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The Source

Changes in the Business Office

April 08, 2013

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The Office of Business and Finance recently implemented several changes to improve efficiency. Changes include:

Staffing

Readers of The Source know that Wendy Washburn retired after almost 30 years of service to Lewis & Clark, the last two in the Business Office. Thank you, Wendy.

The Business Office is very happy to welcome Moira Domann into the vacated position. Moira will take over most of the responsibilities that Wendy had, co-managing (with Steve Kirkwood) the purchase card program; managing the relationship with RICOH (mailroom, copy center, multi-function machines, switchboard), Staples, and other vendors; and managing the properties used for law student housing. One change is that the manager of the main bookstore will now report directly to the associate vice president of finance/controller. In place of the bookstore responsibility, Moira will continue to manage the faculty/staff housing program and wire transfers along with other duties internal to the Business Office. A new and important responsibility for the position is referenced in its new title, purchasing manager. Lewis & Clark’s strategic plan encourages a search for efficiency in all behind the scenes activities, and Moira will be seeking to improve the way the College sources the purchase of goods and services.

Reducing Outstanding Fines

Student and Departmental Account Services staff spends far too much valuable time chasing faculty and staff who incur library and parking fines and do not make payment in a timely manner. This time would be better spent helping students. Most employees are responsible and make payments quickly. Allowing the other 20% or so to not pay is unfair to the majority and could lead to more parking and library violations. Therefore, effective immediately, faculty and staff who do not make payment after:

  • the first notice is sent will have any reimbursements held until payment is made.
  • the second notice is sent will have their purchase card suspended (if applicable); reimbursements still held.
  • the third notice is sent will have the account forwarded to collections regardless of amount; reimbursements still held, purchase card still suspended.

In the past, employees were sent a direct email from the associate vice president of finance/controller prior to the account being forwarded to collections. This will no longer occur. We need to reduce the time spent with these accounts and use that time more productively.

Purchase Cards Rebate

The Business Office is expecting the first annual rebate associated with the use of our purchase cards. A portion of the rebate will be retained by the Business Office to offset some of the cost of managing the program. The rest will be returned to the schools and common services, in proportion to the use of the cards. Our hope is that purchase cards will be used whenever possible, reducing the burden on accounts payable. We are actively exploring ways to reduce the quantity of paper that we need to process and then store.

For more information, please write to busoffc@lclark.edu.

Story submitted by George Battistel, associate vice president of finance.