Print Managers Gather Deep in the Heart of Texas

With 40 in-plant managers in attendance from all over Texas and from as far away as Arizona, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia, TACUP was the largest gathering of university in-plants this year.

On a tour of the University of Texas-Austin in-plant, attendees visited the electronic prepress department and looked at color proofs output on an EPSON 9800 Pro. Foreground, from the left: Jimmy Friend, University of North Texas; Sally Rowland, University of Houston; Glen Bradford, Texas Christian University; Rebecca Yarbrough, Stephen F. Austin State University.

Managers chat before a session.

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.

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.

Ray Chambers, CGCM, MBA, has invested over 30 years managing and directing printing plants, copy centers, mail centers and award-winning document management facilities in higher education and government.

Most recently, Chambers served as vice president and chief information officer at Juniata College. Chambers is currently a doctoral candidate studying Higher Education Administration at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU). His research interests include outsourcing in higher education and its impact on support services in higher education and managing support services. He also consults (Chambers Management Group) with leaders in both the public and private sectors to help them understand and improve in-plant printing and document services operations.

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