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Message from the Director

By Linda Powell, OSU Shared Services Director

MU behind flowers

 

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since we debuted the BC Connecter newsletter. The Communications Coordinating Committee has done a fabulous job sharing important news, helpful hints and interesting stories about our colleagues. There will be plenty of news to share again this year, as the Division of Finance and Administration (DFA) moves forward on it’s first-ever Strategic Plan.

Our most important goals are focused on service to our university partner-customers, responsible stewardship of university resources and the safety and health of everyone at Oregon State. The DFA leadership team has developed a set of six initiatives that advance these goals, and over the course of this year, many of us will be involved in work groups to develop and implement the specific tasks necessary to reach our desired outcomes. A kick-off meeting for managers from all the division’s units is being scheduled for early April. Mike Green, the Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration, is committed to making progress toward the division’s Strategic Plan initiatives even as the search for a new VP is underway.

An important aspect of the DFA initiatives is finding more efficient ways to conduct business through process improvements and new technologies. Our experience learning how to streamline complex processes using Lean techniques over the past three years will be incredibly valuable going forward. We are currently partnering with researchers from Texas Tech University who are studying how Lean concepts are applied in higher education. Those of you who have previously been involved in Lean projects were asked to participate in interviews with Dr. Jennifer Cross of TTU. After she completes the study and shares her results, Oregon State will be able to benefit from identified best practices, and we can apply lessons that arise from the experiences of other universities.

As we move forward, this kind of open collaboration and spirit of service are critical to achieving our goals. I’m proud of the way you have continued to work closely with your colleagues to provide proactive quality services to our university partners. I encourage you all to continue your focus on problem-solving and developing partnerships. My door—and those of the Business Center Managers—are open whenever you want to share ideas, suggestions and concerns.

And speaking of suggestions, I hope you can take a few minutes to fill out the short survey included in this issue. Your input will help the Communications Coordinating Committee tailor the newsletter to fit your needs and interests.

Enjoy the spring season!

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What do you think?

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We want to hear from you

The BC Connecter newsletter for Business Center employees was launched about a year ago and during that time the Communications Coordinating Committee has tried to offer you a mix of interesting and informative articles. But what do you think about how we are doing? Do you want to see more or less of something? Have suggestions for new stories or ideas for things we can improve?

Please take a few minutes to respond to this very short survey and let us know your thoughts. We appreciate your support!

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Spotlight: Auxiliaries and Activities Business Center

By Scott Lommers, Buyer, AABC

SEC with grass

In this series, we profile each business center and how it makes a unique contribution toward Oregon State’s mission and goals.

 

The Auxiliaries and Activities Business Center (AABC) was established in 2010 as the last of seven OSU Business Centers. The AABC serves more than 20 auxiliary and student fee-based partner units, including: Athletics, Capital Planning and Development, Rec Sports, ASOSU, University Housing and Dining Services, Public Safety, and Student Health Services, among many others (see the full list here). 

The AABC has 38 employees and over 20 student employees when fully staffed. Currently, the AABC resides in two locations: Poling Hall and the Student Experience Center. As Poling Hall is converted back to student housing—its original purpose—the AABC offices in Poling Hall are planning to move to a new space at University Plaza later this spring. (University Housing and Dining Services moved its headquarters out of Poling last year for the same reason.)

On a daily basis, AABC staff work to uphold their five core values: providing quality customer service, striving for operational excellence, being employee focused, championing ideas and innovation, and thinking and acting in a strategic and visionary manner.

Former AABC manager Brad Dennis is taking the core value of new and innovative ideas to heart in a new collaborative project. Brad has temporarily stepped away from AABC to team with Finance and Administration, the Office of Human Resources, OSU Shared Services, the Graduate School, the Extension Service, and the OSU Foundation to work on bringing DocuSign to OSU.  DocuSign is an electronic signature system designed to improve the workflow of signing and approving documents of all types. DocuSign is fully digital and legally enforceable and will speed OSU away from paper-based processes and into the digital future.  

HR staff within AABC provides onboarding and processing of student worker employment for its diverse customer base. Every year, they facilitate the hiring of about 3,000 university student workers for more than 5,000 different jobs on campus.

Here are a few more fun facts about the AABC:

  • There are 36 restaurants on the OSU campus and the AABC is a Business Center partner for each one.
  • On a yearly basis, AABC processes approximately 50,000 invoices and 40,000 journal voucher transactions.
  • AABC serves two OSU departments that must have employees on duty every day of the year, 24 hours a day and seven days a week: Public Safety and Facilities Services.
  • In 2016, AABC processed more than 1,000 Banner purchase orders for its partner units.
  • AABC has multiple employees who have been at OSU for more than 20 years and one who has worked at OSU for 32 years! Now, that’s what we call dedication.

 

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It takes a village: Collaborating to improve management of student job records  

By Brad Dennis, AABC

Student workers at Dixon Rec

As of February 15th, all business centers have migrated off of the Multiple Assignment (MA) record-keeping program. We now use Banner as the official source of all student job information that is used by EmpCenter.  As the AABC was working to convert its student records last month, we worked in partnership with the Office of Human Resources, the CORE team, other Business Centers and Enterprise Computing Services to create three new supervisor tools to help manage student records. Under the MA system, supervisors had the ability to change student wage rates, terminate assignments and change supervisors. While not all supervisors used these tools in MA, many did. We needed to find a way to include the same capability in Banner so that our student HR team wasn’t swamped with new work. 

We appreciate the willingness of our partners to collaborate on developing these tools. They will go a long way in helping us keep up with student terminations. At the start of each month, we will email supervisors of students asking them to complete the CORE Student Employee Termination Worksheet (HRS0066).  We will then be able to process the terminations before the job records are locked in advance of time entry.

Each time there is a minimum wage increase, many units also increase the rate of pay for students who are already above the new minimum wage. Now, supervisors will be able to complete a downloadable CORE worksheet (HRS0068) to indicate the new rate for any and all of their students at one time.

Finally, the ability to do a bulk change of supervisors will be a big time saver when a supervisor leaves the university. (There are about 20 supervisors at OSU who have employees with more than 100 job records.)  The employing department or its Business Center will be able to run the CORE supervisor update (HRS0011) and fill out the worksheet to do the mass update.

It takes a lot of coordination and collaboration to make these kinds of shifts in technology and processes. But the payoff is a great deal of saved time and a big reduction in frustration. We look forward to continuing to streamline business processes and migrate them to technology platforms wherever possible.

 

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Did you know? Banner Shortcuts

By Kayla Campbell, Accountant, BEBC

People using computers 

 

Keyboard shortcuts can speed up almost everything you do on your PC. For people who work a lot with Banner, this is especially helpful! The list below will cover some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts that every Banner user should know. The handy Banner shortcut template (pictured below) can be printed, cut out and placed at the top of your keyboard for quick reference. These tips should speed up your Banner work and free up some valuable time for your other important business.

 

Function

Keyboard Shortcut

Save

F10

Rollback

Shift+F7

Select

Shift+F3

Insert Record

F6

Remove (Delete) Record

Shift+F6

Previous Record

Arrow Up or Page Up

Next Record

Arrow Down or Page Down

Previous Block

Ctrl+Page Up

Next Block

Ctrl+ Page Down

Enter Query

F7

Execute Query

F8

Exit

Ctlr+Q

Copy

Ctrl+C

Cut

Ctrl+X

Paste

Ctrl+V

Go To Another Form W/o Closing the Form you are In

F5

Duplicate Item

F3

Duplicate Record

F4

Count Query Hits/Search & Display More Detail

Shift+F2

Today’s Date in Date Field

Enter a single, non-numeric character followed by Enter or Tab- (T for Today)

