By Linda Powell, Director, OSU Shared Services
Welcome to the Fall issue of the BC Connector. There is a chill in the morning air and University spaces are bustling with people and energy. Hard to believe it, but it’s Back to School time! There are so many exciting things happening in the Business Centers, as you will read in this issue, and there is also a lot of incremental progress being made behind the scenes toward long-term solutions for some of our most challenging issues.
The Shared Services Key Strategies continue to guide our work. In order to continue to provide exemplary customer service, Business Center teams worked quickly to develop an interim solution to a snag in the student hiring process that arose during the switch to the new PeopleAdmin7 system. We now have the option of using Banner Quick Flow processes to speed the hiring of student employees into the system. Business Center HRMs continue to work with the Office of Human Resources and Information Services to correct the issue for the long term. A special note of thanks to UABC who test drove the Quick Flow processes, and to OHR who developed user guides and training sessions. BC Human Resources professionals are using this streamlined process as we speak.
The Fiscal Policy Process Lean Team is challenging the status quo through continuous process improvement, by developing a structural framework for OSU to develop and manage policies, reviewing them on a regular basis in a way that invites community input. This project is focused on fiscal policies, but it offers a model for effective and open policy development across OSU. You can read in this issue about how Business Center staff members are relentlessly pursuing operational excellence University-wide in developing and participating in projects like eSignature and eProcurement technology.
All of us have the opportunity to foster employee engagement and job satisfaction by nominating one of our colleagues for a DFA Employee Award. If you know someone who exemplifies OSU values through their actions, or regularly goes above and beyond the call of duty to help customers and coworkers, make sure we all know about it! And please act fast—nominations close on September 23. We also encourage everyone to register to attend this year’s Annual Employee Awards and Meeting on Thursday, October 6. Award winners will be celebrated, and Mike Green, Interim Vice President for Finance & Administration, will update us on the division’s work on a new Strategic Plan and the status of the search for a new Vice President. And don’t forget about Training Days, coming up on November 8-9. Look for an email soon from the Office of Human Resources with details about workshops and how to sign up.
As we start a new school year, I want to thank each and every member of the Business Centers for your hard work and dedication to the students, faculty and staff of Oregon State University. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made together, and the exiting initiatives we are working on for the benefit of future Beavers.
By Scott Lommers, Buyer, AABC
With the new school year upon us, it’s the perfect time to contemplate transportation safety at OSU. Whether on foot, skateboard, bike, car or bus, everyone can do their part to make the daily migration across campus safe for all.
The easiest and most common method of travel within the borders of OSU’s main campus is by foot. However, bicycles, cars and buses also make their way across campus, so pedestrians must always be aware of their surroundings. To stay safe while walking:
OSU has been recognized as a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly University, so it’s no wonder that up to 30% of students bike to or around campus. As OSU employees, we can also take advantage of the multitude of benefits for bikers on campus. Biking to work is a great way to save money, save the environment and improve health.
To stay safe while on two wheels, remember:
The OSU Beaver Bus is a quick and safe way to move across campus. It operates from 7:00am to 7:00pm and you’ll never have to wait long for the next bus to arrive. Find routes and pickup times, and download the Beaver Bus App at the Transportation Services website.
Extend your trips beyond campus by riding the city bus. It’s free for everyone in the community! Get route details at the Corvallis Transit System website.
OSU Transportation Services provides support for a range of alternatives to driving. Check out your other transportation options like ride sharing. However you choose to get around campus, be aware and be safe!
Help us keep the BC Connector fresh and interesting! The BC Communication Coordinating Committee invites volunteers to submit newsletter stories.
Is your team working on a great idea you want to share? Are you interested in learning more about other departments we work with? Have an inspiring story about a colleague? Tell us all about it!
You don’t have to have amazing writing chops to participate—you provide the background details and we can help bring your story to life. Share your stories and ideas with us at BC.Comm@oregonstate.edu.
