Creating a sustainable future
starts with reimagining how we do business.
Here at Unity Environmental University that means implementing the Enterprise Model.
In 2017, Unity Environmental University adopted an enterprise model as its organizational structure. An enterprise model allows for the creation of distinct units within the overall University. The enterprise model is similar to a matrix organization, with some real advantages that allow the University to be more responsive to the rapidly changing needs of students and society.
The enterprise model combines the innovation potential of a functional hierarchy with the collaboration between disciplines that characterizes a project-based structure.
This forward-thinking, entrepreneurial approach allows the creation of distinct independent Sustainable Education Business Units (SEBUs) that are decentralized and charged with developing programs, services, and/or products that are tailored to audience-specific needs.
In the enterprise model, SEBUs can do their important and unique audience-focused work without needing permission from or affecting the entire organization. We evaluate each SEBU annually for its viability and adjust business plans accordingly. We currently have three academic SEBUs and one business ventures SEBU:
- Distance Education – online learning
- Hybrid Learning – in-person and online learning
- Sustainable Ventures – revenue generating businesses that provide a real-world manifestation of our curriculum
- Technical Institute for Environmental Professions – in-person and online learning offering associate degrees and certificates
These SEBUs utilize centralized shared services but operate independently from one another, allowing us to adapt to meet the needs of learners, clients and partners now and in the future.
In the enterprise model, core functions such as academic administration, information technology, human resources, financial, physical assets, and other services are coordinated and standardized across the University and SEBUs. This centralization optimizes resources while demonstrating common standards of sustainability leadership. Functional areas are responsible for coordinating resources and integrating key processes that cut across business units and geography.
While the enterprise model allows Unity Environmental University to leverage all our considerable and diverse skills across areas and assemble great teams to implement projects, it entails increased complexity. This increase in complexity heightens the need for consistency and standardization, as well as clarity in role, scope, and authority.
Learn more about the enterprise model here: