Finance Division Q2 Newsletter
Dear Finance Division Staff,
As always, the fall semester has flown by and I find myself looking at the calendar wondering what happened! I hope you are looking forward to a short work-week and a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
At the date of my last message I shared that CAS enrollment was looking strong. I’m thrilled to report that as of the census date, the college had the largest number of first-year students, the largest overall number of degree-seeking students, the largest number of BIPOC students and the academically strongest first-year law class, ever. Even in a time of many challenges, we are making progress and have much to be proud of. We had the opportunity to share this great news, along with other updates, to the Board of Trustees at the October meeting. At the Board plenary session I presented an overview of the Facilities Master Plan that was approved by the Board in May 2019 and the steps the college is taking to bring to life the “heart of the campus” concept within that plan. The renovation of Templeton, scheduled to begin this winter, is the first step towards that vision. We also used this meeting to lay additional groundwork for the next phase, a renovation of Stewart and Odell residence halls. We hope to move forward with a renovation of Stewart and Odell, after completion of Templeton, during the spring of 2023. Be on the lookout for campus-wide communications to come about the impact of the Templeton renovation and changes to parking, food service, mail room location, etc.
Below you will find updates on the work of your division colleagues. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Facilities staff are working hard to keep our buildings dry and warm, while preparing for the highly anticipated Templeton Renovation.
Comings & Goings:
We will welcome our new Director of Support Services, Max Lamas, on Dec 6. Max will oversee grounds, event prep, fleet, custodial services, and waste management. Max is a great fit for this position with years of experience running golf course grounds and events management.
Parking will have some new challenges beginning in mid-December with the loss of lower Templeton and Stewart/Odell lots during the Templeton renovation. Several steps to improve the situation have been implemented, including:
- We have renewed our lease with St. Mark Presbyterian Church to provide an additional 50 parking spots. Over the fall semester this lot has had an abundance of vacant spots. The church’s parking lot is across Terwilliger Blvd. from Riverdale High School at 9750 SW Terwilliger Blvd. For your walk up the hill to campus, be sure to utilize the law school trail, located across the street, at the intersection of SW Boones Ferry and Terwilliger. The trail has lights, provides protection from the road, and is simply beautiful.
- Parking at grad school “overflow lot” has been enhanced for added space and usability.
- Facilities reworked several locations to move fleet vehicles out of the central campus.
- Full weekday Pioneer Express shuttle service is available.
- The Templeton renovation will begin in mid-December. Effort to move the various displaced offices and organizations is well under way. Weekly stakeholder meetings are occurring and will continue through December as we move offices to their new temporary locations. The permitting process is underway and we anxiously await construction approval. Fields Dining hall, the bookstore, and all first floor services (Health Center, Campus Living, Registrar, Financial Aid and Student Accounts) will be open throughout the renovation.
- The tennis dome permit is making its way through the Portland building department. With some luck, the tennis dome will begin construction by the beginning of 2022.
- Hazardous tree removal work is moving forward with city permits approved for over 30 trees to be removed in the coming weeks. Tree canopy studies show the college remains far above city requirements with 68% of campus under canopy cover.
- Roofing Projects
- Flanagan Chapel will receive roofing repairs following damage from the ice storm last winter. Scaffolding will be up around the building perimeter through the winter and spring, and work will be performed as weather allows to try to keep this important asset accessible for all events.
- Fir Acres roof repairs are 99% complete, following a challenging October with heavy rainfall and wind.
- Stewart and Odell repairs are completed and we continue to actively monitor as we work towards full replacement in the spring of 2023.
Climate Action Planning:
Amy Dvorak and David Ernevad have been working diligently on the facilities components of the Climate Action Plan over much of the past year, specifically around options for decarbonizing our heating system. As this work progresses, we will reach out to additional individuals, groups and administrators to continue to develop this aspect of the plan. As we move into the spring semester, we’ll significantly expand the communication and feedback opportunities on the broader plan (e.g. transportation, purchasing, learning) through surveys, open houses, small group meetings, etc. If you are interested in hearing more about this work or would like to be more actively involved, please contact Amy Dvorak (email@example.com).
Sustainability Council Updates:
The Sustainability Council received a grant from the NW5 Consortium for Community Engaged Learning this past month to begin planning for a summer short course entitled “Become a Community Climate Leader.” This course will bring together high school and college students to develop the skills and knowledge needed to act on climate issues in their communities. We hope this project will be an opportunity to recruit new students to LC as well as provide current students with a unique skill-set.