New eProcurement System is Bringing Benefits to Oregon State
By Mark Johnson, Business Center Manager, ASBC
You may have already heard something about Oregon State’s new eProcurement project. This exciting initiative is just getting started, and we want to share what we know and what you can expect. The project will establish an automated purchasing system for OSU employees using an online shopping environment (known as a “Marketplace”). When the new system is fully implemented it will provide the following services to users:
This is a transformational project for OSU, requiring feedback and collaboration from many different groups across the University. The Project Implementation Team has begun conducting preplanning meetings with various stakeholders, including Linda Powell, Director of Shared Services, Business Center Managers, and Finance and Accounting Managers to discuss project challenges, opportunities, and key considerations for a successful launch.
There will be many more opportunities for Business Center employees and other work groups to provide feedback and ask questions. An Advisory Group will include representatives from Business Centers, Purchasing & Contracts, Business Affairs, and people from other departments and colleges. This group will meet regularly throughout the design and implementation process, inviting input from key stakeholders and subject-matter experts. A smaller Focus Group that will include Business Center representatives and key system users will meet during the implementation phase to provide critical analysis and insight. Additionally, frequent Listening Sessions are planned throughout the project to provide updates to and collect input from the OSU community. Keep an eye out for opportunities to be involved!
The eProcurement Project Implementation Team is led by Kelly Kozisek, Chief Procurement Officer; Tamara Gash, Assistant Procurement Director; and Cindy Sprenger, Project Manager. The Executive Steering Committee includes Mike Green, Ron Adams, Linda Powell, Lissa Perrone, Lois Brooks, and Patti Snopkowski (advisory role). The Steering Committee will meet regularly throughout the project to direct efforts and decision-making on critical system considerations.
This project is expected to roll out in two phases. Phase One will include ePro, AP, and Vendor Management and is expected to kick-off just after Thanksgiving 2016, with an anticipated pilot in Summer 2017. Phase Two is expected to begin in Summer 2017.
This very broad project overview is just the beginning. Further information will be coming as we roll into fall. Stay tuned!
By Kayla Campbell, Accountant, BEBC
Don't have time to sift through all the CORE reports? Highlighted below are a few accounting and finance CORE Reports that I think are pretty nifty! Check them out! If you have any favorites that you think everyone should know about, let me know and it might be in the next issue of the BC Connector! The Business Intelligence Center (BIC) also has the top 10 most popular CORE Reports listed on the front page of their website.
FS Index Unreimbursed Transactions
Easy to see which FS indices need to be reimbursed without checking one by one.
Direct Payment Request Status
Easy to look up the status of a OSUF direct payment by vendor. Gives vendor, date, description, amount, and check #
Transaction/Payroll Ledger Detail
Can put in Multiple Indices. Lists expenses and payroll transactions. Includes name with payroll information!
Open Encumbrances by Index
Can enter Multiple Indices. Lists open encumbrances by index.
Fund Balance Statement
Quickly find starting balance, debits/credits, and ending balance.
Don't forget to save your favorite reports with the new favorites feature! Click this icon: You can then access them from the My Favorites button at the top of the uReports Page.
Important! The FIS Data Warehouse is going offline December 31,2016, so start migrating those reports now! There are several options to do this.
For a list of training opportunities, please see the OSU professional development website. Remember that you need to register for the classes listed below.
BC Professional Development: Earn Professional Human Resources Certifications at OSU
By Stacy Nedry-Johnson, Human Resources Consultant, ASBC
Increasingly, Human Resources professionals are seeking certifications, which provide a widely-recognized way to demonstrate HR knowledge and training. The HR Certification Institute certifies Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR); the Society for Human Resources Management offers Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) designations.
OSU Shared Services brought certification training to OSU in Fall 2014. By now offering the program through the Professional and Continuing Education group, OSU has extended the opportunity to all current HR employees to participate in a one-term certification preparation course taught on campus one evening a week. HR competencies and application are taught during the course, and are then demonstrated by the employee if they chose to pay for and take the HRCI or SHRM certification test(s).
