strong front-line customer service role got consolidated," says Willmott, now director of information systems and support services. Since 1997, she has acquired 18 student computer labs, the information services help desk, media design and production, the FACTS center, all postal and bulk mail, campus convenience copiers, Information Systems publicity and public information.
The university recently built a new library, in which many self-service copiers are housed. Willmott implemented a chargeback system through the use of student I.D. cards. She also renegotiated the copier contract with a local vendor to pay on a cost-per-copy basis. Willmott reports the copier contract is streamlined to allow departments to get new equipment more often and have better maintenance services.
"That was something everyone was always complaining about," Willmott says of the old way copiers were handled. She says under the old contracts, departments would often have the same copier for up to 10 years.
The university publishing area is still about as large as it was in 1994, but it has seen the addition of two networked DocuTechs and a two-color Heidelberg press. Many jobs that were previously done on smaller copiers on campus are now routed through the publishing area and output on the DocuTechs. Also, the Hagen billing system the shop utilizes to track costs has been updated recently to make it Y2K compliant.