By Linda Powell, Director, OSU Shared Services
The beautiful Oregon summer is upon us, and with it comes this latest version of the BC Connector newsletter. The BC Communication Committee has done a fabulous job of rounding up a range of articles designed to interest and inform you, so take a break from your fiscal year-end duties and catch up on what’s happening!
In the Spring issue, we surveyed BC Connector readers to get a sense of what you want to see in the newsletter. We received responses from a small cross-section of all seven Business Centers. The most popular categories are the technology tips and information about university-wide changes. You will find those topics well-represented in this issue, with articles about going paperless with DocuSign, customizing your Outlook settings, details about the future of the Nolij document management system, and an update on eProcurement roll-out dates. We feature an interview with Tammy Jennings in the Office of Human Resources, about the ongoing collaboration between OHR staff and the Business Centers. And, we offer a sneak peek at one of the University Day Exemplary Award winners—our very own Alan Rudisill with FOBC. (Congratulations, Alan!)
Another university-wide project is the upcoming Business Operations Review. Mike Green, interim Vice President for Finance and Administration, recently sent an email to stakeholders explaining that the university is undertaking a comprehensive review of all business activities—including those within the Business Centers, Business Affairs, and the Budget Office—as well as interactions with other groups across OSU. As the university’s business needs have become more complex, this review is an opportunity to make sure that OSU’s policies, work-flows, technologies and resources are lined up in a way that allows all these departments to work together to seamlessly provide the services, consultation and data required by our partners across the university. We expect Business Center staff will be invited to participate, provide input and make suggestions during late August and September. The project oversight committee will review recommendations later this fall. We will continue to share information about the Business Operations Review as we know more.
Over the last several months, Business Center Managers have been working as a team to tackle some of the same concerns that the Business Operations Review is intended to address. They developed a set of three major goals for Business Centers in the 2017-18 fiscal year, including:
Some aspects of these three goals will overlap with the university-wide Business Operations Review, so Business Center personnel are expected to be closely engaged in both processes, developing and implementing the recommendations that will help achieve the necessary outcomes.
As Oregon State reaches its 150th birthday, it is a good time to remember that evolution in response to challenges and new demands has always been a part of our history—and our future. The actions we are taking now help set the stage for another 150 years of success in educating the people of Oregon and the world. Thank you for being a part of this exciting journey.
By Valerie Mouw, Human Resources Consultant, HSBC
The recent change in reporting structure for Human Resources staff members in the Business Centers—now reporting directly to the central HR office—has many of us wondering how this change affects the important work that we do together in our BCs. Will our working relationships change? Should HR staff in the Business Centers attend business center staff meetings? How should we identify “HR” within the Business Centers? How should the HR in BC’s email ‘signature lines’ read?
We had the chance to ask Tammy Jennings, the new Director of HR Business Partnerships, some of these important questions and here is what she had to say...
What are your thoughts on how our BC/HR working relationships should look like with this change?
Tammy Jennings (Director of HR Business Partnerships): I don’t see the relationship changing; the structure is changing but not the importance of maintaining our connection to the business centers. We should continue to be good partners and collaborators. We all want the same things – to provide quality customer service, operate with integrity and respect, and share information and communicate effectively, among other things. The new reporting structure does bring with it some challenges, but any change brings new challenges as well as new opportunities. Change is hard but I hope we can focus on maximizing the opportunities and facing the uncertainties with optimism. We’ve accomplished a lot of things and made some positive changes in collaboration with our BC partners and I’d like to see us continue that great work.
Should HR staff participate in business center staff meetings?
TJ: Yes. I think we should take every opportunity to stay connected with our BC partners in finance and accounting. I anticipate that the HR Business Partnerships Managers and their HR teams will continue to pursue ways to stay connected to the BC Managers and their teams. We can do this in a number of ways: attending BC meetings, forming work groups that incorporate members from finance and accounting as well as human resources, and taking advantage of informal opportunities for conversation. Since our work has so many overlaps, we want to be vigilant about the impact HR changes have on our finance and accounting partners as well as our customers.
Communication is the key to being effective. In some cases, we may need to be more intentional in creating those opportunities for sharing information and communication. For example, Linda Powell has provided me with the opportunity to participate in the Shared Services Leadership Council meetings each month. It’s a great way for me to hear what challenges the finance and accounting teams are facing and to share information about the HR transition and associated changes. I hope everyone in the business centers will continue to explore and pursue innovative ways to stay connected with our partners.
What should we call HR in the BCs?
TJ: Using you as an example, think of yourself as “Valerie Mouw – serving the human resources needs of the customers of the Health Sciences Business Center.” As far as answering the phone, you might say “HR at HSBC. This is Valerie” or just “Office of Human Resources. This is Valerie.” While we continue to transition, it might be helpful for customers if you identify yourself as “HR at HSBC.” This starts to establish your new connection to the central Office of Human Resources but lets customers know that you are still serving the needs of HSBC.
We have a lot of work to do yet to change the perception of human resources and establish our new identity as “One HR.” We will be commissioning two of our new work groups (the Vision, Mission & Values Work Group and the HR Website Work Group) to begin the initial groundwork for this important undertaking.
How should the BC HR employees email ‘signature line’ read?
TJ: Using Valerie as an example again, email signature lines should be similar to this:
Human Resources Consultant
Office of Human Resources
Health Sciences Business Center
Oregon State University
440 Snell Hall Corvallis, OR 97331
Thank you, Tammy, for some great insight into our questions. We look forward to seeing what this new HR structure has in store for all of us in the future. There will be more to come! Valerie is off to change her email signature right now...
There is still time to register to attend the DFA Annual Awards and Meeting event on July 26. This year, join your friends and colleagues in the Club Level at Reser Stadium for a delicious lunch and updates from the Vice President. Find out who will win cash prizes for going above and beyond expectations to deliver amazing service and work outcomes. It could be you!
By Jack Breen, Janet Chenard, Tiffany Gillis and Shane Turner—UABC
In this series, we profile each business center and how it makes a unique contribution toward Oregon State’s mission and goals.
The University Administrative Business Center (UABC) is a welcoming, enjoyable and diligent group of colleagues dedicated to serving a wide range of units including: Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, Extended Campus, Extension, Finance & Administration, Graduate School, Information Services, International Programs, OSU Libraries, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Research Office, Sea Grant, Undergraduate Studies, University Outreach and Engagement, University Relations and Marketing. UABC also supports the entity that serves all institutions of the former Oregon University System: University Shared Services Enterprise. Prior to July 1, 2017, the UABC served a portion of Student Affairs, which has since been transitioned to the Auxiliaries and Activities Business Center (AABC).
To serve this broad customer base, UABC employees have focused on providing enhanced service through the implementation of process changes and effective coordination of activities. While employees primarily serve a specific group of units, they are very focused on coordinating activities across the business center to produce best results. There is a spirit of helping each other and being friends in the workplace. One way this collegiality is created is through the UABC FUN Committee, which organizes social events throughout the year.
With responsibility for serving over 3,000 employees (including student employees) and overseeing more than $200 million of expenditures (not counting student loan payments), UABC employees are focused on integrity, stewardship, and providing consultation to business partners. For example, UABC employees have been actively involved in the eProcurement project, DocuSign implementation and the Fiscal Policy Process LEAN team.
The UABC offices are located in University Plaza, Suite 100, at the corner of 15th and Western. The UABC recently moved from three offices on the second floor to a single suite of offices on the first floor. It is great to have everyone together.
Here are a few fun facts about the UABC:
By Scott Lommers, Buyer, AABC
The Auxiliaries and Activities Business Center (AABC) has officially moved to University Plaza. AABC joined UABC to become the second business center to reside in the University Plaza complex at Western Blvd and SW 15th St. Now, about a month after the physical move, AABC has finished most of the tedious, small details of the move and has continued to streamline and refine its operations to better serve its partner units.
The AABC continues to have two locations: the AABC SEC office at the Student Experience Center, Suite 350 and the new AABC University Plaza office at Suite 150. The AABC Plaza location will provide human resource and student employment functions, as well as finance and budgeting responsibilities for its E&G funded units. The AABC SEC will continue to provide finance leadership for Student Fee funded units as well as payroll functions for all AABC units.
The move from Poling Hall to University Plaza provides AABC with a streamlined office space, a closer work environment, and cooperation potential with both UABC and Business Affairs at Kerr. The AABC Plaza location will also facilitate face-to-face cooperation and meetings as it moves the AABC physically closer to most of its customers.
AABC co-hosted with UABC an open house in the new University Plaza space on June 15th. AABC showed off its new location on campus, while UABC premiered its new spot within the Plaza. If you missed the official open house gathering, please stop by the new AABC office anytime – they would love to see you!
