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Message from the Director

OSU welcome people

I am pleased to introduce the premier issue of the OSU Shared Services-Business Center Newsletter! Developed in response to your feedback about the need for better communication between business centers and among employees, the quarterly newsletter is one tool we will use to keep you informed about important issues that affect us all, and provide a way for all of us to share ideas and best practices across the business centers.  We hope you will find it useful and interesting.

OSU Shared Services is the term used to collectively describe all seven Business Centers. Together with the center managers, I work to coordinate across our units and with central partners as we serve our customers—the students, staff, and faculty at Oregon State. I always welcome your insights, feedback, and suggestions about ways we can improve our collaboration, so please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

The OSU Shared Services Leadership team has been making progress on a number of shared goals over the past several months (you’ll hear more about this in a future story.) The Communication Goals Team is excited to meet one of its objectives with the publication of this newsletter. A new BC Communication Coordinating Committee [link to story] will take on development of future newsletter issues, and they will be soliciting your input, ideas and involvement going forward.

But there is a way you can get involved immediately: I think we can all agree that “Business Center Employee Newsletter” is a pretty boring name, so let’s kick off the publication with a Naming Contest! The prize for the best newsletter title is a brand-new Fitbit.  The rules are easy:

  1. Think of an awesome and catchy name.
  2. Email your idea to melanie.rose at oregonstate.edu by May 31, 2016.
  3. The new BC Communication Coordinating Committee will judge the suggestions and recommend a winner, who will be announced in the next newsletter.

With this and future newsletter issues, we plan to keep you informed about a wide range of topics, including recurring features highlighting The Student Experience and Our Community Partners. We will talk about ways to create positive student experiences, and strategies for partnering with the whole OSU community to advance the University’s overall mission. Our individual actions are an important component in making Oregon State a welcoming environment for everyone. The “Students Are…” posters you see hanging in your Business Center are a helpful reminder for all of us about how much our work matters to student success.  

Together with the Communication Goals team, led by Mark Johnson and Jennifer Hill in the ASBC, and the rest of the Business Center managers, I hope you enjoy the newsletter. Feel free to contact your Business Center’s representative on the Communication Committee with any suggestions you have for future articles. Wishing you all the best until next time…Linda

 

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Sharing Goals, Sharing Progress

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Strategic plans are widely used by organizations to articulate a shared vision, set high impact, goals and lay out actions to achieving them. Oregon State uses a Strategic Plan “to guide the University in its aspiration to be among the top land-grant universities in the nation” (OSU Strategic Plan 3.0) In order to align the Division of Finance and Administration’s collective efforts with the University’s strategic plan, the leaders of all DFA units are working together to develop a set of shared objectives for the whole division. These objectives, collected in the first-ever DFA Strategic Plan, will act like a roadmap for each unit’s individual work plans.  

DFA leadership, headed by Ron Adams and Mike Green (Interim Vice Presidents of the DFA), is taking an inclusive approach to developing the DFA Strategic Plan to make sure that each member of every unit can see how their work contributes to our division’s goals and strategies. The main strategic framework should be ready to share with the OSU community by mid-summer. As this work progresses, each DFA unit will determine how to adjust its individual goals and objectives to fit into the DFA Strategic Plan, while developing specific implementation plans.

In the Business Centers, we are guided by our Key Strategies:

  • Providing Exemplary Customer Service
  • Relentlessly Pursuing Operational Excellence
  • Fostering Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction
  • Challenging the status quo through Continuous Process Improvement
  • Nurturing Inclusive Partnerships by Sharing Information and Communicating Effectively

Our Key Strategies fit well within the framework of the University’s Strategic Plan and the initial stages of the DFA’s plan. They will continue to guide the work of the Business Centers, even as we develop specific goals and objectives in support of the Division’s roadmap. Keeping the Strategies in mind as we complete our individual tasks and project collaborations will ensure that we are also making progress on the DFA’s shared overarching goals and objectives.  

