UNLV gets in on outsourcing

Parking, tuiton among the services now handled by outside companies.
Outsourcing is a growing trend with on-campus services, leaving some wondering whether this is directly influenced by impending budget cuts.

With outsourcing, students benefit from the efficiency of other companies, while the workload is taken off campus faculty and staff.

David Ellison, the assistant controller for cashiering and student accounts, said that part of their services have been outsourced to a company called Tuition Management Services.

This company offers an interest-free payment plan for student tuition through an electronic monthly billing process.

"TMS can give various options to students," Ellison said.

TMS has the capabilities to get certain things done that the office on campus can't because of the limited amount of staff, he explained.

"These vendors have better services and they can provide better security," Ellison said.

A major benefit Ellison emphasized was that these outsourced services cost nothing for UNLV or student accounting, adding that this is a reason these extra services are beneficial to the campus fiscally.

Rebel Card Services' Web site has also been outsourced to other management companies.

John Haky, graduate assistant for Rebel Card Services, said that the Web site provides a more efficient way for students to manage their accounts.

"We use [the system] to integrate it with our system," Haky said.

While the Web site is the only service outsourced, Haky added that RebelCard does their marketing through a company called Off Campus Solutions.

Parking and Transportation Services also dabbles in the realm of third-party cooperations.

Tad McDowell, director of Parking Services, said they use a parking management system called T2 Systems to enforce parking measures and control the permit data for students online.

"T2 Systems adds value to our customers," said McDowell, adding that the reason students can purchase permits online is because of T2 Systems.

Without T2 Systems, the lines in the Parking Services office would be hours long rather than 15 minutes, as the staff can take more time with the students, he said.

With staff's amount of work being lessened and easy access to these services for students, these systems may be saving the campus more time and money in the long run.
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