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

Beaver Works was a portfolio of business operation improvement projects completed between 2017 and 2022, intended to clarify and streamline a wide range of business policies, processes and systems to improve understanding, efficiency and access.

In summer 2017, the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Office of Audit Services commissioned Baker Tilly International to conduct a comprehensive review of 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. They categorized recommendations according to the internal controls framework developed by the enterprise risk management organization, COSO (Committee of Sponsoring Organizations) of the Treadway Commission.

Following Baker Tilly's recommendations, the vice president launched a cross-functional team of leaders and experts within business operations to create a systems approach framework and engage units in targeted improvement projects. This multi-year effort became known as Beaver Works, overseen by the Division of Finance Administration’s project management office.

The Beaver Works Executive Update (PDF), linked below, provides an internal Beaver Works report outlining the various ways OSU has addressed and continues to improve in the challenge areas identified in the Baker Tilly report. The full Baker Tilly Business Operations Best Practice Review report (PDF) is also provided here. In January 2023, Vice President Mike Green provided an update to OSU's Board of Trustees about the ways OSU has met the challenges identified by Baker Tilly. 

Beaver Works Executive Update

Baker Tilly Business Operations Review

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 Steering Committee Role

  • 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, (former) Chief Human Resources Officer, 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

  • Shaun Bromagem, Financial Planning Manager - College of Engineering
  • Kayla Campbell, Analyst - Office of Budget & Fiscal Planning
  • Stephen Nelson, Chief Procurement Manager - Procurement, Contracts, & Materials Management
  • Melora Park, Research Program Administrator - College of Forestry
  • Lissa Perrone, Director - Business Affairs
  • Bonny Ray, Director of Benefits and HR Services - University Human Resources
  • 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