Twenty-four current Business Center HR and OHR employees have taken advantage of this opportunity to expand their HR knowledge base by earning professional certifications. This speaks highly of our Business Center HR employees and their commitment to stay current in their applicable human resources knowledge and trends. Staff members have shared appreciation for our Shared Services Management Team for sponsoring such an important preparatory course to keep our HR employees educated and informed about current HR policies.
This valuable opportunity is once more returning for BC employees. Get more information about the OSU SHRM Certification Prep course available online or onsite in Corvallis and Salem.
By Kayla Campbell, Accountant, BEBC
We all have that email that we have to send over and over again. The content doesn't change much. Most people save that email as a draft or copy it from a Word document into a new email. Whether you are sending an email to someone to correct their timesheet, informing them that purchases greater than $5,000 require a purchase order, or that their monthly reports are attached; Quick Parts can help! It saves a selection of text in a list for you to easily access. Quick Parts can be found in a new email message under the insert section on the ribbon.
Check out these instructions for creating Quick Parts. Once you setup your Quick Parts it is ready for use! You can insert the saved text by selecting the Quick Parts menu and choosing the desired section. You can also start typing the title of the Quick Parts section in the body of the email and it will auto populate the text! To make Quick Parts even more accessible add it to your Quick Access Toolbar or the Message ribbon.
Contact Kayla Campbell with questions.
By Brad Dennis, Business Center Manager, AABC
Five years ago, my realtor sent me an email containing a link to a contract to sign. When I clicked on the link, I was taken to a secure DocuSign webpage containing the document. This was fantastic! I didn’t have to find a time to meet the realtor and then feel pressured to hurry up and sign the contract. Instead, I was able to carefully review the contract language in the evening at home. I remember thinking how e-signature software could dramatically improve many processes at OSU.
Fast forward to 2016. OSU now is licensed to use DocuSign and we have high-level support for implementing the technology. Many ideas have been suggested related to how we might use this software to our benefit. Within Shared Services, we created a prototype to show how students might complete their hiring paperwork with DocuSign. The Graduate School and Extension Service also created interesting prototypes related to signing off on graduate committee exam cards and collecting thousands of annual volunteer forms. Imagine how we might get signatures on important documents anywhere that internet service is available! I believe that this new capability can change our work, reduce the time to get actions completed – and allow us to provide better service to our customers. I am excited about the possibilities. The software will allow us to re-imagine processes and to design better ways to do various aspects of our work.
The procurement of the software was made possible by a 3-year commitment from the “Investors Council,” which includes Lois Brooks, Kent Kuo, Mike Green, Linda Powell, Donna Chastain, Jennifer Dennis, Scott Reed, Patti Snopkowski and Dan Whitinger (OSUF). A Steering Committee has been designated by the Investors Council to help define priorities of projects, create plans for business process reengineering, and provide direction for the creation of a data dictionary to provide consistency in how form fields are named.
I’ve been asked by Linda Powell and Kent Kuo to help roll out this new software, not just for Shared Services, but all of OSU. I have agreed to a plan that would give me time to work on this project for a period of 12 months, beginning in early October. During this time, 75% of my effort will be devoted to the e-signature implementation with the remaining 25% working in AABC. A development opportunity will be created for an acting Business Center Manager during the time I am working on the DocuSign project.
Let’s all start thinking creatively about how me might use DocuSign to improve our forms and workflow!
By Kelsey Herman, Accountant, FOBC
OSU Shared Services is always looking for talented individuals to work on our teams. And because OSU produces stellar students, many Business Centers have benefited from hiring full-time employees who gained valuable knowledge and experience working as OSU student employees. This quarter, we’ll share some of their stories.