OSU is kicking off its 150th Anniversary celebration! We will start the celebrations in August 2017, and they will run through October 2018. There will even be a space grant festival during the eclipse on August 19-21, 2017.
This eclipse event marks the first of four festivals this year celebrating 150 years of Oregon State University. Enjoy the eclipse experience by viewing rockets, meteorites, and robots. Learn from experts. Watch a movie under the stars. Stargaze with astronomers!
Keep an eye out for additional information and events as the celebration continues over the upcoming year.
By Kayla Campbell, Accountant, BEBC
Are you looking to streamline your invoice process? Go digital? My goal is to be digital in 5 years. To do this I needed to find a creative solution for invoices. That solution was using the Adobe Stamp feature in Adobe Acrobat Pro. The stamp was a great way to write in the appropriate accounting information digitally.
However, how do the budget authorities sign off on the invoices? DocuSign of course!
DocuSign is the best tool I have used this year! No, I do not receive any compensation from the eSignature team for this endorsement. I genuinely love this product! No longer do I send emails to customers for their approval to pay. I just route it through DocuSign. I even request Fixed Asset information through DocuSign. Need to request more than one signature? Easily add additional signers! Need to set a signing order? No problem! This can all be done in DocuSign.
Everyone with an ONID has access to DocuSign to be a signer. Go here to login and try it out! Electronic signatures are just as enforceable as conventional paper methods.
If you are interested in finding out all the fun ways I use DocuSign, you can reach out to me by email.
By Scott Lommers, Buyer, AABC
As many people have discovered, Outlook is preset to delete meeting requests after you’ve accepted or declined the invitation. Of course, that means any notes or files attached to the meeting request go right into the trash as well. If you ever find the need to refer back to the request, you must search through the deleted items in your Recycle Bin…and hope it hasn’t been emptied.
In theory, this is to help cut down on the clutter flooding through your Inbox. If so, it might be the first time Microsoft Outlook was ever accused of reducing clutter.
If you would rather keep meeting requests in your Inbox, there is a setting to achieve just that.
And that’s that. More clutter. But also much easier to find that information to take to your next meeting.
By Stacy Nedry-Johnson, Human Resources Consultant, ASBC
Oregon State’s annual commencement ceremony is an important and exciting day in the lives of our students. Its success relies on hundreds of volunteers who work hard—and cheerfully—behind the scenes. OSU’s 2017 commencement exercises marked the second year of volunteerism by Carol Thurber, Office Specialist II in the Auxiliaries & Activities Business Center (AABC).
Carol originally decided to volunteer because of a co-worker’s own experience and suggestion, and is now intending to make it an annual event. This year, Carol handed out programs in Parker Plaza, which also involved answering general questions, explaining the lay-out of Reser Stadium and the seating sections for attendees, and pointing out what area their graduate would be located during the ceremony. Her “shift” started at 7:30 a.m. with the setting up of Parker Plaza, and ended around 11:00 a.m. after attendees had been seated in Reser Stadium, and the ceremony was in full swing.
As mentioned earlier, Carol has thoroughly enjoyed volunteering, and highly recommends the opportunity. Her favorite part of the commencement ceremony was the graduate walk from the MU to Reser Stadium. For Carol, the best part about volunteering was the interaction with people from all over the world, and their contagious and proud enthusiasm for the day’s events. Thanks Carol, for representing the Business Centers so well!
By Kayla Campbell, Accountant, BEBC
Do you get tired of eating at your desk during lunch? Do you need to get out of the office? The F&A lunch tours are a great opportunity for employees of the division of Finance and Administration to get some fresh air, mingle with coworkers from different parts of campus, and learn something new about OSU!
Previous outings this year have included the Fermentation Science Facilities tour and OSU Historical tour. I had the opportunity to attend both and they did not disappoint!
We all know about Beaver Classic ™ Cheese. Did you also know that they are busy developing new varieties? This was such a fun tour to see the Pilot Processing Plant and Dairy Lab. We were able to go behind the scenes to see where they make beer, wine, and cheese! Sadly, we were unable to sample any of those delicious creations, but they are for sale periodically on campus and online.
During the OSU Historical tour, we learned the history about several buildings on campus. Did you know Benton County citizens funded Benton Hall? Another fun fact I learned is that there was a heating and power plant located north of Benton Hall built in 1909 that is no longer with us. However, the smokestack still exists as part of Owen Hall. The smokestack serves as a solar heated air return for the building’s heating system!
