BC Connector masthead Winter 2017-18


Message from the Director

By Linda Powell, Director, OSU Shared Services

Weatherford Hall in Winter

This winter’s issue of the BC Connector is informative and entertaining, with stories of how the AMBC functions uniquely among business centers and highlighting how one of your colleagues earned her MBA while working full time. It includes several useful technology tips and tricks and an update on the many ways DocuSign is being used inside and outside the business centers.

You are probably also interested in the status of Business Operations Review, which was completed at the end of 2017. Vice president Mike Green recently shared Baker Tilley’s final report with the employees of Business Centers, Business Affairs and the Office of Budget and Fiscal Planning. The report includes a number of observations and recommendations.

Speaking recently to a group of division managers, vice president Mike Green reiterated his message that no specific decisions have yet been made about how the recommendations will be implemented. He is convening an advisory committee and hiring a project manager who will assist leadership in determining how best to realign the university’s business operations with the needs of the community.

This process, according to Mike, will take one to two years and will include a wide range of work groups and input sessions. We encourage all of you to participate in the process, providing feedback and participating on project teams as the opportunities arise. I also want to remind you that my door is open—as are those of the business center managers—if you have specific questions or concerns that you’d like to discuss during the implementation phase.

Thanks to you all for your hard work and dedication to the success of the business centers and the university. I wish you a delightful transition from winter to spring, when our next issue comes out.

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Spotlight on AMBC

By April Cummings, Accountant, AMBC

Agriculture scenes AMBC

The Agricultural Sciences and Marine Sciences Business Center (AMBC) was the sixth business center to be created and, with 29 employees, is one of the largest. It is also the only business center to be split between two cities: Corvallis and Newport. The larger office is located in Hovland Hall on-campus and serves the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Marine Studies Initiative. The smaller Newport office is located at the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) and serves HMSC, the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies, Marine Mammal Institute, and the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station. Uniquely, the coastal units served by AMBC also work with two other business centers, FOBC and UABC, due to the different operations housed in Newport. The Newport office is now fully staffed after two recent hires, but the Corvallis office is preparing to say goodbye to Itsue Pfund, finance and accounting manager, who is retiring in June after 36 years with the university.  

The College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS) is the founding college of Oregon State, dating to 1868. Today, it has 14 departments and various centers, institutes and programs, such as Oregon Wine Research Institute and the Small Farms Program. There are many hands-on opportunities for learning in the college. One example is the Steer-A-Year program, where students learn about all aspects of cattle management while raising a steer for meat, which is then sold to the OSU community at the end of the program. Also included in the college are 11 agricultural experiment stations scattered in 13 locations throughout the state. The experiment stations conduct research on a variety of agricultural products, such as potatoes, berries, pears, onions, oysters, and cattle. An up-and-coming addition to CAS is the Oregon Quality Foods and Beverage Center, as the legislature has approved $9 million in state bond funding toward its construction. 

In fall 2016, the Marine Studies Initiative office was established, with the AMBC as the supporting business center. Two new buildings are planned for construction in Newport to support the marine studies program. In addition, HMSC is undergoing some changes, as they are doing a major remodel to the visitor center. They expect to re-open part of the visitor center in February, with the remainder opening by late spring. There are many other exciting projects going on at the coast including the dulse research project, which has been in the news due to this seaweed’s bacon flavor. The Marine Mammal Institute is partnering with the state of Oregon to launch a new grey whale license plate. A portion of the proceeds from this new license plate will benefit the Marine Mammal Institute’s research.    

AMBC staff work hard to provide quality support to our customers, whose wide-ranging work requires the ability to respond to a variety of needs. At the same time, the AMBC team also likes to have fun together. A favorite AMBC activity are monthly potlucks, where the fabulous cooks and bakers in the business center get to share their culinary creations.  Lunch is usually followed by a fun game or short teambuilding activity.  The business center does other fun activities throughout the year and is an active participant in the food drive every February.

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Did you Know? Tech Tips and Tricks

By Kelsey Herman, Finance Coordinator, FOBC; and Kayla Campbell, Accountant, BEBC

Computer help


2-Minute Labor Distribution Report

Sample Labor distribution reportIf you need a quick and easy way to show labor distributions for an individual or group over a specific period of time, this is the tool for you.

Easy instructions for creating the labor distribution report can be found in this PDF document.

Our Business Center primarily uses this report in two ways.

  1. To share with faculty so they can easily see how the labor for their research groups has been charged over a period of time. This helps them with decision making and they can alert us if anything looks wrong.
  2. To determine how many months of effort were charged to a particular index or project over a certain period of time. To do this, multiply the percentages in the report by the employee’s FTE for the month and then sum the results. This helps to ensure we are meeting the requirements for committed effort on sponsored projects.

