Business Operations Project (a.k.a. Beaver Works)

Beaver Works is a portfolio of business operation improvement projects intended to clarify and streamline a wide range of business policies, processes and systems to improve understanding, efficiency and access.

In 2017 a review of business operations, Vice President for Finance & Administration Mike Green convened an oversight committee and engaged consultant Baker Tilly for the review of the university’s business processes and operations, specifically those of Business Affairs, Business Centers and the Office of Budget & Fiscal Planning.

At the request of the oversight committee, Baker Tilly provided an evaluation of strengthens and what is going well within the university’s business operations. Their findings included:

  • High level of employee commitment and dedication
  • Focus on providing quality customer service
  • Employee willingness and desire to invest effort into enhancing the business structure and operations
  • Stakeholders reporting a higher level of compliance, expertise and professionalism since the implementation of Business Centers

Baker Tilly recommended a number of improvements to business operations. The categorized recommendations are according to the internal controls framework developed by the enterprise risk management organization, COSO (Committee of Sponsoring Organizations) of the Treadway Commission. The details of the recommendations are further outlined in the full report starting on page 6. 

Link to the full report

Contact us if you have any questions.

Role of the Steering Committee 

  • Policy and risk tolerance discussions and decisions
  • Communicate and advocate with executive leadership project plan, updates, ongoing feedback/input, and finalized communication/implementation plans
  • Advice, feedback and recommendations for project proposals and solutions in each of the areas addressed in the overall project plan
  • Lead and communicate change management

Steering Committee Members

Mike Green, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Committee Chair
Andrea Ballinger, Vice Provost for University Information and Technology, CIO
Roy Haggerty, Dean, College of Science
Cathy Hasenpflug, Chief Human Resources Offices, Assoc. Vice President for Human Resources
Dan Larson, Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Javier Nieto, Dean, College of Public Health and Human Sciences
Patti Snopkowski, Chief Audit Executive
Jennifer Creighton, Executive Director of Finance Operations

Project Team Work

  • Created a high level action plan addressing each of the findings to present to the Steering Committee and university leadership by June 30, 2018.
  • Convene stakeholders and experts from across the division and university, creating sub-committees/teams as appropriate, to take a deeper dive into the recommendations to identify opportunities and challenges and create and support strategic, creative and collaborative solutions.
  • Develop and/or assist sub-committees/teams with developing specific timelines and implementation plans for the recommended solutions.
  • Create and deliver communication updates throughout the project to stakeholders across the university.

Project Team Members

Kayla Campbell, Analyst - Office of Budget & Fiscal Planning
Tammy Jennings, Director - HR Service Center
Melora Park, Research Program Administrator - College of Forestry
Lissa Perrone, Director - Business Affairs
Marion Rossi, Associate Dean - College of Liberal Arts
Lisa Silbernagel, Finance & Accounting Manager - HSBC
Amanda Watts, Managing Fiscal Coordinator - VP for Research

Beaver Works Milestones and Updates

With the collaboration of our talented employees and university stakeholders, the Beaver Works (business operations) Core Project Team has compiled a complete business operations inventory. 

Inventory of Business Operations Tasks