Innovate Knox Initiative Update

Dear Knox Community,

Earlier this year, we asked you to share with us your ideas on ways to improve Knox. We called this initiative Innovate Knox. We received numerous submissions and have selected four proposals. As stated in the submission guidelines, preference was given to initiatives that will lead to revenue enhancement, improve efficiency and productivity, and/or lead to significant cost savings. Funding for the Innovate Knox initiative was provided by a one-time $100,000 endowment draw authorized by the Knox College Board of Trustees.

We received 12 proposals from members of the Knox community, ranging from ideas on how to improve operational efficiency to new areas of potential growth in our admission efforts. Throughout February and March, we reviewed the proposals, sought additional information when needed, and reviewed them once again, ultimately choosing to move forward with four:

Energy Audit—Knox has had two energy audits in the past 20 years, with the most recent in 2006. Suggestions from those audits have been implemented on campus resulting in successful reductions in energy costs, but updates in energy-efficient technologies and the effects of time on our buildings mean that an updated energy audit could lead to new opportunities for energy cost savings.

Knox GROW—a program to engage the more than 100 hourly and salaried supervisory staff and their roughly 600 student workers in ongoing dialogues designed to identify and reinforce transferable skills learned by students on the job. Its intent is to promote job productivity and satisfaction for both Knox staff and students. Planned implementation of the program will begin with the Seymour Library staff.

Human Resources Software—this is a cloud-based software system that will help streamline a host of record-keeping processes within Human Resources, including applicant tracking, time-off requests and tracking, electronic signatures and document completion and storage, employee onboarding, workflows, and performance management (future), saving the College both time and money.

International Recruitment—the College currently has one full‐time admission counselor to work with more than 600 international applicants each year (up from 250 applicants 10 years ago). By adding an additional international admission officer, we will be able to more fully realize the potential of the international market, especially in growing areas like China and Southeast Asia, with the goal of enrolling 5-10 more students each year.

While there are four proposals that will be funded, we are exploring the implementation of some of the other proposals through other avenues. We will keep you informed on the development and progress of the four proposals that received funding.

Thanks to all who submitted proposals. The imagination, creativity, and ingenuity of the Knox community never fails to inspire us.


Senior Staff