If you have any questions or comments on this report, or if you would like to see a screen recording of how to create the report, please feel free to reach out to Kelsey Herman.


Bulk Journal Voucher Upload Tool

We bring to your attention to an amazing tool that has been around for a couple years: the JV Upload! This upload function is for use on journal vouchers that exceed 20 lines of entry. Journal voucher imageInstead of manually entering the data into Banner, you can upload all of your transactions, including FOATEXT, into Banner from an Excel spreadsheet! We typically already have this data in Excel format since we obtain our transactions reports out of JasperSoft or Core. This has been a great time-saving tool for our Business Center. It’s been great for moving 40199 transactions at year-end, adding activity codes, changing indexes, etc.

Currently, the JV Upload tool does not work for budget JVs.

Click here for a very simplified JV Upload template.

About the template:

  • The System ID is the Unique ID that Business Affairs should have provided each Business Center.
  • The Doc Code is left blank.
  • Record Types
    • Record Type 1 is the line that has the sum of the debits and credits.
    • Record Type 2 is for your debit/credit lines.
    • Record Type 4 is for your FOATEXT. You may need to scroll farther to the right to see the FOATEXT column.
    • You can add additional lines for Record Type 2 and 4!
    • In my example I simplified it to just to two lines for my debit/credit and two lines of FOATEXT.
    • Trans_Date must be in DD-MMM-YYYY format.
    • Trans_Amt must be in number format with 2 decimal spaces.

Brief Instructions:

  • Update your template with your data.
  • Save as a CSV File comma delimited.
  • In Banner, go to GYALOAD. Select your File and input code FGR0130. Select Upload.
  • In Appworx, go to FGR0130. Select your file you uploaded, enter the date (same as the transaction date in the file you uploaded), and enter your Unique BC System ID. Run Report.
  • You should receive an email that there was either an error or that it uploaded correctly.
  • If there were errors, read errors outlined in attachment of email and correct. You may need to re-upload your file to GYALOAD in Banner and rerun the Appworx process.
  • If everything uploaded correctly, go into Banner (FGAJVCD), and complete your JV. Your JV will then route through the approval queue.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kayla Campbell.


Benefits of using Box

In addition to shared drives, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive, Oregon State has another storage solution available: Box.  Everyone with an Oregon State email address already has access to the Box system.Box logo

Box has unlimited data storage and you can access anytime, anywhere, on any device. There are even Apps for your phone.

One of the great things about Box is the use of institutional or organization folders. Like most programs, every folder and file uploaded or created in Box is owned by an account. If someone leaves OSU, after a period of time their account is deleted from Box, along with all the files they owned/uploaded in Box. Just think of all the lost information!  If you setup an institutional or organizational folder, it will not be deleted when the creating person’s account goes away as the folder is owned by the system account no matter who created it. 

Box is especially useful for documents developed collaboratively or used by work teams. Flexible permission levels allows a Box user to share access to folders or only individual documents, with people both inside and outside the university.

Click here to access Box: http://box.oregonstate.edu/

Here you can find recordings of information sessions! http://box.oregonstate.edu/getting-started-box

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Professional Development Spotlight – Consider MBA Opportunities

By Jack Breen III, Manager, UABC

With contributions from Pia-Wah Sim (AMBC), Olivia Heath (College of Business) and Laura Shimabaku (UABC)

Business graph image


Some business center employees recently attended a presentation by Olivia Heath from the College of Business and Laura Shimabuku from the University Administrative Business Center to better understand MBA opportunities.

Pia-Wah Sim shares her inspirational story regarding completion of her MBA as an employee of the Agricultural Sciences and Marine Sciences Business Center (AMBC). This article also includes further information from Olivia and Laura regarding options for your consideration.

Sim’s Story

Pia-Wah Sim at graduation with Jack Breen IIIPursuing a graduate degree is my American dream. Born and raised in Singapore in the era when there were only two local universities, the hope of attending college was very slim especially being an average student. I am deeply thankful to my family and friends and my community who helped me make this dream possible while in America. While pursing my MBA part-time, I also worked full-time in the AMBC as an accountant supporting the Department of Horticulture. My work and my school are closely related in the sense that doing efforts in one area—school or work—will ultimately help me achieve success in the other area. My ultimate career goal (and to satisfy my self-esteem needs) is to be a technical contributor, to lead project teams and provide value-added services to customers.

