Bursar, registrar, dining and parking offices will merge into a single One-Stop Center after July 1, to provide Quinnipiac University students with more efficient services through both virtual and in-person settings, said Tom Ellett, chief student experience officer.
During the first year of Ellett’s tenure, he said he encountered students who experienced spending too much time navigating through different offices to get services they needed, which he said was a waste of time. He then came up with this initiative with the hope to solve the problems.
“It really came (with) the emphasis for students and parents that it would be helpful to be able to make one phone call, be able to change your meal plan, to be able to find out about your parking pass instead of having to jump from area to area,” Ellett said.
Many universities across the country such as University of New Haven, Southern Connecticut State University, Kent State University and University of Texas at Austin have implemented the one-stop philosophy.
“It’s to create an organization where students would only have to go to one place to get their answers related to their bill, their financial aid, their housing, dining (and) parking,” Ellett said.
Sophomore political science major Emily Diaz said she has had some trouble getting services from bursar and residential life offices in the past.
“Oftentimes, I’ll call one number or email an office on campus and they’ll have me reach out to a completely different office that also doesn’t have a resolution,” Diaz said.
She explained that when certain offices are unaware of the regulations of other offices, they struggle to give students answers to their questions. She thought that combining these offices into one will allow for more efficient communication between students and the administration.
“I also find that many times parents are calling offices with questions but oftentimes don’t know who to call and struggle to find one office number or email that can answer all their questions,” Diaz said. “This could be a solution to the problem that will allow for students to get the help they need much easier.”
This initiative will not only benefit students and their families, but also the university’s staff. People who work at the center will be cross-trained in every function of student services.
Ellett explained that when someone who is responsible for a particular service is off, no one would be able to answer students’ questions and they are forced to wait.
“I think there will be much more focus on service and (the) knowledge base will be enhanced,” Ellett said. “The staff will be cross-trained and technologically trained, if they don’t know the answers, they will be able to have a wiki or something else that will give them the answers to the questions.”
The software company Ellucian reported that the University of Tennessee was able to save costs as it utilized its staff from its One-Stop Center. The university also received 72-85% fewer direct calls to its bursar, financial aid and registrar offices.
As Quinnipiac is currently hiring multiple positions for the center, Ellett said there will be bumps in the road as the university is bringing new people to new roles. However, he remains hopeful that the opening will go smoothly.