Supporting achievement in higher education.

Pace University saves hours of work and reams of paper with efficient paperless workflows using Adobe Sign and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

Company Logo

Established

1906

Students: 13,000
New York, New York
www.pace.edu

20K

Forms created

with ease in Adobe Acrobat

Objectives

Effectively manage signature workflows for documents that require up to 10 signatures

Support smart, green solutions by reducing waste and moving to a paperless environment

Free up resources to better serve students and faculty

Results

Routes forms for 10 signatures in less than a week

20K forms created with ease in Adobe Acrobat

100K pages saved to support sustainability goals

Boosts accountability with reliable audit trails

Supporting success for students

Since 1906, Pace University has worked to help students achieve their individual dreams of achievement. A private university based in New York, Pace University draws upon the expertise of its faculty members to balance practical and theoretical education and prepare its students for professional success.

While excellent teaching is critical to a top university experience, administrative teams working behind the scenes are also an essential part of helping the University provide smooth services to faculty and students alike. Students need help scheduling classes, changing advisors, and getting transcripts released. Faculty work with administrators to get supplies that they need, make changes to courses, or get approvals for presentations at conferences.

At Pace University many of these documents require approval from two to three parties. This was typically achieved through wet signatures on paper forms. That changed when one of the University’s six major schools, the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, introduced Adobe Sign to address a new course form that required 10 signatures.

“Getting a new course up and running involves a lot of moving parts, including approval from department chairs to various deans,” says Richard Miller, Associate Director of Instructional Technology in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. “But, at the time, I didn’t think about what that would mean for our department administrators.”

 


 

“Not only are Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and Adobe Sign very user-friendly, they also help us work smarter and move toward a green and efficient paperless environment.”

 

Richard Miller
Associate Director of Instructional Technology, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Pace University


 


When Miller was in an administrator’s office one day, he found her surrounded by stacks of paper. Each new course approval form is accompanied by a syllabus for a total of at least 5 to 10 pages per course. The administrator would make 10 copies of each set of documents before mailing the documents to each signatory’s office. Once signed, each office needed to mail back their copy of the document. The administrator would then scan all of the signed copies to create one master file.

“It occurred to me that not only were we wasting a huge amount of time for our administrators, but we were also incurring a large amount of paper waste, which runs counter to Pace University’s commitment to sustainability in higher education,” says Miller. “I knew there had to be a better way.”

Miller looked at the possible benefits of moving toward a paperless workflow through the use of digital signatures. After looking at numerous options, Miller chose Adobe Sign, the electronic signature solution within Adobe Document Cloud. Unlike other solutions, Adobe Sign was extremely user-friendly, and it was backed by a brand that Pace University could trust. With Adobe Sign, staff can quickly and easily send and track electronic documents for signature. Using the integration between Adobe Sign and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, staff can even create the PDF forms used in Adobe Sign with familiar, easy-to-use software.

“Not only are Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and Adobe Sign very user-friendly, they also help us work smarter and move toward a green and efficient paperless environment,” says Miller. “We have confidence in working with a strong partner like Adobe because we can trust that they will continue to enhance these solutions for years to come.”

Saving 100,000 pieces of paper

The Dyson College of Arts and Sciences now uses Adobe Sign to streamline a wide variety of internal and student-facing document workflows, from grade changes, schedules, and student advising to faculty travel approval. However, administrators are seeing the biggest changes with the new course approvals. Using paper, post, and wet signatures, it could take several weeks to get all 10 copies signed and returned. Documents could get forgotten on the desk of a busy signer, or lay waiting for someone to sign.

“With Adobe Sign, new course paperwork can be returned in less than a week,” says Miller. “We’re eliminating stress and saving time while also saving the environment.”

Since first implementing Adobe Sign a little over three years ago, Pace University has processed more than 40,000 forms through this system. The Dyson College of Arts and Sciences alone has accounted for more than 20,000 documents during that time. Not only has this eliminated postage and printing costs, but it has saved more than 100,000 pieces of paper. This is the equivalent of 11,426 gallons of water or 961 pounds of waste saved.*

For his role championing Adobe Sign, Miller received a 2015 GreenPace Award. The University’s GreenPace Sustainability Committee specifically praised Miller for revolutionizing paper-based forms by creating a highly reliable paperless process.

 


 

“Adobe Sign is now an integral part of our workflows at Pace University. We are providing smoother services for students and faculty, and doing our part to contribute to the success and achievements of our graduates.”

 

Richard Miller
Associate Director of Instructional Technology, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Pace University


 


Automating manual processes

Pace University is also taking advantage of the Mega Sign bulk signing feature in Adobe Sign to easily draft, send, and receive acknowledgement of mass mailings. For example, one department in The Dyson College of Arts and Sciences uses Mega Sign to send schedules to faculty for the semester. Before Adobe Sign, administrators had to edit and process each individual schedule. Now Adobe Sign pulls data from a spreadsheet to generate the schedules and automatically sends each faculty member his or her schedule. Faculty members then digitally sign to acknowledge that they have received their schedule.

“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.”

Administrators also appreciate that Adobe Sign adds traceability to the workflow with a reliable audit trail. Before Adobe Sign, staff had to call offices to check on the status of a document. Now staff can log in to Adobe Sign and check the status in real time, including information such as if the document has been viewed, if it has been signed, and where and when it was signed. With a few clicks, the administrator can even send a reminder to the signer or set automatic reminders daily, weekly, or at any other time interval.

With Adobe Sign automating and streamlining signing workflows, administrators have more time, which they can use to improve services. They can collaborate with colleagues on projects, work on professional development, and spend more time on face-to-face interactions with students.

“Adobe Sign is now an integral part of our workflows at Pace University,” says Miller. “We are providing smoother services for students and faculty, and doing our part to contribute to the success and achievements of our graduates.”

 

*Environmental savings calculated using the Adobe Document Cloud Resource Saver Calculator.

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