I chose the MBA Accounting program because I wanted to get a deeper understanding of accounting standards and policies and to keep up with latest developments in this ever-changing business environment. In the accounting program, we analyze accounting standard-setting problems and the latest developments in financial reporting frameworks. In my MBA program, there was also strong emphasis on professional ethics; accountants are required to embrace professional ethics while serving the interest of the public. Professional ethics is ever so important when corporate accountants have the options to choose an accounting treatment that makes the financial report look the best as opposed to the one that most accurately reflects the financial condition. An unethical approach to financial reporting can make accounting reports unreliable and incomparable.

Working full-time and doing school part-time is never easy,  even for mature students. I learned to stay focused, prioritize activities, and think of the most efficient way to get work done. Making to-do lists, using the outlook reminder calendar, and staying healthy and fit are some of the things I do to be productive and achieve my goals. Of course, I have to choose my sacrifice. Instead of watching my favorite television program, gardening, or baking, I used that time to study and complete assignments. I planned my work and study around my family schedule to maintain a healthy work-life balance. The noon classes worked very well with my flexible work schedule because I could be away for two hours and return to take care of business—thanks to my supportive supervisors! Overall, I feel that being a mature student helped me start and finish my program with more direction and commitment.

I completed my program in June 2016 after four years of hard work and perseverance. MBA courses helped sharpen my skills to develop critical thinking and make professional judgements. I understand the importance of accounting reports that are accurate, relevant, reliable and timely will help my Department Head and principal investigators make sound decisions and plan resource allocations such as hiring or expansion of a special program. Sound decisions will ultimately contribute to the successful research and education mission of OSU. The MBA core classes also taught me soft skills of leadership to manage projects and work as a team. I practice soft skills of leadership through positive attitude, building relationships with the team to solve problems, and motivating team members to focus on our goals. With those skills on hand, when the opportunity came up, I asked for more challenging duties to be added to my already busy workload. Recently my position was reclassified from Accountant 2 to Fiscal Coordinator 2. I am grateful for OSU’s staff tuition benefits, flexible work schedule, and an environment for learning and growth.


Olivia’s Top 10 Key Points and Contact Information

MBA studentsTop 10 highlights that OSU Employees should know about the OSU MBA program:

  1. The MBA is customizable- We offer a variety of tracks to choose from with our Corvallis MBA programs. We also offer a graduate certificate in Business Analytics.
  2. The MBA is flexible—Our programs are designed so you don’t have to quit your job to earn your MBA. With part-time, evening, and online formats, you can pursue the program at a pace and schedule that fits your life.
  3. The MBA values academic and professional diversity—you don’t have to have a business major or background to pursue an MBA. Our students come from diverse backgrounds including forestry, finance, technology, engineering, agriculture, and many more!
  4. The MBA focuses on learning through applied projects—Faculty bring students and industry together to find solutions to problems that companies face in managing or growing their businesses. All MBA tracks conclude with a Capstone Project that has a real world impact.
  5. The MBA has rolling admission—While we encourage most students to start in the Fall term, you can begin the program in any term. Our admission and academic advising team will work with you to determine the best time for you to start the MBA program.
  6. The MBA builds community—You’ll build a lifelong network of peers, alumni, faculty and executive mentors who are committed to your success and career advancement.
  7. The MBA program has a high standard of excellence—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation is considered the global standard for business school. Only 25 percent of business schools in the U.S. have earned this distinction, and the OSU College of Business is proud to hold this elite designation.
  8. The MBA program is worth the investment—2017 industry reports show the median starting salary for MBA graduates at an 83% premium versus bachelor’s degree graduates.
  9. The MBA program has a recruiter that wants to meet with you—Schedule an appointment with Olivia Heath to learn more about the programs, the application process, and admission timelines.
  10. The MBA program participates in the OSU Tuition Reduction Program—You will work with your Business Center HR Consultants, the Student Finance Office, and Payroll to submit paperwork and determine tax implications for your graduate education.


Laura’s Description of Staff Fee Benefits and Contact Information

Oregon State University offers certain employees the opportunity to register for courses and receive a reduced tuition rate for a maximum of 12 credit hours. Employees appointed to at least a 0.50 FTE for at least 90 days are eligible for the benefit; this does not include part-time employees at less than 0.50 FTE, temporary employees, graduate assistants and other student employees. The staff rate is 30% of the resident per credit hour tuition and employees are not required to pay the mandatory fees, but they must pay any applicable course and resource fees at 100%. Staff fee forms are due each term by the deadline to your Business Center Contact.  Please visit the Tuition Reduction website for more information and for your specific Business Center contact.

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Update on Technology Systems: DocuSign Options

By Jack Breen III, Manager, UABC, and Brad Dennis, DocuSign Product Manager

Computer signature

DocuSign is being used more and more frequently at Oregon State. We’re sharing how this technology is being used by your colleagues, and we provide some additional insights. Many of you have been effectively been using DocuSign for sending and routing documents—OSU now has over 450 document senders.

