By Linda Powell, Director, OSU Shared Services
Reflecting on 2016
It was great to see so many of you at the recent OSU Shared Services holiday gathering, which was our way of saying “thank you” to all of you for your hard work throughout 2016. We all got to take a few minutes to relax, refresh and socialize! It is important to have opportunities like this to connect with each other in a creative and informal atmosphere.
About a year ago, our Branding and Communication goal team surveyed business center staff to learn more about our internal perceptions, and we collected a lot of great feedback – some positive and some less so. We saw a clear priority for customer service, and many people used words like “knowledgeable,” “helpful,” “friendly” and “collaborative” to identify our strengths.
Over the last year, we have worked on challenges such as inter-connectedness, clarifying roles and responsibilities, clarifying policies and processes, and trying to help manage workloads. Addressing challenges is, of course, an ongoing effort, and we’ve done a lot over the past year toward making progress.
One of the more visible outcomes was the development of this BC Connector newsletter and establishing the BC Communication Coordinating Committee. Together with newly reinstated quarterly all-staff meetings within business centers, the newsletter and committee helped share information—about business centers and university-wide initiatives—in a broad and consistent way. Individual business centers also tackled internal challenges in significant ways, such as reorganizing staff responsibilities, and identifying communication paths to share information and innovations. Your tremendous talents and collaboration were at the heart of our successes.
Over the past year, OSU Shared Services staff were also deeply involved in several university-wide initiatives such as preparing to implement the new eProcurement and eSignature systems. The ultimate goal is improved customer service university-wide.
I can’t tell you how impressed I am, and how proud, to work with people like you who continue to strive for excellence in the face of challenges. You are an amazing team! And it shows—just look at the number of business center staff who were recognized with DFA awards at the October annual meeting:
I appreciate all your hard work and dedication. The work you do as human resources and fiscal professionals, each and every day—in a university with a $2.37 billion statewide economic footprint, with over 30,000 students and almost 11,000 employees—is tremendously critical to the achievement of Oregon State’s mission. Thank you for all you do.
Together, we have learned a lot, made advances toward our goals and developed stronger personal connections with each other. I look forward to continuing progress in 2017. Happy holidays!
By Tom Fenske, HSBC Business Center Manager
In this new series, we profile each business center and how it makes a unique contribution toward Oregon State’s mission and goals.
The Health Sciences Business Center was established in 2008 as the first of seven OSU Business Centers. The HSBC serves the Colleges of Public Health and Human Sciences (PHHS), Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine. The HSBC has 19 employees in offices currently located on the 4th floor of Snell Hall but they are a transient group, having spent time in three different buildings on campus.
The Health Sciences Division helps Oregon State achieve all aspects of its mission of teaching, research and outreach. The division has 2,970 undergraduate students, 265 graduate students, and 579 professional students and has two of OSU’s top five degree programs based on enrollment: Kinesiology and Human Development and Family Sciences. Research faculty in the division receive over $22 million a year in awards, grants and contracts, and PHHS has two extension programs with employees located throughout the state.
In 2014, PHHS became the first accredited college of public health and human sciences in Oregon and this fall the college welcomes OSU’s newest Dean to campus, Dr. Javier Nieto. Dr. Nieto comes to us from the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
OSU’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students spend the final two years of their program based in Portland, working with students from OHSU’s Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Nursing. The college has state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities in the new Collaborative Life Sciences Building (CLSB) in Portland. A joint venture with OHSU and PSU, this LEED Platinum building was a $295 million project completed in 2014. Faculty from the college’s Department of Pharmacy Practice have their offices in the CLSB.
In addition to teaching and research, Vet Med operates the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Hospital, which provides expert veterinary care for both small and large animal patients in Magruder Hall on the west side of OSU’s main campus. The college also manages the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, which provides a full range of animal disease diagnostic services to veterinarians, livestock producers, pet owners, and biomedical researchers.
HSBC staff are called on to support all facets of the wide range of activities conducted by the colleges in the Health Sciences Division. This includes student hiring, graduate employee appointments, and grant accounting support, in addition to finance and budget consultation.
By Jack Breen, Business Center Manager, AMBC
Oregon State University is in the midst of a project to introduce the use of DocuSign across campus.DocuSign is an electronic signature system designed to improve the workflow of signing and approving documents in a way that's simple, secure, and fully digital. Documents signed with DocuSign are legally enforceable, intended to re-envision conventional paper-based processes.
