Finance Division Q1 Update
Dear Finance Division Staff,
I hope you all have enjoyed some time away this summer and are ready for a more regular return to campus and the arrival of students in the coming weeks. (Huge thanks to those of you who won’t be “returning” to campus because you never really left!) Things are looking a little different than we had anticipated but I am confident that we will be able to repeat the success we experienced last year in providing an in-person experience for our students while also keeping the community safe. Please continue to be mindful of COVID-related policies including mandatory indoor masking. The most up-to date policies can always be found here: COVID-19 Ongoing Response - COVID-19 Ongoing Response
Despite ongoing challenges related to COVID, we also have much to celebrate. The incoming CAS first-year class is looking exceptionally strong (currently at 700 deposits!); retention of continuing students is also looking good. The law and grad schools are also reporting positive enrollment numbers. The strength of these numbers gave us the confidence to announce the addition of an exempt-staff raise pool to the current year budget. Although budgetary challenges are not behind us, the investments in Strategic Enrollment Management and changes in the CAS Admissions office appear to be paying off. Check out this local news article about our successes here: Some Oregon private colleges expect record enrollment this fall
Below you will find updates on the work of your division colleagues. I hope that a quarterly update like this helps us break down some communication barriers that have been a challenge in the past. I would love to hear any feedback you have on how to best keep you updated.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.
Facilities staff are firing on all cylinders to get the campus ready for fall.
Comings & Goings:
- Bryan Scism, Director of Facilities Operations, started July 16
- Ryan Garland, Capital Projects Coordinator, starts Sept 1
- We were sad to see Jay Jording leave the college on July 9, but are excited for Jay’s new opportunity. A posting for the Assistant Director of Facilities Support Services position will be up soon.
Transportation and Parking
Consistent with prior years, we expect parking on campus to be a challenge for the fall. We are taking steps to improve the situation including:
- Full weekday Pioneer Express service and weekend service will begin August 30
- We have renewed our lease with St. Mark’s to provide an additional 50 parking spots (used primarily by law students)
- Parking at grad school “overflow lot” to be enhanced for added space and usability
- Facilities to begin shifting service vehicles to 4th street to reduce parking demand
Parking enforcement will begin September 1- don’t forget to buy your permit!
- Copeland and Platt lounge conversions - To accommodate the large incoming class, 32 new beds are being added to Copeland and Platt through 12 new rooms.
- Roofing Projects
- Templeton Stamm and Severy roofs to be complete by end of August
- Stewart Odell Akin roofs will be stabilized with repairs and ventilation changes to allow for ‘adaptive reuse and reimagining’ to progress in coming year
- Fir Acres full new roof with upgraded insulation, skylights, to be completed in September
- Templeton Renovation
We plan to provide an overview of the Templeton project at sessions in September. Stay tuned for scheduling details to learn more about the planned renovations as well as the construction impact and timing. In the meantime a few key details:
- Permitting and final pricing are underway
- Construction scheduled to begin by the end of December 2021
- Bon Appetit, Bookstore, and all first floor services (Health Center, Campus Living, Registrar, Financial Aid and Student Accounts) open throughout.
Climate Action Planning:
Earlier this year, thanks to an external grant from Second Nature, we began the process of updating our 2008-09 Climate Action Plan. Our new plan, differing in some respects from the previous plan, will focus on achieving carbon neutrality through decarbonizing our facilities and operations, primarily. The first step in this process was gathering data, assessing our current state of operations, and seeking feedback from the Executive Council on the big picture goals. This process will continue into the fall and will include a ‘roadmap’ for the community to review and provide feedback on.
In late spring, we also hosted a facilitation training for interested employees and students. From this group, we are building a communications committee which will develop a community engagement process for the climate action plan. As we move into the fall semester, please keep an eye out for opportunities to provide feedback on the plan (surveys, open houses, lectures, etc), learn more about climate change impacts and how you might make a difference - both personally and professionally.
Sustainability Council Changes:
The Sustainability Council is a group of faculty, staff, and students with representatives from each school that meets throughout the academic year to discuss and develop plans for activities related to sustainability in operations, academics, and the community at large. The council is open to all community members who are interested in participating, requests for new members are announced each fall.
This year the council will be chaired by Katja Altpeter-Jones, CAS World Languages faculty, as Rob Kugler will be leading a study abroad trip. Katja will be vacating her post as curriculum coordinator, and we will begin recruiting for that position in the coming months.
Lastly, the council in partnership with the Bates Center, delivered its first iteration of a Sustainability Internship course that placed 15 LC students with employers in Oregon and other locations on the West Coast. While many of the internships were paid, we were fortunate to support the unpaid interns with funding provided by our Board of Advisors. The course was very successful and we look forward to recruiting employers for the coming summer!
New Initiatives for the Coming Year
While much of the coming year will be focused on climate planning, we will also be piloting a few new initiatives. In partnership with the nonprofit, the Oregon Maple Project, we will be tapping a few of our Big Leaf Maples for sap to make maple syrup (yes, you can do this in Oregon!). This is a test project this year that will be led by students, but will have opportunities for employees to join in the fun! Contact Amy Dvorak for more details.
