University Business - October 2008 - (Page 50)

Chief Business Officers Four campus business leaders discuss daily and long-term challenges, from breaking down silos across campus to controlling tuition. A lthough the NAtioNAl AssociAtioN of college ANd uNiversity BusiNess officers has existed since 1962, the job title of “chief business officer” still isn’t widely used. the people who would fall into this category, however, oversee a variety of functions on campus, ranging from finances to the bookstore and everything in between. As a new semester was set to begin, four business officers talked to University Business about topics such as how they ensure accounting practices are above board and how their offices help keep their schools running smoothly. Q: Has your institution implemented any provisions of the SarbanesOxley Act? MOrgAn OlSen: We’ve done quite a bit to implement those components that the administration and board feel are appropriate. Legally it doesn’t apply, but there are good management practices that can be implemented. We’ve relied on a good analysis from NACUBO outlining how the experts felt it fit for higher education. Duties of the audit committee and their relationship with the board and external auditors—many of those things have been guided by the act. reAgAn rOMAlI: We will be implementing them at the end of this fiscal year. It is good business practice. Since we are paid for by public tax dollars, we really feel we have to be responsive to the taxpayers, spend their money wisely, and be transparent. DebOrAH ADISHIAn-ASTOne: We have separate audit committees for all of our auxiliary corporations that have revenues in excess of $2 million per year. We work very closely with each audit committee on policies, procedures, and detailed review of annual reports. Also, we try to clarify complex transactions or major changes with detailed footnotes in the financial statements. STePHen TAKSAr: As part of the University System of New Hampshire, we are guided by the USNH Business Officer’s Code of Ethics. The Board of Trustees’ Audit Committee oversees the system’s Internal Audit Department, which has a charter identifying its responsibilities. It performs financial and operational compliance reviews of departments, units, and processes throughout the system and individual campuses. Providing education on internal controls, assisting the external auditors, and providing individual assistance to departments, campuses, and units as requested are other duties the committee performs. Q: What else have you done to enhance accounting transparency? rOMAlI: Accounting transparency is really critical in California community colleges to establish credibility. As we go about completing our mission [of reestablishing independent accreditation], people will believe our numbers and our finances. We do ground-up budgeting, we involve all constituencies in the process—everyone gets to discuss their programmatic and institutional needs. They have to take off their departmental hats and put on their institutional hats. We are in the process of creating monthly reports that show things like yearly projections, three-year projections, budget to actual, and who is over or under spending. Meet the Respondents Deborah aDishian-astone associate vice president, Auxiliary Operations and Enterprise Development, California State University, Fresno. She received the NACUBO Rising Star Award in 2008. former NACUBO board chair and executive vice president and treasurer, Purdue University (Ind.). This month he starts a new position: executive vice president and treasurer at arizona state University. Morgan olsen chief business officer, El Camino Community College/Compton Center (Calif.). Romali formerly held executive-level business department positions at los angeles City College and at santa Monica College. reagan roMali stephen taksar vice president for finance and administration, Plymouth State University (N.H.). He is the former vice chancellor for administration and finance at indiana University southeast. 50 | October 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - October 2008

University Business - October 2008
Editor's Note
College Index
Company Index
Advisory Board
Behind the News
Future Shock
On the Hill
The Changing Chaplaincy
Stop, Thief!
Chief Business Officers Speak Out
Independent Outlook
Internet Technology
What's New
End Note

University Business - October 2008