Course packets are now being sold out of the office of Printing & Postal instead of the department offices. Dean of the Constantin College of Liberal Arts Philip Harold and post office manager Robert Hanson collaborated to bring this plan to fruition. This switch aimed to relieve the administrative assistants of some of their work.
Harold said that this change was “prompted by investigating how this process [of purchasing course packets] worked. It was the Constantin dean’s office that was directly involved in moving the selling of the course packets in Printing & Postal.”
“This is something I’ve been planning for about a year,” said Hanson. “I was approached by Dean Harold in December, so we put my ideas, his ideas together, and worked forward to make that happen for this semester.”
Speaking of the process, Hanson said: “We got a thousand more transactions than we had before, at the busiest time of year. So one might argue that makes it worse, but really if you look at the whole, it makes it easier for the students [and] it saves the admins having to process these things.”
The reasons for this switch are manifold. For one, it is more convenient for buyers to purchase the course packets in one rather than multiple locations, streamlining the process. Speaking of the experience, freshman Adam Norkett said: “It did [make things easier]. It was convenient and fast.” Also, Printing & Postal is able to accept credit and debit cards as well as cash, which is an attribute that the department offices lack.
In times past, students typically purchased their packet from the corresponding department office. To buy a Lit Trad II course packet, students would go to the English Department and pay the necessary amount in cash. Now, instead of traveling to various department offices to buy various packets, students need only go to one location: Printing & Postal, located in the basement of the Haggar Center.
Harold said: “The administrative assistants work very hard supporting multiple programs, which was a result of the restructuring, and this change aimed to ease their burden. The administrative assistants do not have to serve as cashiers, making change and selling all the course packets.”
“Our staff works very hard, and we are trying to simplify the processes for them to make things less cumbersome insofar as that is possible.”
Speaking of the switch, English department secretary Karen Gempel said: “It’s kind of easier for me. Although, I don’t mind selling them here because I like the one-on-one with the students, I like seeing them and talking to them, and stuff like that, it’s fun. So I’ve always enjoyed that; it’s not that big of a deal to plug the money and deposit it.”
“[The switch] has not been that big of a deal. If they change their mind and want to do it the other way, that won’t bother me either.”
Of course, the process has had its proverbial bumps in the road. Said Hanson: “This was cobbled together rather quickly and so we’re going to evaluate the process and adjust the numbers. Sometimes you don’t sell a hundred percent of enrollment for a lot of classes. So we printed a percentage, we’re going to evaluate that and make sure that it’s even more fluid. So I’m wanting to make sure that we keep inventory available for the folks.”
This is a first trial for this process and only time will tell how beneficial it will be.