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Print Managers Gather Deep in the Heart of Texas

Though billed as a regional meeting, the Texas Association of College and University Printers conference drew attendees from four other states, and was the largest gathering of university in-plant managers this year.

November 2009 By Ray Chambers
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LAST MONTH, in-plant managers from Texas colleges and universities met in Austin for the Texas Association of College and University Printers' (TACUP) conference. While billed as a regional conference, TACUP was actually the largest gathering of university in-plant managers this year, with 40 managers in attendance from as far away as Arizona, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia. And judging by their responses, it was also one of the best events of its kind.

"As a first-time attendee of TACUP, I was very impressed with the caliber of the program," enthused Harv Dahl, of Arizona State University. "Our host planned and executed a conference with sessions of high interest to university print staff, and each session was an enlightening experience. With strong vendor support, this was one of the better conferences I've attended in recent years."

Bobby Espinoza, of Texas State University Print and Mail Services, agreed: "This was Texas State University's first time at TACUP, but it won't be our last. We came back with new knowledge on how to improve our print and mail services."

Richard Beto, director of Document Services at The University of Texas at Austin, and his crew organized an outstanding event. Participants were treated to two days of professional development, vendor networking and great Texas hospitality.

Beto and Marla Martinez, associate vice president for University Operations, kicked off the event with a big Texas welcome. Then keynote speaker Howie Fenton, an NAPL consultant, answered the question "What Makes a World Class University In-plant Printer?" Fenton shared the results of several NAPL surveys of profit leaders in the commercial print sector and pointed out that many in-plants don't keep good records on the types of work they do.

Michelle Mindziak, manager of Addressing, Mailing, & Delivery Services at Penn State, explained how to "Think Outside the Box." She described how Penn State Media and Printing Services leveraged the mail unit to drive up print volume by increasing perceived value and reducing costs. Under her leadership, the unit became the campus mail experts and was able to show departments how properly designed mail could maximize savings. Even in this tough economic climate, she was able to add equipment and staff.

Understanding IT

Kathy Lenox, who leads the information technology support unit serving UT-Austin Printing Services, shared tips for improving the client-IT relationship. She advised managers to recognize IT's peak periods and try to schedule around them. Always include IT when planning for upgrades and new equipment that requires IT support, she said.



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