Although she probably didn’t know it at the time, Kim Cholewinski’s career at OSU began when she was still a student. While majoring in Nutrition and Food Management with an option in dietetics, Kim worked for three different units on campus: the College of Education where she was first introduced to Human Resources, Lane County Extension where she worked as a Student Nutrition Assistant, and the College of Agricultural Science where she primarily assisted the HR analyst. “My experience working with the HR analyst in the College of Ag gave me the most exposure to HR and led to my career in HR...I learned so much and worked with amazing people.” Kim is now an HRC2 in HSBC where she supports students, faculty, and staff in the College of Public Health and Human Science—the College in which she earned her degree! Kim stressed that it was her time working as a student employee that first broadened her experience and perspective of the business world. “I will forever be thankful to my advocates, mentors, and cheerleaders in the College [of Agriculture].”
Kayla Campbell had already decided on a career in accounting when she began working for ASBC as a student employee. As a junior in OSU’s accountancy program, she gained real-world experience with ASBC in her chosen field. “It was great…I loved coming to work. Everyone was very interested in my school work and really pushed me to exceed!” Kayla explained. “I also loved doing specials projects. I was always being given new things to do, which is part of the reason I wanted to keep working at the University.” Upon graduation, Kayla earned an Accounting Tech position at ASBC where she was later promoted to an Accountant. Because she loves learning new things and tackling new projects, Kayla has worked as an accountant in ASBC, Business Affairs, UABC and BEBC, where she currently resides. “The Business Centers are all so different so it is always new and exciting to learn how each one operates differently. It has given me the opportunity to see different perspectives and processes.”
While majoring in Finance with an Animal Science minor, Meaghan Deitz found opportunity to grow both socially and professionally while working as a student employee for the College of Veterinary Medicine. Meaghan worked in the Dean’s Office performing clerical work, the Business Office doing clerical and accounting work, and she also cleaned animal stalls. “Cleaning animal stalls allowed me to work with friends, create my own hours (more or less), and earn a few extra bucks…the Business Office and Dean’s Office allowed me to build valuable experience and understanding of how the University operates,” Meaghan told us. During the summer, she tried out internships at large corporations, but found that she felt more at home in the university setting. So, in choosing a career path after graduation, OSU seemed like a great place to start because of opportunities to grow personally and professionally, both vertically and laterally. Meaghan began her full time career as a temporary accounts payable manager in the College of Oceanographic and Atmospheric Science Business Office. She continued to apply for open positions within her unit and worked her way to her current position of Finance and Accounting Manager of FOBC, where she oversees accounting and finance functions for the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science. “I feel very fortunate to have found success here at OSU. I would encourage OSU students to consider a career here…by looking into student work opportunities and considering what might translate into a career after graduation.”
Kim, Kayla and Meaghan are just three examples of people who started working at Business Centers as a part-time job while they pursued higher education. They found a welcoming environment that allowed them to broaden their skills and interests, and they chose to make it a long-term home.
By Scott Lommers, Buyer, AABC
Last quarter, the BC Connector highlighted Business Center staff members who are currently pursuing degrees. In this issue, you can read about three people who started working in Business Centers as students and later became full time employees. The State of Oregon’s Tuition Reduction Benefit for employees of higher education institutions makes these scenarios possible for many of us.
All seven Oregon Public Universities offer employees reduced tuition rates for regular courses. This is an exceptional opportunity for Shared Services employees and their family members to start, or expand, their education.
OSU employees must be in a position with at least .50 FTE and be at the position for a minimum of 90 days to be eligible for the tuition reduction. Excluded from the tuition reduction are part-time employees at less than .50 FTE, temporary employees, grad assistants and student employees. If eligible, employees may register for up to 12 credit hours per term at the reduced rates.
The rules allow for transfer of the tuition reduction benefit to someone in your family. If you do this, there are a few things to keep in mind:
The employee must complete a Staff Fee Form each and every term in which they want to receive tuition reduction.
The current staff rate is 30% of the normal resident per credit hour undergraduate tuition. Again, up to 12 credits can be taken at that reduced rate. While employees are not required to pay mandatory fees, they do need to pay course and resource fees. Be aware, though, that family members receiving transferred benefits must pay all fees. Contact your BC HR team for details.
This is a fabulous benefit of being employed at Oregon State University. Take advantage of it!
Questions? Comments? Contact Us.