Posted April 17, 2015

Temple’s service excellence initiative empowers employees

Betsy Manning
Research Accounting Specialist Ryan Williams is one of many Temple employees demonstrating service excellence.

As Temple University moves forward with its vision for the future, the service excellence initiative inspires employees and empowers them to excel.

The initiative, which grew out of a task force commissioned by Temple President Neil D. Theobald, benefits employees in multiple ways. New project management tools help to track work requests and communications. Call centers and help channels cut down wait times. And employees provide higher-quality service to students, faculty, the public―and one another (see sidebar for more details).

“The service excellence initiative was designed with employees’ needs in mind,” said Ken Kaiser, vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer. “At the same time, the initiative will enable faculty and staff to offer better service to everyone who comes into contact with Temple University, which will enhance Temple’s reputation and better serve the needs of our most important constituents: Temple students.”

Since the initiative was announced in September, more than 500 employees have participated in Temple’s service excellence training. Anyone who wants to sign up for the training should visit the Learning and Development training website and search for “customer service.”

Many employees are demonstrating service excellence. Rashidah Andrews, principal academic advisor in the College of Liberal Arts, goes above and beyond for her students. Ryan Williams, a research accounting specialist in Research Accounting Services, uses technology for service excellence. And Darin Kapanjie, managing director of online and digital learning at the Fox School of Business, academic director of the online MBA and academic director of the online bachelor of business administration, is making Fox courses more user-friendly.

The success of the initiative is strengthening Temple in numerous ways. For one thing, the initiative has helped with universitywide efforts like Fly in 4, which has required employees across Temple to work together to serve the nearly 90 percent of freshmen who signed up for the program this year.

By creating better experiences for students, the initiative can also advance Temple’s rankings, which ultimately will bring greater resources and attention to the university.

The initiative is preparing employees for Temple’s future. In the new decentralized budget model, exceptional service is paramount. Schools and colleges will need great service to attract and retain students. Support units must deliver great service to further demonstrate the value of the Temple experience.

“Service excellence is a vital part of Temple’s vision for success,” Kaiser said. “As we alter our budget model to improve our competitiveness in higher education, this initiative will give employees the tools they need to ensure their units thrive.”