Dates within the Current Month

Enter a two-digit number in a date field, Banner assumes the current month and year

Dates within the Current Year

Enter a four-digit number in a date field, Banner assumes the current year

Open Calendar

Double Click on Calendar Field

Open Calculator

Double Click on Calculator Field

Right Click Mouse

Options

 Banner keyboard template

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The Student Experience: From Ramen Noodles to the Work Force

By Bailey Hill, HR Student Worker, UABC

Students with computers

 

Students Shayna Kaneshiro (left), Lindsay Paugh (center), and Cade Windell (right) hard at work in the UABC Finance and Accounting department.On campus jobs: what many of us find as a saving grace in college for being able to afford ramen noodles. However, is there something else that we take away from these jobs aside from our cheap three-minute meal? College is a plethora of opportunities for members of society to better themselves, and working on campus is one of those opportunities that are available to students.

When scouting the Oregon State jobs website, students have many options. They may choose from jobs such as working in the dining halls, tutoring athletes, and even working in a business center, for example. For students like Iqbal Khurram, the business center was an excellent fit. Iqbal has been an employee for a couple years at the University Administrative Business Center as a student clerical worker originally and now serves the team as an Accountant 1.

Iqbal says that working with the business center has helped him to build a network within the business center, has helped him learn Finance and Administration procedures and policies regarding the handling of financial transactions, and has increased his familiarity with Banner, Data Warehouse, and other related financial software. He also says that working here has made the transition from student life, to a full-time worker a smooth one, and was less of a surprise due to the familiarity of the office environment.

Another current student worker at UABC, Lindsay Paugh, had this to say about her time working in an on-campus job: “It gives us experience working in an office setting, and gives us experience working with different finance and accounting professionals. It is cool being able to apply our classroom knowledge into a real-world setting, and it is nice to see how some of the stuff we learn in school is actually applied.”

It just goes to show that working on campus as a student has many benefits, including familiarity with potential work environments, network building, and an application of classroom knowledge to the real world. On-campus jobs are a great opportunity for students to get a taste of their future, and allows them to build resumes and skills that will give them the leg-up on their peers. In some cases, like Iqbal’s, your on-campus job could even unfold into your first job as an Oregon State graduate! Quite a great leap from the ramen noodles, I would say.

Pictured above right: Students Shayna Kaneshiro (left), Lindsay Paugh (center) and Cade Windell (right) hard at work in the UABC Finance & Accounting department.

 

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Professional Development Opportunities are Coming to You!

By Kelsey Herman, Accountant, FOBC

Students in classroom 

We are pleased to share some of the numerous upcoming opportunities that you can take advantage of to hone your professional skillset. Here’s a roundup of what we know about now:

Core Curriculum for OSU Supervisors and Managers  

Registration is now open for the May 4-11, 2017 session of the OSU Core Curriculum for Supervisors and Managers.

The OSU Core Curriculum is designed to strengthen knowledge and skill competencies essential to providing effective management and a common vision for state and university service. The program focuses on three areas of competency:

1. State and University Service
2. Performance Management
3. Work-life Management

 

Social Justice Education Initiative (two-part series)

The Social Justice Education Initiative for faculty and staff at Oregon State University is an invitation to begin, or continue, your social justice and equity journey. With humor, empathy, and expertise we will engage in a self-reflective process that helps us answer these important questions:  What is the story of the current context in Oregon -- and how did we get here?  How do you locate yourself in this story?  Why does social justice matter?  The phrase "more curiosity, less judgement" is instrumental to social justice and equity work and is a guiding principle for this interactive workshop.  No preparation is needed beyond this principle.

Session 1: April 4 or April 19, 2017  Registration is open!

Session 2: April 10 or April 27  Registration is open!

 

Save the date—Paul Axtell returns to OSU this spring!  April 17-21, 2017

Paul will lead his workshop, Conversational Skills for Convening People and Influencing Decisions as well as three additional workshops for individuals who have already completed the Conversational Skills workshop.  Be on the lookout for additional details from the Center for Learning and Organizational Development coming soon! 

