Pace University’s Digital Makeover

by Lisa Hanna

posted on 01-21-2019

There’s a lot that goes into providing college students with the best possible learning experiences. While what happens in the classroom plays a huge role in student success and satisfaction, what happens on the administrative side is also critical to delivering on the promises a university makes to its students.

Pace University prides itself on a tradition of providing access to a high-quality education to a diverse population while also innovating to meet the needs of today’s global economy. That innovation includes making sure that the school’s administration delivers efficient services and support to both faculty and students. With three campuses between Manhattan, White Plains, and Westchester County, New York, five major colleges, and nearly 13,000 students, suffice it to say the university’s administrative departments have always had a lot of paperwork to manage.

One of the ways the school provides students a top-tier and timely education is by regularly adding new courses. But approvals for the new courses always took quite a bit of paper, energy, and time to complete. Richard Miller, Associate Director of Instructional Technology at Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, pegged this particularly paper-heavy process as a strong candidate for a digital makeover.

“Getting a new course up and running involves a lot of moving parts, including approval from department chairs to various deans,” he says.

Five to 10 pages of syllabus material are sent to 10 different department heads and deans for signature and approval. Seeing just how much paper was being used, and how long it took to get everything signed, returned and approved, Richard wanted to make the process smoother and more environmentally-friendly.

Simplifying signature management

Miller championed the introduction of Adobe Sign, the e-signature solution within Adobe Document Cloud, as well as Adobe Acrobat DC. Each solution has already yielded significant rewards for Pace University, as it processed 40,000 forms, reduced printing and postage costs, and saved more than 100,000 pieces of paper within the first three years, all the while cutting down on the time it takes to send, receive, and audit documents.

Thanks to the early successes with Adobe Sign, the school’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences now uses the Mega Sign bulk-signing feature in Adobe Sign, which allows administrators to more efficiently manage mass mailings. Mega Sign is currently used for faculty schedules, which need to be sent to all professors at the beginning of each semester, then signed, returned, and filed.

“The Mega Sign feature in Adobe Sign does all of the heavy lifting by automatically generating and sending schedules,” says Miller. “We’re removing time-consuming processes and adding traceability that helps administrators keep on top of paperwork.”

Giving administrators more time to focus on students

Administrators now use their newfound freedom and time to interact with students, participate in professional development, and much more. Pace University was so thrilled with the results that it gave Miller the 2015 GreenPace Award to celebrate his project’s success in reducing the school’s carbon footprint and streamlining administration.

Pace University’s use of Adobe Document Cloud shows just how quickly a paperless administrative workflow can yield returns on investment in higher education.

To learn more about Pace University’s successes with Adobe Document Cloud, and how the technology can help other schools be more financially efficient and ecologically friendly, click here.

Topics: Future of Work, Digital Transformation, Education

Products: Sign, Acrobat, Document Cloud