Financial Planning and Analysis
Fall activities include updating the Board of Trustees on 2020-2021 financial results and projections for 2021-2022. We reported a deficit at the institutional level last year, although results were significantly better than budgeted. In the current year, we are expected to outperform the budget due to strong enrollment in all schools.
Multi-year financial planning that started during the summer has transitioned to a more focused look at next year (2022-2023). We are working with many departments across campus to refine assumptions and estimates; a final budget will be submitted to the Board in May.
With the large number of new employees this fall, we have spent a fair amount of time orienting new managers with budget processes and tools. Please reach out if you have questions or need assistance.
Business Office and Student Accounts
Comings & Goings:
- Vivian Schmolke left Student Accounts in early October. We currently have active postings for her vacated Student Account Specialist position, as well as for the Director of Student and Departmental Account Services.
The Business Office completed the FY20 403(b) audit, and the FY21 Financial Statement and Federal Award audits in September. The team is now working through the completion of numerous compliance and accreditation surveys, and preparing for calendar year-end reporting with deadlines for tax filings approaching quickly following winter break.
Student Accounts continues to disburse federal emergency funds to students. The team has now distributed $3.45M of the $4.18M in emergency funds awarded to the college to provide pandemic relief to students. The remaining $727K will be disbursed early in the Spring 2022 semester. Initial spring charges have been applied to students’ accounts. The team is working with IT and Nelnet to transition student payments to Nelnet’s Campus Commerce platform as our current TMS platform approaches end of life. The transition is targeted to be complete by the end of spring semester.
The mail room and bookstore are preparing for the Templeton renovation. The bookstore will be closed the week of November 22, so that the entrance can be modified to allow for access during the renovation. The mail room will be relocating in late-December to the lower level of the McAfee building adjacent to the HR office, and will be providing service from this location throughout the renovation.
Comings & Goings:
- We are pleased to have Trevor Dodson returning as our Sr. Director of Infrastructure! This position will be very busy as we continue to roll out Wifi, sell off IP address space, and plan for a brand new network. Trevor will be starting November 22 and may be reaching out to get caught up on any changes.
- The search for an Information Security Officer is ongoing. Many thanks to those on the search committee, this has been a difficult market to find quality applicants. We are actively interviewing finalists.
The team is supporting the implementation of Slate for both Law Admissions and Institutional Advancement. They have recently partnered with the College Advising Center and developed a midterm progress reporting process in Salesforce. Midterm progress reports were submitted for 94.5% of classes, providing CAS with much needed information to better support and retain students.
During this quarter, the team conducted several curricular workshops and follow-up drop-in sessions. Highlights include teaching students macro photography techniques necessary to image insect specimens in the VDIS lab and ensuring teacher education students can create and edit videos required for their license files. We continue to make progress on working with Classic Google sites owners to migrate to the New Google Sites platform by January 2022. Other Fall 2021 EdTech news worth revisiting can be found on our website.
Join us for the Annual Faculty Technology Institute on December 9, 3 - 5 p.m. in Smith Hall. The Faculty Technology Showcase is a yearly event co-sponsored by Information Technology and the CAS Library and Educational Technology Committee. It is a time for faculty at all three schools to discuss and share how they are using technology in teaching and research. After a year online, the showcase returns as an in-person event. For those who can’t make the in-person event, short interviews with presenters will be available on the Showcase website.
Colleague will be unavailable from 6 a.m. until approximately 8 a.m. on Tuesday, November 23 to install essential updates.
Recent Projects from IS:
- In partnership with Financial Aid and Communications, the team designed and produced a new and improved financial aid offer letter.
- Worked closely with Campus Living to import and audit room assignments and meal plans from StarRez to Colleague using new integration services for both fall and spring semesters. Housing is becoming a lot more integrated with Colleague than in the past!
- Recently kicked off the migration of student accounts from TMS to Nelnet Campus Commerce, targeted for completion in early summer 2022.
Infrastructure and Operations
The wifi infrastructure in the residence halls has been overhauled and replaced on schedule. Residential students are now enjoying the PioNet-Resident network. Each room with at least one bed has a wifi access point. The GSEC campus is next on the list for replacement, quickly followed by the law campus. All wifi is expected to be updated by the end of spring. Keep up with the latest news about the wifi replacement project here: