Please Note: The Administrative Excellence initiative has been closed. As of July 18, 2014, this site will not be maintained with project statuses or other updates. For current project information, please refer to the Administrative Process Redesign (APR) site.

News about the Administrative Excellence initiative

Email and Calendar Project Updates

Posted on July 14, 2014

Following sponsor approval to move forward with the project, DoIT news and information on Office 365 can be found on the project web site.

Email and Calendaring Implementation Plan Under Evaluation

Posted on February 26, 2014

The project sponsors have requested that the implementation of Office 365 be slowed to ensure long-term success. See the full story here.

Data Center Aggregation Project Results in New Service for Campus

Posted on February 25, 2014

A new data infrastructure service will be available to campus beginning March 1, 2014. See the full announcement here.

Strategic Purchasing Goes Green

Posted on December 5, 2013

The AE initiative has assisted Purchasing Services in improving both cost and environmental impacts on campus. Read the full article here.

AE Projects — Measurement and Expected Gains

Posted on October 14, 2013

As several of the AE projects move towards implementation, we’ve charted a summary of the expected savings calculated in each area. View the summary chart here.

AE Projects – Measuring Results and Continuing Implementation

Posted on May 23, 2013

The transition to implementation continues on many projects, as the teams deliver final recommendation and business owners begin to report results. Recent activity includes:

Data Center Aggregation:

This team completed its work and received approval on their Final Report on January 30, 2014. The new service team is moving forward with implementation. Background on the project is available on the project site. Details on the new service were announced to campus in February.

Strategic Purchasing:

  • Remanufactured Toner: In fall 2013, Business Services added a new vendor to the Shop@UW site, EIS Office Solutions. EIS offers remanufactured options for most printers at significantly lower cost than name-brand equivalents.  In the seven months prior to this rollout, campus spent more than $700,000 on new toner cartridges. Had these been remanufactured toner from EIS instead, campus would have saved over $480,000. Details on the product, vendor and purchasing remanufactured toner are available here.
  • Computer Bundles: In the eleven months since adopting the Preferred Product configurations from Dell, campus saved more than $393,000 on laptop and desktop purchases. Visit the Purchasing Services site to review these options.
  • Maintenance, Repair & Operations (MRO) Supplies: A cross-campus standards team has standardized a number of products, improving purchasing efficiencies and lowering product costs. Annual savings on toilet paper alone is estimated at over $54,000. The team is also standardizing on the most environmentally friendly products whenever possible. See the article detailing their work here.

Work products for the different commodity area teams can be accessed from the AE project page.

Instructional Space – Inventory:

This team was formed with the goal of creating a data collection process and space inventory to support an enterprise scheduling system, thereby providing stakeholders a way to identify rooms for instructional use. The inventory included room features and attributes for all spaces used for scheduled instruction. The Steering Committee accepted the team’s final report in May.

A new team was convened to develop implementation plans for a) defining the process for regular data updates and b) making the data available to campus. The new inventory data is now available on the Space Management web site. This work was completed as an Administrative Process Redesign (APR) project.

Instructional Space – Utilization:

Following the work of the AE Classroom Space Utilization project in 2012, this team was convened to specifically address the utilization of instructional spaces. The team was charged with defining and identifying current state capacity and use of instruction space, as well as outlining processes for ongoing measurement and modification. The team completed its final report in May 2013, with recommendations approved by the Steering Committee which included:

  • Form of a new Campus Review Team to oversee processes and policies
  • Implement a new process for reviewing instructional spaces and utilization
  • Review underutilized departmental instructional spaces for other use or potential return to the general assignment pool
  • Study how revisions to class lengths could impact the scheduling of rooms

A feasibility study, including the development of a scheduling optimization tool, was conducted in the College of Engineering. Recommendations and a final report from this study are being prepared for the project sponsors.

E-mail & Calendaring:

Plans to slow the UW’s Office 365 implementation for a few months were announced to campus in late February. This pause in the project was to give the teams involved the opportunity to respond to a third-party project review directed by campus leadership. The focus of the review was on implementation details and not on project direction.

