University of Evansville and Barada: Transforming the Future of Campus Screening

A Barada Associates Case Study

With increasing frequency, colleges and universities are required to have students complete background screenings so they can meet contractual requirements between the academic institution and facilities such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, other healthcare related businesses , K- 12 schools, etc. This process is necessary so students can perform community service, complete required off-campus coursework or gain required experience through internships. One such institution is the University of Evansville.

When the University of Evansville sought to consolidate screenings conducted by an array of departments under a single provider, Mark Logel, Director of Administrative Services and Risk Management, put the service out for competitive bid. The winning bidder, Barada Associates, not only now handles the University’s background screening services, but the partnership has resulted in a new service model that is changing the face of campus screenings.

A New Direction.

Barada initially came to the University of Evansville bidding process after a recommendation from a higher educational professional that works with many of Indiana’s private colleges and universities. During the evaluation process, the committee selected Barada as one of the two finalists. What happened next, no one would have expected.

As part of the final evaluation, Barada met with individuals from various departments including Nursing, Physical Therapy, Exercise and Sport Science and Education, that conducted screening processes (several years prior, the function was distributed rather than centralized at the school). Working with the group, Barada offered an idea never before tried at the University of Evansville—and possibly at any educational institution.

Rather than simply contract for an estimated 300 screenings, Barada proposed a multi-day screening “blitz,” coordinated among all applicable departments. Students needing toinitiate screenings would come to the designated campus computer lab with Internet-connected PCs and initiate the screenings. Such a plan would lower the cost of the screenings (which is borne by the students), making it feasible to screen more students (and later new employees) affordably.

Innovation in Action.

“Once Barada brought this idea to the table—an idea that no one had had before—we jumped on the process to make it a reality,” says Logel. The University announced to students that they could initiate their screens on campus rather than submitting them over the Internet at home. Barada and the school ran more than 400 students through the screening process in two days. The process continued until the University had conducted an estimated 500 plus varied screens.

“Even with some unexpected glitches, the ‘Blitz’ was a huge success from the students and faculty standpoint,” says Logel. “Prior to the ‘Blitz,’ a student would get an email message and login, and then they would take the screen.” With the old model, participation was not as timely and required more support.

Encouraging Quality and Teamwork.

According to Logel, an added benefit of the Barada solution is that it resonates with the outside entities to which students are assigned. “Prior to this coordinated effort, there was an issue of concern with the quality of screenings handled at the department level using varied companies,” he notes. “Now, the educational and healthcare facilities that allow students to complete clinical coursework or internships can be confident that the screenings are being done by a reputable company that will stand by the results if an issue comes up.”

Logel praises the customer service Barada offers, especially the work of Barada’s Director of Client Services Mardella Huskins and her staff, about whom Logel says, “Their work made a huge difference in a positive way. While we measure a vendor on how smooth things go out of the gate, it is even more important how the vendor responds and the timeframe required to resolve issues that come up, especially with a brand new process! That is the metric of a vendor.”

“To us, seeing it in action and seeing the Barada staff create something that didn’t exist and work through glitches really built our trust,” Logel continues. “We learned some things that we need to do internally to prepare the students and departments for next time. However, we have good people here willing to make that happen and in the end it benefits all of us.”

Client: University of Evansville

Established in 1854 and located in Southwestern Indiana, the University of Evansville has a rich history that spans more than 150 years. More than 2,717 students from 40 states and 50 countries experience a distinctive curriculum built on exposure to great ideas, timeless themes, significant questions and multiple perspectives.

The Services:

Barada offers student screenings through a once-yearly, University-wide blitz. Students that do not opt for the blitz can still take their screenings at home, over the Internet, prior to arrival on campus. All students are screened on a yearly basis. Barada also handles faculty, staff and administrative screenings as needed (Logel estimates 40-50 per year).

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