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New BC Communication Coordinating Committee

BC Communication Committee members

Committee Members Left to right: Kelsey Herman, Melanie Rose, Scott Lommers, Stacy Nedry-Johnson, Jack Breen, Valerie Mouw, Jared Haddock, Kayla Campbell, Mark Johnson

We know from survey responses that we can feel out of the loop at times; disconnected from what is going on with the Business Centers as a whole, and from the work of the University. The new BC Communication Coordinating Committee was created to help bring us together and ensure a continual flow of information between the Business Centers.

The Communication Coordinating Committee (CCC) consists of seven members, representing each Business Center with a mix of financial and human resources perspectives:

  • Jack Breen, Business Center Manager (AMBC)
  • Kayla Campbell, Accountant 1 (BEBC)
  • Jared Haddock, HR Consultant 2 (UABC)
  • Kelsey Herman, Accountant 1 (FOBC)
  • Scott Lommers, Buyer 2 (AABC)
  • Valerie Mouw, HR Consultant 2 (HSBC)
  • Stacy Nedry-Johnson, HR Consultant 2 (ASBC)

The CCC is chaired by Mark Johnson, ASBC Manager, who also serves on the BC Communications Goal Team. Melanie Rose, executive assistant for DFA strategic communications, is an ex-officio member and advisor to the group.

In addition to developing future issues of the BC Employee Newsletter, committee members will gather information from Business Centers—things like best practices and successful customer solutions—that can be broadcast across OSU Shared Services to help us all be more effective in our work. CCC members will ensure that our joint information resources, like websites and Frequently Asked Questions pages, are kept up to date, and they will act as a sounding board to determine how best we can meet your information needs.

The CCC recently held its first meeting, and members welcome your input as they start to develop and coordinate information-sharing across Business Centers. Please seek out your BC representative if you have suggestions, and let your manager know if you are interested in serving on the committee in the future. 

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Did You Know?

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A new email list-serve group is now available to everyone involved in grant processes and services. It was created to more broadly share information about upcoming trainings, regulatory updates, and tips on how people are handling various issues. You can ask questions of the group and get clarity on confusing issues. If are interested in joining the email group, send an email to OSRAA_Outreach_And_Education@lists.oregonstate.edu

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The Student Experience

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Trey Davenhill, DFA 2015 Outstanding Student

 

We talk a lot about the “student experience” at Oregon State because that is the reason we are all here! The Student Experience will be a regular feature in future BC newsletters, and will cover all sorts of topics from events on campus to biographies, like this one:

Trey Davenhill is a very busy person. He is in his first year of Pharm. D., OSU’s highly competitive four-year professional program that accepts only about 90 of the 600-800 applicants each year. On top of his academic and personal responsibilities, Trey has worked at the Agricultural Sciences and Marine Sciences Business Center (AMBC) since his freshman year in 2011, putting in another 10-12 hours each week with the finance and accounting team.

Trey’s colleagues at AMBC appreciate his performance so much that they nominated him for the 2015 Division of Finance & Administration (DFA) Outstanding Student Award. Trey was highly praised in the nomination letters for his “positive can-do attitude,” dependability, responsiveness, and proactive communication skills. Jack Breen, the AMBC Manager, is grateful to work with such an outstanding person and pleased to see his development.

Trey Davenhill, the 2015 DFA Outstanding Student, gives us an excellent example of how the on-campus student worker experience can be positive and beneficial for everyone involved—employer and employee. Read Trey’s full story here.

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Upcoming Training Opportunity

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BOLI Wage and Hour Laws Training: June 2, 2016   9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Sponsored by OSU Shared Services, Business Affairs, Office of Human Resources

To register: Contact Celia Feres-Johnson at UABC as soon as possible

Learn about Oregon Requirements for:

  • Meals and break periods
  • Overtime
  • Exempt and non-exempt employees
  • Independent contractors
  • Minimum wage
  • Travel and training time
  • Final paychecks
  • Payroll issues
  • Volunteers and interns
  • Penalties

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Our Community Partners

Dr. Angela Batista, OSU

Dr. Angela Batista, Interim Chief Diversity Officer

 

As Business Center staff, we work closely with a wide range of central administrative offices. In order to better understand our role within the broader University community, our newsletter will regularly feature interviews, stories and news about our central partners. We can use this knowledge to better support their efforts.

