Faculty Planning - Ready for a Change?

A look into how Douglas College created a new Faculty Planning and Budgeting process that improves efficiency while reducing the margin of error with the help of FAST software. We sat down with Dean Jansen of Douglas College and Anna LaGreca of Millennium Computer Systems to find out how FAST software is saving time and increasing efficiency.
FAST Student Faculty Planning
Erika Veth

Case Study - Douglas College

We can run this FAST report and summarize it any way we want—what normally would have taken us weeks to do now just takes days to do. Dean Jansen, Associate Director of Budget and Planning


Colleges and universities spend significant administrative time budgeting, planning, and calculating workload for academic faculty and departments. This process requires coordination among department chairs, administrative staff, and other stakeholders across campus. For many readers who have been through the annual departmental and division budgeting process, you probably have that knot-in-your-stomach, anxious feeling just thinking about it. From start to finish, this process often takes months, numerous meetings, and if someone makes a data entry error or is working from the wrong spreadsheet, the ripple effect can cause significant delays.

Recently, I spoke with Dean Jansen, Associate Director of Budget and Planning at Douglas College, and Anna LaGreca from Millennium Computer Systems Ltd. about their collaboration to improve Douglas's budgeting and workload planning process using FAST. This newly implemented process improved efficiency, reduced manual data entry, and significantly cut the time spent on their bi-annual process.

Dean explained that, prior to FAST, his team used a manual process involving a course calendar in a spreadsheet, which faculty used to indicate their teaching plans. This data was then manually entered into another spreadsheet to calculate compensation. The Budget Analyst would use Banner reports and spreadsheets to identify discrepancies in contracted vs. actual workload, which were then resolved through multiple adjustments and re-creations of the spreadsheet. This process, spanning hundreds of faculties and more than ten departments, was managed entirely in spreadsheets, outside of the Banner ERP System. After reviewing the current processes, Anna and Dean determined that transitioning to FAST’S Enrollment Planning and Forecasting tool would result in significant time savings for Dean and his staff.


After weeks of brainstorming and collaboration, Anna and Dean developed a new process for Faculty Planning at Douglas College.

Each academic year, a course plan is loaded into FAST for the upcoming year, complete with budgeted workload by faculty and department. Once the budgeted workload is loaded into FAST, the FAST STUDENT Faculty Workload and Term Summary Report can be run to determine discrepancies between budgets vs. actuals. This report can be sorted by academic year, term, instructor, and college, allowing for automated comparisons of budgeted compensation, workload, and actual workload.

In Fall 2023, administrative officers began running the report independently and managing data for their departments, providing oversight and explanations for any variances. Dean highlighted the major benefits: “The biggest advantage is having the budget matched with faculty members automatically, without manual data entry.” Daily data snapshots in FAST keep the information current, eliminating the need for ongoing error corrections and ensuring the reports have current and correct information. The new process reduces what used to take weeks to just days.

Now, meetings about faculty workload and budgeting can focus on the important tasks of reviewing final calculations and discussing any variances.


The Douglas team aims to automate the cost per section through FAST for more precise budgeting. Douglas College is also implementing FAST’s budget application, which interfaces directly with FAST’s enrollment planning tool, allowing for streamlined integration of faculty budgets with the overall institutional budget. To learn how FAST can help your school with faculty workload calculations, course planning, budgeting, or enrollment forecasting, contact us at customersupport@mcsl.com.

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