Office 365 technical and development teams examined the issues raised in the review, submitted their recommendations to the project sponsors and are again moving forward on implementation. A new project manager has been retained to develop and manage the new implementation timeline.

Enterprise IT Decision Making – Future State:

The recommendations of this team, as well as initial plans for implementation, have been presented to numerous campus governance groups. The full business case and implementation charter are available here. The implementation team is currently reviewing draft staffing, governance and workflow documents.


As many of the projects are transitioning to the business owners as part of their final implementation, the AE Advisory Committee held its final meeting on May 2, 2013. Future advisory committees will be attached to each individual project as necessary.



AE Weekly Wrap-ups Completed

Posted on March 4, 2013

The final AE Weekly Wrap-Up took place on May 17.

Dell Computers Selected as Preferred Products

Posted on February 26, 2013

The Administrative Excellence team, in partnership with Purchasing Services, has selected Dell computers — including three laptops and one desktop with an optional monitor — as UW–Madison preferred products.

UW-Madison Preferred Products Now Available for Purchase

Posted on December 18, 2012

Purchasing Services, with the support of an Administrative Excellence team, announced that several UW-Madison Preferred Products, including common office supplies such as pens, writing pads, copy paper and remanufactured ink and toner, are now available for purchase.

Campus Plans Migration to New Email and Calendar System

Posted on December 18, 2012

A campus team working to employ a single email and calendar software supplier for the campus has completed critical steps toward implementing Microsoft Office 365.

Ward: UW-Madison Must Help Shape its Own Future

Posted on October 4, 2012

The university has begun mapping out solutions to the fiscal squeeze by seeking flexibilities in key areas such as tuition, purchasing, and human resources, Interim Chancellor David Ward told the Faculty Senate on Monday, October 1, 2012.  More

Summer’s No Snooze on Campus

Posted on August 30, 2012

In a rundown of some of the major developments this summer, it was noted that Microsoft Office 365 was selected as the campus email and calendar software system in one of several recommendations from teams working on the Administrative Excellence project.  Read about this project.

AE Teams Strategize Best Practices for IT Decision Making

Posted on July 31, 2012

Two strategic work teams are researching the best ways to deliver information technology services while supporting the core mission of UW–Madison.

AE Campus Forum: Wednesday, June 20

Posted on June 19, 2012

Members from seven teams described their efforts and listened to feedback during this campus forum held at Union South.

AE Teams Host June 18 Web Chat

Posted on June 15, 2012

View the transcript.

Administrative Excellence Teams Recommend Efficiency Measures

Posted on June 12, 2012

A UW-Madison team working on the AE project will recommend the university select a single software supplier for campus email and calendaring systems. The recommendation is one of several being released by the project’s Email & Calendaring, Classroom Space Utilization and Data Center Aggregation teams. Read more about the work of the teams.

Administrative Excellence Web Chat Held May 31

Posted on May 29, 2012

The campus community participated in a web chat about the work of the strategic purchasing teams: Computer Bundles, Office Supplies, Scientific Supplies, and Maintenance, Repair and Operations Supplies. View the transcript.

Strategic Purchasing Recommended by Administrative Excellence Teams

Posted on May 22, 2012

Recommendations will provide a strategic purchasing direction for UW–Madison and save nearly $14 million over five years, according to estimates by teams working on the Administrative Excellence project. Read more about the work of the strategic purchasing work teams: Computer Bundles, Office Supplies, Scientific Supplies, and Maintenance, Repair and Operations Supplies.

Email and Calendaring Team Shares Survey Results

Posted on March 22, 2012

The Administrative Excellence Email and Calendaring team recently conducted a survey to learn how faculty, staff, and students use email and calendaring systems on campus. Read the results.

Administrative Excellence plans begin to take shape

Posted on March 1, 2012

Administrative Excellence work teams have been rolling up their sleeves to refine and develop action plans to incorporate effective resource stewardship across the campus.