The Finance and Business unit is involved in a variety of tasks for not only DELTA but the entire Academic Outreach and Entrepreneurship (AOE) unit. Each staff member that makes up the business office agreed that the varying tasks keep their jobs interesting.
“Every day we’re working on something a little different,” said Assistant Vice Provost for Business Operations Jessie Sova. While housed in DELTA, the Finance and Business office has a hand in each unit of AOE:
- Wolfpack Investor Network
- McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education
- Outreach and Engagement
- Entrepreneurship Initiative
One of the business office’s major responsibilities for the Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN) was assisting in establishing a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and developing the administrative and financial internal controls for the new LLC. In addition, the business office provides account administration to WIN.
For the McKimmon Center, the business office provides general oversight including reviewing financial plans and program rate changes. Currently, the business office is helping McKimmon Center upgrade from point-of-sale terminals to Bluefin, which may ultimately impact the REPORTER registration system, an endeavor the business office is heavily involved in.
The Finance and Business office recently completed a four-year plan for Outreach and Engagement to ensure the unit has the resources to support its operations and strategic plan, with one part being REPORTER. Jenny Wilson is a business systems analyst within Outreach and Engagement. She also works with DELTA to onboard and train departments across campus on REPORTER. Sova serves as the business services data steward for REPORTER, and the Finance and Business office provides business services to campus clients.
Accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll are the main functions provided by the business office for the Entrepreneurship Initiative. Erica Wisecup, executive assistant to the senior vice provost, is responsible for the budgeting piece. Sova’s job is to prepare the financial statements and ensure resources used and received support the strategic decision-making process of the Entrepreneurship Initiative and AOE.
The Finance and Business office works with Online and Distance Education to review recommendations and determine the budget impact to DELTA and Online and Distance Education programs.
In addition, the Finance and Business office manages DELTA space planning and management activities, managing projects and resources. Many of these projects encompass several years of planning. Recently, the unit just finished the Center for Technology & Innovation relocation project where planning began December 2014 and the actual relocation was December 2017.
Roles, Responsibilities and Changes
During this past year, the business office modified staff job functions to better align duties within the team which included internal training to distribute responsibilities. The cross-training ensured there would be more than one person who had experience in a specific area.
Business Operations Accountant Julie Bunting said her role has changed a lot in the past year as DELTA and AOE have grown. “There has been a need to have more than one person doing the day-to-day accounting transactions,” she said.
Currently, Bunting manages internal budgets for DELTA, performs rate analyses for various AOE units, and works on other projects as needed, such as reviewing insurance coverage needs for capital equipment. Bunting has been working with Business Operations Specialist Angela Hallman on many of the day-to-day accounting transactions.
Hallman transitioned from an Online and Distance Education scheduling officer to the Finance and Business office two years ago. She agreed her role has changed in the past year as well. In addition to accounting transactions, Hallman ensures appropriate DELTA staff members have access to the building and parking, processes security access requests (SAR), submits ComTech work orders and handles other various issues that arise.
“My position is still evolving as we grow. I am open to it, and I like the idea of doing different things — it is fulfilling in that way,” said Hallman.
Administrative Support Specialist Tammy Rodda is the first point of contact at DELTA. Rodda now directs wayward students to the Centennial Campus Test Center and greets visitors along with many other duties.
“I have taken over KABA timekeeping and hire actions for temporary and student workers. I ensure everyone’s time is correct and approved by their supervisors,” said Rodda. She worked with Hallman and Bunting to learn the process.
Rodda also works with Human Resources (HR) Consultant Alexis Simison as an HR backup and fulfills many HR duties such as WolfTime, the university’s new timekeeping system. “WolfTime is a big transition for everyone. There are many questions coming our way each week,” said Rodda.
Simison deals with the human aspect of the organization and ensures DELTA is compliant with campus and state regulations. Within the past year, a huge change in her role was switching from paper to electronic time reporting. “In the business office, we are responsible for educating our staff on those kind of changes,” she said. Other pieces of her job are employee relations and position management.
“I am an HR generalist, so I get my hands in just about every aspect of HR,” said Simison.
The Finance and Business office will continue to work as a team to be efficient in all of its processes.
In addition, Simison and Rodda are reviewing and refreshing job descriptions and work plans. They are also planning to create a searchable HR knowledge base so DELTA staff members can easily find answers to common questions.
HR is also busy creating a Wellness Program within DELTA and the Entrepreneurship Initiative to provide examples of better workplace life balance. Simison indicated the business office is seeking a wellness organization certification by May 2018 to be part of the campus initiative.
Current and future goals include business continuity and ensuring managers and directors have the resources they need to achieve their goals. “One of the big things we do is align resources to the philosophy of DELTA and the other units of AOE. We don’t plan a budget, we budget a plan. Come up with the plan first, and we’ll figure out the resources you need and how to make it work,” said Sova.