Procurement Managers in Higher Ed: The 5 Points to Know for Hybrid Learning

procurement managers support online learning

Procurement managers help drive the college towards fulfillment of its vision. Hybrid learning is part of that future for many institutions. Yet, how hyflex learning needs depend on the investments universities make today. Leaders can guide teams to buy quality products, software, and equipment that supports the institution. Also, leaders ensure to stay current on trends that impact purchasing decisions. Today, leaders can lay the groundwork for flexible teaching. Procurement leaders can help their schools by paying attention to these five points.


1.) Procurement Managers Plan for Flexible Staff Schedules to Support Hybrid Learning 

So, procurement managers must plan for flexibility into project timelines. Staff continues to work hybrid schedules as the pandemic crisis wears on. Hybrid staff schedules challenge leaders in several ways. First, leaders get to figure out how to monitor remote staff. Second, leaders must figure out how to onboard new staff. So, purchasing managers must watch their own staff and help other deans watch their groups. Besides that, leaders face tough questions about workplace equity. Not all jobs get to work remotely. So, leaders must come together to create new policies that promote equity. Procurement leaders plan how to meet the needs of staff and still meet project deadlines for higher ed procurement. 


2.) Procurement Managers Talk to Staff 

Therefore, leaders can make purchases to support hybrid learning on campus. Procurement managers can research and hire tech-savvy vendors. Yes, the supply chain is backlogged due to the pandemic crisis. Still, procurement staff needs to be ready to buy items that support hybrid rooms. Therefore, purchasing managers must talk to instructors. Together, they can name which tools work best in classrooms. Besides that, leaders can collaborate across departments to standardize instructional tools. Together, they can recommend standard requirements for quality software and hardware. Likewise, purchasing leaders can negotiate vendor training for faculty and support staff. Also, leaders ensure sandbox environments and backend LMS integration stays.


3.) Prepare Campus Spaces for Presentation to Support Hybrid Learning  

Likewise, procurement managers review campus needs to prepare for future funding. Hybrid instruction has different needs than traditional face-to-face instruction. Yet, post-pandemic crisis, the demand for contactless class instruction remains. Also, classrooms must be able to accommodate in-person and remote students at the same time. So, classrooms range from small broadcast online seminar rooms to large well-lit connected lecture halls. Besides that, classrooms need flexible tech. Faculty must be able to customize the classroom to fit their needs. Leaders should buy products that are intuitive for staff and faculty to use.


4.) Hybrid Learning Requires Production Studio Hardware

Still, the classroom takes a lot from the production studio. Procurement leaders see technical items cross their desks. Webcams, green screens, and electronic whiteboards are needs rather than experiments. Microphones and soundproofing foam are must-haves for effective instruction. Besides that, quick set-up and takedown of equipment let learning happen. Mobile carts, movable screens, and pop-up lighting units let faculty create content. Likewise, mobility lets instructors convert out-of-the-way outdated conference rooms into production studios.


5.) Procurement Managers Customize Solutions

Still, procurement leaders are key drivers of the school’s vision. Likewise, faculty need solutions that work for them. Each school has its own needs. Purchasing knows those needs while at the same time seeing the needs for tomorrow. So, leaders can invest in software and hardware that comes with good help desk support. Also, procurement can invest in flexible, hard-wearing equipment that lets faculty customize solutions.


In sum, procurement managers can prepare their institutions for hybrid learning. Leaders can champion purchases that drive the school’s vision forward. Besides that, purchasing leaders can guide university staff through hardware and software training. Also, leaders can recommend standardized technical solutions across the institution.

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