Our second new initiative this year will be piloting a small materials reuse project. This will be a very small program initially, chiefly focused on materials donated by students during move out, however we hope to take some office supplies as well. We’ll have more information in the coming months on this project - including where and how to donate or pick up donated items. Big shout out to Facilities for helping us carve out a small storage space in Corbett!
Financial Planning and Analysis
Comings & Goings
- Travis Ables will join LC in August as a financial analyst, replacing Xi Zhong. Travis is new to higher education, but brings five years of accounting and process improvement experience.
Summer is a busy time for the office of Financial Planning and Analysis. It is a time to review the past, revisit assumptions about the future, and plan for the work for the coming year.
May 31 marked the end of the fiscal year (FY21) and time to analyze prior year results to see how we performed relative to expectations. These analyses also help identify trends and improve the accuracy of future projections. Very quickly, we shift gears to look at the current year (FY22) and beyond. This fall, CAS is anticipating a relatively large incoming class and overall higher enrollment. Throughout the summer, we have been monitoring enrollment and working with departments that will be impacted by this higher than expected enrollment. This includes updating estimates for instructional staffing, occupancy, and many other areas of the College. The higher than expected incoming cohort at CAS will impact the financial picture for several years. We have been updating assumptions in the multi-year models that provide information and context for discussions on strategies and resources of the College. In addition to modeling the longer-term budgetary outlook, we are preparing for the detailed work necessary to develop the FY23 budget.
Lastly, continue to monitor your operating budgets using the Colleague Self Service Financial Management application accessible through WebAdvisor. Reach out if you need assistance!
Business Office and Student Accounts
Comings & Goings:
- Cheri Gallagher left at the end of May. A posting for the Director of Student and Departmental Account Services position is live now.
- Bookstore (Barnes & Noble College) Melanie Keller, Store Manager transferred to the University of Portland and has been replaced by Brian Kroll, store manager from Portland State University.
- Mail Room (Ricoh) Rachel Mott left and we have welcomed Rachel Smith & David Shambry.
Summer is the busiest time of year for the Business Office with work focused on audit activities. We are working to finalize the FY20 403(b) audit later this month. The FY21 Financial Statement and Federal Award Audits will be complete in late September or early October.
Student Accounts has been focused on the TMS transition to Nelnet Campus Commerce with completion of the transition for departmental payments. We are currently working on resolving departmental reporting access. Resolution of profile permissions issues expected in late August. Departments can request reporting from SDAS staff until resolved. Transition for student payments is next on the docket!
Student Accounts has been integral in disbursement of federal emergency funds to students. $1.8m of emergency disbursements have been completed to date. An additional $2.35m will be disbursed in the coming months.
Comings & Goings
- Rich Jones is our new Sr. Director of Infrastructure
- The search for our Information Security Officer is ongoing, hoping to have it filled near the end of summer
- Chel Pennock has moved from Library to IT Service Desk
The project management team in IT officially took on new roles as part of the Enterprise Applications team on June 1. Liz Young is now the Enterprise Application Administrator/Developer. In this role, she will strategically develop and support our college’s CRM environment, administer some of our enterprise-level applications, and provide leadership for non-IT administered cloud applications. Llew Richards is now the IT Business Relationship Manager. In this role, he will serve as a liaison between campus constituents and IT, help coordinate a more streamlined governance processes for decision making and prioritization, and act as a strategic partner by engaging in needs analyses and technology solution evaluations/recommendations across the institution.
Through the summer the Enterprise Applications team has been working closely with the office of the Dean of Students and Information Systems to get StartRez up and running and has been working closely with Grad CCE and SPARC to get their Salesforce environments developed.
- We have updated, refreshed, and made improvements to the resource lab, digital and audio editing suites, departmental labs, and other infrastructure used for audio and video production in teaching, instruction, and research both on the CAS and GSEC campuses.
- Because of all the changes, we helped with orientation for GSEC employees for academic spaces such as using our upgraded hybrid classrooms.
- We are almost done migrating Classic Google Sites websites to the New Google Sites platform.
- For those who bumped into this limitation, we have improved support for preferred names and pronouns in both Moodle and Zoom.
Infrastructure and Operations:
- Infrastructure Operations - Wifi upgrades are ongoing. (some supply chain issues with getting equipment). Check out details of the exciting wifi modernization project here: https://www.lclark.edu/information_technology/infrastructure_operations/2021-wifi-infrastructure-refresh/
- Institutional Operations
- Deployment of new computers is ongoing. (some supply chain issues with getting equipment)
- Labs back to full operation
- Academic Operations
- Repaired classroom and event venue AV equipment damaged during the ice storm
- Classroom computer replacement/conversion to Windows
- Classroom projector conversion to laser projector (continuation of multi-year capital equip. requests)
- Prepare classrooms and event venues for return to full capacity for fall ’21
- Added AV systems to two new classrooms (Olin 303 and Pamplin 019)
- Resolved Adobe Flash end of life & continue to allow remote access