Our very own archivist at OSU’s Special Collections & Archives Research Center and tour guide, Lawrence A. Landis, wrote a book entitled “A School for the People-A Photographic History of Oregon State University.” If you are, a history buff or someone that loves OSU, this might be the picture book for you. I receive no endorsement for this advertisement!
The next F&A Lunch Tour is August 16, 2017 at the Wave Research Lab. The O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory is home to the Large Wave Flume and the Directional Wave Basin. Find out more this summer about the largest Wave Flume in North America! Register for this and upcoming F&A Lunch Tours at on OSU’s professional development site.
Keep an eye out for these amazing opportunities to go behind the scenes and look at some of the awesome stuff we are doing here at Oregon State. We offer a special shout-out to Beth Bilyeu (Human Resources at ASBC) for organizing the F&A lunch tours! Thank you Beth!
By Kelsey Herman, Accountant, FOBC and Hollie Pitts, Enterprise Computing Services
You may have heard that our current document management system, Nolij, will no longer be supported by the manufacturer as of the end of Summer 2018. Be assured that Enterprise Computing Services (ECS) has begun to review potential replacement options, however no decisions have been made yet. Kent Kuo, the Director of Enterprise Computing Services told us that “the university is exploring various options and opportunities, and anticipates defining the future state for document imaging by the Fall 2017.”
As decisions are made and a strategy developed, Enterprise Computing Services will keep user groups informed of the plans. ECS plans to offer opportunities for Information Services, OSU central business offices and the Business Centers to work together as options are explored. To create effective solutions, ECS will need input from all the parties involved and affected and they plan to engage with a broad coalition of stakeholders as they implement whatever our new solution will be. They definitely need the support of the Business Center personnel in design and testing implementations.
ECS will continue to update Business Center staff as information is available to share. If readers have suggestions or ideas for the new document management system, they can send them to Hollie Pitts.
By Kelsey Herman, Accountant, FOBC
The eProcurement project management team has had a busy spring, hosting several listening sessions and meeting with various stakeholders to ensure the system is implemented in a way that works for all units. FOBC and BEBC will be participating in the pilot launch of Benny Buy and staff members were invited to attend a pilot session where we gained access to the Benny Buy test site and got a high-level overview of the shopper experience.
Launch Schedule as of July 14, 2017 (subject to change):
BennyBuy sample shopping cart
By Kelsey Herman, Accountant, FOBC
Brazilian agate by Alan Rudisill
Each year, Oregon State honors two employees—one classified and one professional faculty—for their dedication to customer service, service projects, university service, leadership, mentoring, self-improvement, efficiency, problem solving, and teamwork. We are proud to share that the classified recipient of the OSU Exemplary Employee award for 2017 is OSU Shared Services’ own Alan Rudisill. This marks the first time that a Business Center employee will receive this honor.
After working in the food service industry for about ten years, Alan was looking for something more stable, with opportunities for growth and full benefits. A Corvallis native, Alan knew that OSU could offer him what he sought which is why he landed here in 2010. Alan has worked in Forestry, Oceanic and Atmospheric Business Center for about seven years. His primary duties have focused on payroll and travel for the College of Forestry but he now oversees payroll for all of FOBC, including Forestry and CEOAS. An avid Beaver fan, Alan also noted that it’s nice to be working for the university he’s rooted for his entire life.
Alan, currently an Accountant 1 in FOBC, was specifically recognized for his ability to offer thoughtful suggestions on process improvements, his willingness to help out where needed while maintaining a high level of work in his regular duties, and for the trust and respect he has built with Forestry and CEOAS customers. I have worked with Alan for about three years and will add that I appreciate his candor, his dedication to clearly communicating information to stakeholders, and his soft-spoken sense of humor. He completes his work with a high level of accuracy and when I have questions on payroll processes or specific payroll issues, I have complete confidence in the information he provides.
When asked how he approaches his work on a day to day basis he responded, “It’s just nice to be part of the OSU/Beaver community. No real philosophy. [I] just try to be the best I can at the duties I manage.” He attributes his success at OSU to “attention to detail, patience, and Penny Wright.”
Outside of work, Alan enjoys cutting and polishing rocks—see the beautiful Brazilian agate pictured above—camping and fishing, spending time with family, and rooting for the Beavers and Blazers.