The benefits include:
More details about Oregon State’s implementation of the DocuSign system are available at the eSignature project website.
As we implement DocuSign across the University, trained facilitators will be conducting business process reengineering (BPR) reviews to ensure that complex processes or those impacting multiple groups are as streamlined and efficient as possible. These reviews will utilize LEAN techniques to map out the as-is process, the proposed process and make recommendations regarding the DocuSign implementation.
OSU Shared Services is in the process of contracting with Linn Benton Community College to offer a set of LEAN certification classes to expand the number of trained facilitators at Oregon State. The classes will be offered to employees willing to use their skills to assist in the BPR reviews. Stay tuned for future information about the Lean certification classes and the status of the DocuSign implementation.
By Kayla Campbell, Accountant, BEBC and Scott Lommers, Buyer, AABC
In this issue, Kayla and Scott offer tips to handle common issues in Word and Adobe Acrobat.
Customize Word’s Default Page Layout
The layout setting in Microsoft Word can cause some frustration as most users default settings open documents in a single-page or dual-page “Read Mode.” Unfortunately, in Read Mode, all menu items and toolbars disappear, so editing is out. And Read Mode can seem unfamiliar and harder to read than the more established Print Layout Mode. If you’d like Word to always open in Print Layout Mode, follow these simple instructions.
Make Adobe Acrobat Scroll Your Way
Adobe Acrobat PDFs are a standard feature in most Shared Services employees’ workday. Unfortunately, some View settings on Adobe Acrobat are not easily found or understood. If your PDFs “snap” to the next page when you’re trying to scroll down instead of smoothly continuing, we’ve got the fix for you.
Thanks to Brad Dennis for this tip!
Redacting Sensitive Text from PDF Documents
Business Center accountants and others regularly come across information that needs to be blacked out. So what do we do? We break out our black sharpie and start blacking out sensitive information. However, now that we have our stamp tools we are trying to go digital right? So how do you black out sensitive information on a digital document? We can use Adobe Redaction tools!
If you want to know how to do it, we prepared detailed instructions for setting up and using Adobe Redaction tools.
By Stacy Nedry-Johnson, Human Resources Consultant, ASBC
The Office of Human Resources’ Center for Learning & Organizational Development once again facilitated Oregon State’s annual Finance and Administration Training Days on November 8-9, 2016, with presentations in both the LaSells Stewart Center and the CH2M-HILL Alumni Center.
Over 400 classified, professional faculty and academic faculty employees took part in nearly 80 informational sessions presented by OSU topic experts, who took the time to present valuable tips, tools, and knowledge to those in attendance. A broad range of topics was included to satisfy the needs of staff across the university, including:
Networking and re-connecting with coworkers is also a valuable part of the two-day conference. An easy and straightforward registration process was provided online again this year, which assured seats were filled for the many presentation choices.
Look ahead to Training Days 2017 and think about what kind of workshops you would recommend, or consider becoming a presenter! Contact Leigh Larkin for more information about this event.
By Kelsey Herman, Accountant, FOBC
On July 15, 2016 the FOBC accounting office was enjoying a light-hearted Friday afternoon, wrapping up a week filled with year-end stress. At 2:16 pm, the Travel Coordinator received an email from Risk Management asking after the whereabouts of one of our faculty members. The reason why, it turned out, was because half way around the world in Turkey, a coup d’état attempt was in progress and the faculty member had made travel arrangements to be in the affected area on OSU business. Our afternoon quickly turned to trepidation as we hastily worked to track down the employee and confirm she was safe. It turns out that she was in Turkey but she was safe, the coup attempt was unsuccessful, and relative stability was restored to Turkey by the next day.
Some frantic Googling that afternoon revealed that news of the coup had barely broken on major news sites at the time we received the email from Risk. So it got us wondering: how were they able to identify so quickly that one of our employees could be endangered? What else are they doing on a daily basis to keep students, employees, and resources safe as we engage in the wide range of activities carried out by the university in executing the mission? To find out more, I sat down with Patrick Hughes, OSU’s Chief Risk Officer, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes at the department charged with managing the myriad risks that pose a threat to the University’s mission.
Change in Risk Management
As characterized by Patrick, the past several years for Risk Management have been all about adapting to change. Until about four years ago, public universities were essentially self-insured through Oregon’s Department of Administrative Services. However, that changed when the Oregon University System switched to commercial insurance. Shortly after, as we all know, Oregon State split from the University System and now it is insured through the Public Universities Risk Management and Insurance Trust (PURMIT).
While managing these changes has been both challenging and stressful, Patrick pointed out that it has presented incredible opportunity for the university. We now have a greater ability to track claims and can better understand Oregon State’s vulnerabilities. And now that we have commercial insurance, there is a greater emphasis on loss control and managing risks.
Mitigating Risk at OSU
So how does one tackle the daunting task of identifying and managing risks to a university with a robust and ambitious mission? Patrick says he is constantly imagining the ways in which that mission could be shut down and then goes to work on preventing that from happening. Every day, his office is monitoring university activities, the greater higher education community, and the news in order to stay ahead of the risks. For example, when the controversy over the water quality in Portland schools was brewing, OSU Environmental Health and Safety, which is organized within Enterprise Risk Services, preemptively had our water tested in all buildings so we could definitively say we know our water is safe. (It is, by the way!)
Surprisingly, social media is also a helpful tool employed by Risk Management. In fact, it was Facebook that allowed their team to so quickly identify the risk in Turkey. Hughes follows the State Department on Facebook and is instantly apprised of alerts and warnings abroad. Once alerted, a quick crosscheck of international travel registrations revealed who was scheduled to be in Turkey—a very apt demonstration of why it’s important for OSU travelers to register their trips! And in case you were wondering what would happen if someone was endangered or went missing while traveling abroad on OSU business, we have an insurance policy that covers search and rescue/evacuation in such situations.
How Business Centers Contribute
Perhaps the most important thing I learned from my conversation with Patrick is how the Business Centers can better partner with Risk Management to keep our resources safe. The one thing that Patrick kept stressing is that Risk Management is a service organization, just like the Business Centers. They are at our disposal and are happy to assist us in meeting our needs and those of our customers. Risk Management can employ additional resources and expertise that are available to them through our insurance providers. They have developed an incredibly useful and easy to use risk assessment tool that can help units identify, assess and reduce risks and threats to their individual missions. However, the number one thing we can do either ourselves or to recommend to the units we serve is to pick up the phone and call when there’s something that’s worrying us. According to Patrick, a lot of problems can be fixed very quickly and once units start consulting with his team, they don’t stop—and they also show up less on claims!
Want to know more about Risk Management? Check out the FY15 Annual report from Enterprise Risk Services which encompasses the activities of Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety, and Emergency Management. Also, be on the lookout for the FY16 report which is planned to be published in the coming months! Risk Management can be reached at (541) 737-7252 or Risk@oregonstate.edu.
By Cindy Sprenger, eBusiness Manager; Procurement, Contracts and Materials Management
Our new eProcurement System has a name! For those of you who attended Training Days, you may have noticed a “Name our New eProcurement System” voting box. We received a lot of votes, including some write-in candidates, and the winner is BennyBuy!
Also at Training Days, the “OSU eProcurement is Coming!” presentation was attended by nearly 100 people. We received a lot of great feedback and questions, and from these questions, will are building a project FAQ that will be posted on our website. If you have a question that you’d like to see on the FAQ, please let us know.
On November 10 and 14, 2016, our project Advisory Group attended the Project Orientation Workshop. At this workshop, our system provider offered an overview of the modules that will be included in our eProcurement System, BennyBuy! Advisory Group members also got to work directly in an active demo site to get a better idea of what BennyBuy! will look like.
The official start of project configuration and design occurred on November 29 and 30 at our Kick-Off Workshop. This kick-off started the clock on our system configuration timeline for Phase I modules (eProcurement, Accounts Payable, and Supplier Management). Upon completion of Phase I, slated for summer 2017, Phase II module configuration will begin (Contract Management, Sourcing, and Spend Analytics).
Ongoing configuration planning meetings have been scheduled to begin system design. Beginning in December, our Advisory Group will be working with the project team to provide critical analysis and feedback to help ensure that BennyBuy! will best meet the needs of OSU and our campus community. Many thanks in advance to our Advisory Group members!
Keep watch in the coming weeks for our campus outreach Listening Sessions. At these events, we will be providing an overview of what BennyBuy! will bring to OSU, as well as an opportunity for our campus community to weigh in with their ideas, concerns and comments regarding the system. Please also check out the new information about BennyBuy! on our website, which includes videos from OSU staff who have used similar systems.