 

Additional Offerings from the Center for Learning and Organizational Development

There are several presentations available online, from performance management to customer service.  Browse the selection here: http://hr.oregonstate.edu/elearning

Upon request, courses offered can be presented to your unit, tailored to meet your needs.  Check out the options in the course catalog.

 

DocuSign Launch Forums

What is DocuSign? Last year, our former business center colleague Brad Dennis introduced us to this electronic signature tool and it is now available for use. If you didn’t have a chance to attend the forum on March 16, additional forums are being scheduled for spring term.  Check the DocuSign website in early April for exact dates.

 

Are we missing something?

If there are other upcoming professional development and training opportunities you would like to share with business center employees, let us know and we will try to include them in the next edition of BC Connector.

 

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eProcurement Project Update: Implementation Timeline

By Cindy Sprenger, e-Business Manager; Procurement, Contracts and Materials Management (PCMM)

eProcurement timeline

 

A lot has been happening in eProcurement since our kick-off last August. We have made great progress in our effort to design an efficient electronic workflow that invokes approval automatically—thanks to the help of Business Centers, Advisory Group and IT Advisory Group members, and the Executive Steering Committee.

This progress put the project in a good place for a system demonstration during the recent Focus Group event on March 7-8, 2017. We are using the critical analysis and feedback offered during the Focus Group to develop an action item list that will inform the final design and configuration of the eProcurement, Accounts Payable and Supplier Management modules of the system. Some of the interesting features include:

  • Customized landing pages or dashboard for unique shopping and approving experiences
  • Custom form development to transition known paper-based processes into an electronic eProcurement environment
  • Downstream process improvements with e-Invoicing and electronic approvals
  • Email and mobile app approval functionality
  • A supplier/vendor portal for vendor self-registration and campus vendor invites, which includes opportunities to classify diversity suppliers

We are currently working to set up suppliers. To provide a true eProcurement experience, we are identifying and reaching out to our most frequently-used contracted vendors, such as Office Depot, VWR and others, to enable them in the system.

Outreach efforts to the campus community have also increased. We are connecting with Business Centers staff to collaborate on how best to proceed with future state budget authority processes. The eProcurement team has reached out to a number of departments and units on campus to share information about the system and to garner feedback, comments and questions. To date, we are working with the Information Technology Coordinating Committee, Department Computer Administrators, Cosine IT Services, Capital Planning and Development, Risk Management, Emergency Health and Safety, Emergency Management, the Research Committee, and the College of Business. The AABC has also scheduled a large Listening Session for business center staff to learn about the project and how eProcurement can meet their needs.

We will continue to keep you updated on the status of the eProcurement implementation process. The timeline is on track to bring several technology modules online throughout the summer and fall of 2017.

 

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AABC Moves to University Plaza

By Scott Lommers, Buyer, AABC

View of Reser from INTO building

 

After six years in Poling Hall, the Auxiliaries and Activities Business Center (AABC) will be moving to University Plaza to make way for additional dorm space in Poling.  Minor construction work is currently happening at Suite 150 in University Plaza. AABC staff will be moving over as soon as the work is complete, which will be no later than May 26th.  AABC will be joining UABC to become the second business center to reside in the University Plaza complex at Western Blvd and SW 15th Street.

The AABC will continue to have two locations: the AABC SEC office at the Student Experience Center, Suite 350 and the new AABC University Plaza (AABC UP) office at Suite 150. The AABC UP 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 will provide AABC with a streamlined office space, a closer work environment and cooperation potential with both UABC and Business Affairs at Kerr. The AABC UP location will also facilitate face-to-face cooperation and meetings as it moves the AABC physically closer to most of its customers.

AABC will be hosting an open house in the new University Plaza space shortly after moving, so please keep an eye out for the date and time announcement.

Map to new AABC location

 

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