The new Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) is approaching its first 100 days in operation, making it the perfect time to share our recent conversation with Dr. Angela E. Batista, Interim Chief Diversity Officer. Dr. Batista previously served as OSU’s Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life. Prior to joining Oregon State, she served as Dean of Students at the University of Southern Indiana and has worked in various colleges and universities across the United States, including the University of Vermont, Lynn University, Champlain College and Mills College. 

What is the role of the Office of Institutional Diversity at OSU?

The Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) was created to advance diversity, equity and inclusion across all facets of Oregon State. We serve as a central point of contact, and coordinate the efforts of groups across the University to develop a strategic approach to the work. This institution strives to have a well-developed vision and strategic plan for diversity and social justice, and this office will work to ensure everyone in the community understands their role and how they can participate.

Your office uses a social justice framework…how can those of us with less experience think about this?

Social justice is a framework that can help us make sense of how we engage to ensure everyone has a fair and just experience in all parts of our community.  We want all members of our community to be actively engaged in creating an inclusive environment, and contribute to making people feel welcomed and accepted. Over time, OSU has created new policies and revised old ones in ways that allow and encourage the expression of different perspectives. Regardless of our role at the institution, we all can contribute by acting and thinking inclusively as we interact with, have conversations with, and develop policies for people who may be seen by some as “outsiders” or “different.”

People should understand that diversity is not just about race or things we can see. When we talk about diversity, we are talking about people with different life experiences and identities. They might be first-generation or non-traditional aged students, from another country or veterans, to name a few. The basic level of understanding is simply an awareness that people are all unique.

Another important aspect of an inclusive and social justice minded approach is not making assumptions about people. As Business Center employees—and all of us—go about their work, they should remember that they won’t always know their customers’ story, or their experience that day. Don’t assume things based on appearance, but instead engage with customers genuinely and try to get to know them as individuals. Good customer service means meeting customers where they are, not where you assume them to be. No one wants to feel like the business provider has already decided who they are. We all need to be aware of our own thoughts, and be willing to learn about the different types of people we interact with every day.

What are some things I can do to participate, and promote diversity and inclusivity?

The best thing any of us can do is not to pretend that we know more than we do. For example, you may see a person wearing what you identify as female clothing but this may or not be their gender identity.  In situations like this, you may feel uncomfortable and that’s okay. What’s important is how you behave in the moment—you shouldn’t close off from the person because they will feel excluded. Be open, be respectful, and ask questions that are relevant to what you’re doing. It is important to work through our discomfort, regardless of our personal beliefs, in order to determine how to best serve this person in a fair and just way.

Before the beginning of the next academic year, we hope to share a list of ways that people can get involved and engage with issues of inclusion and social justice issues at Oregon State. In the meantime, there are lots of things you can do on your own:

  • Get trained as a Search Advocate
  • Participate in the faculty/staff training being introduced in Fall 2016
  • Take a diversity, equity, inclusion, or social justice course
  • Visit one of our many Cultural Centers, or attend a related speaker or presentation on campus
  • Volunteer to mentor a student from an under-represented group
  • Participate in a relevant community service project
  • Identify a specific goal for an area of learning for yourself around diversity and inclusion

Why is social justice important to the OSU Community?

Our community and nation’s demographics are changing and many people are paying more attention to the implications. While members of dominant groups or identities may have felt empowered, historically, they may not have had to consider their privilege and the fact that others have been excluded from the table. 

Students coming to campus will be more diverse. They will need us to be more culturally aware and able to engage with them in ways that make them feel respected and included. Many of the students who will be coming to college have grown up with an African-American President and generally see gender identity on a spectrum and not on a male-female binary. Members of the community who are from other generations may have a different perspective because their experiences have been different.

Oregon State, in particular, has seen rapid change and growth over the last few years. Many of us haven’t yet done the work we need to do to understand the students who are here now or coming in the future. In order to reach our student success goals, we must have a community where students, and those around them, feel a sense of belonging as part of the community. We all need to behave inclusively so that our students can see that they have a place here. #WeAreOregonState

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