DocuSign uses: At this point, the system is primarily used to route internal university documents for signature. Here are some DocuSign options with a link to instructions:

Labor distributions (near the bottom of the Forms section)

Payroll forms

OSU Foundation signer sheets

Travel Reimbursement Entry System (TRES) forms

Other uses have included travel authorizations, no-cost extensions, PAR forms, unapproved time sheets, wire transfers, requests for use of E&G funds for student awards, invoices, pre-award spending authorizations, departmental advances, Agricultural Research Foundation (ARF) payment requests and proposals, lost receipt forms, Banner Access forms and many others. You can become a Sender and route any form you use regularly through DocuSign. Please contact Jack Breen [LINK] if you have questions about using DocuSign with a particular form.

Becoming a sender: If you have not already done so, review the signing and sending videos on the Resources/Senders tabs of the OSU DocuSign website. This will take about 15 minutes. Submit an application for promotion to sender, which is called “Sender Access Request” and is located on the same page as the links to the videos.  Then log into DocuSign by clicking the “OSU Sign In” link on the main web page to create your basic viewer account.  Once your access request has been signed by your supervisor, you will be promoted from viewer to sender.

Using the address book: When sending a document, use the DocuSign address book to insure you pick the correct email address for recipients who may have multiple OSU email addresses.  Click on the address book icon and then enter part of the recipient’s name. Selecting the name from the contacts list insures that the recipient will be able to open the document.

Submitting a new idea: The DocuSign team is OSU is seeking new ideas. They would be pleased if you submitted a form design request. OSU is using Business Process Reengineering to ensure successful implementation of the more complex DocuSign projects.

Many thanks to you: Business center personnel have been the most extensive users of DocuSign. While more work is yet to be done, the program’s initial success belongs to users like you who have transitioned early and implemented the use of DocuSign in your work processes.

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What’s in a Name?  OSU and Building Name Evaluation        

By Scott Lommers, Buyer, AABC

Benton Hall OSU

At OSU recently, the question “What’s in a name?” has taken on a new, significant meaning. The names of buildings across campus, especially when named after an individual, can contain generations of historical meaning. Those same building names can speak to a university’s values and history, both positively and negatively. Universities across the country have recently taken steps regarding possible renaming of certain buildings, including Princeton University, Brown University, University of North Carolina, and the University of Oregon, among many others.

Recognizing this, President Ray brought together three groups starting in March of 2016 to review the naming and history behind five buildings that were under general community concern: the Architectural Naming Committee, the Building and Place Name Evaluation Subcommittee and the Building and Place Name Evaluation Workgroup.

The five buildings the committees researched were:

  • Arnold Dining Center
  • Avery Lodge
  • Benton Hall
  • Benton Annex (Women’s Center)
  • Gill Coliseum

The groups performed meticulous and reasoned study on the history and namesake of each building, including, in part:

  • Teams of scholars from Oregon State and the broader Oregon higher education community came together to research, interview and produce historical reports on the namesakes of the buildings in question.  Those reports can be found here.
  • Six community engagement sessions held at OSU where individuals were able to offer input and perspectives.
  • An informational website, which informed the community about the process and provided an online feedback form was posted to gather information.
  • Letters and e-mails on the issue were gathered and discussed within the Building and Place Name Evaluation Workgroup.
  • Finally, the Building and Place Name Evaluation Workgroup met with President Ray to discuss the findings, while the Architectural Naming Committee did the same a few days later.

After hearing the recommendations of the committees, President Ray decided to retain the names of both Gill Coliseum and Arnold Dining Center. However, President Ray determined that Avery Lodge, Benton Hall, and Benton Annex would all receive new names. The new name for Benton Hall will recognize the contributions of Benton County residents in the 1860’s and 1870’s that supported the founding of Oregon State University. The new name for Benton Annex will recognize the building as the long-time home to the Women’s Center.

A website will be launched in mid-March of 2018 to allow OSU students and staff, as well as community members, to make suggestions for new names of the three buildings in question.  At the same time, three new committees, one for each building, will come together to evaluate possible new names.  Stakeholders in each committee will include students, faculty, community members and representative users of each building. In early April, each of the three committees will present their recommendations to the Architectural Naming Committee, who in turn will make their final thoughts known to President Ray. After considering the input from all sources, President Ray will most likely pick the new building names in mid-April. 

Detailed information on the evaluation process, evaluation criteria and the future plans for the five buildings can be found at the OSU Building and Place Names website.

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