Campus News

March 18, 2011

New Office of Business Process Improvements takes shape

Bill Dracos will head the new Office of Business Process Improvements.

Bill Dracos enjoys immersing himself in complex situations and finding solutions to them. His success in tackling the tough problems was one main reason he was chosen to head Emory’s new Office of Business Process Improvements (BPI).

In an era of increased operating complexity for large research universities, the Office of BPI will lead a systematic effort to improve and streamline the business practices that currently complicate how Emory operates.  

Dracos joined Emory from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Higher Education and Health Sciences Practice in December as associate vice president and chief business process improvement officer. He has been working since then to establish the framework and governance structure for BPI. 

“We have the broad support of Emory’s leadership, which is reflected in our Governing Advisory Committee,” says Dracos.

That committee includes executive vice presidents, deans and a representative from the Faculty Council executive committee.  

The BPI initiative will also have a steering committee to provide feedback, advice and guide BPI projects on a regular basis. The steering committee includes the vice presidents of human resources, information technology, research administration, finance, health sciences, representatives from internal audit, the provost’s office and the chief business officers of schools and units, among others.

Initially, BPI will focus primarily on transactions related to financial management and research administration. In addition to these broad, enterprise-wide projects, BPI will support a series of smaller improvement projects through a division called the PACE/Strategic Business Solutions and Innovations program.  Working groups will provide the capabilities and hands on experience needed for these smaller projects.

“We will take a fresh look at certain processes, think creatively and act collaboratively in order to generate real common sense solutions that add value,” says Dracos. “For example, in the future we plan to draw on proven best practices and continue the recent work by Emory’s Finance Division as it streamlines travel and expense reimbursements.”

“BPI is envisioned as a collaborative effort and one of our operating principles is inclusiveness of ideas and feedback from all parts of Emory.  We look forward to receiving input from every level of the organization,” says Dracos.

The penultimate draft set of principles will guide the work of BPI to:

•  Serve the overall best interests of Emory University, its faculty, students and staff, in pursuit of Emory’s vision, by facilitating business practices that are: effective to accomplishing purpose, cost effective, service oriented, include reliable and effective internal controls, provide responsible fiduciary behavior, and meet regulatory compliance requirements in a sensible way.

•  Add value to people, schools, units and processes.

•  Be accountable, in partnership with the functional vice presidents and school/unit chief business officers, for business process improvement.

•  Be inclusive. BPI is the responsibility of members of the Emory community at all levels.

•  Welcome collaboration as essential to success.

•  Engage in open, considerate and ongoing communication.

•  Embrace creativity and use it to drive enhancements.

•  Develop solutions that enable local service within the context of institutional standards, quality and accountability.

•  Use common sense in developing solutions.

•  Act with ethical integrity.

•  Focus on outcomes.  Execute tasks.  Measure results.

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