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Research Newsletter Report 8/26/22

August 26, 2022

A message from Kurt Schnier, interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer:

Our team continues to focus on our fiscal close efforts.  This remains their central focus and will be so until we submit our final documents to the Office of the President on September 9th. The fiscal close this year has been going more smoothly than last year, mainly a result of all the wonderful work that our team did over the last year to improve the campus’ use of the system. Although there is still work to do over the coming year, the campus’ use of the Oracle system has improved dramatically, and I greatly appreciate our team’s efforts to support the campus during this transition.  

We are also beginning to see the benefits of the campus’ investments that have been provided to our division to increase the back-end accounting and budgeting support of the system. We have more than doubled the size of our accounting team and additional investments will be made as a result of the campus’ FY23 Budget Call process. We have also added a number of staff to our Financial Planning and Analysis team that will help support the campus’ budget management practices within the system.  These additional resources will allow the team to more proactively manage the campus’ use of the Oracle system and to develop processes focused on ensuring the integrity of the data within it. 

Improving our invoicing still remains a top priority for our team.  We have been working collaboratively with your RAs to better define our respective roles and responsibilities in support of the faculty. This, along with our recent reorganization in the division, will improve our services moving forward.   

As we move into the new academic year our main foci will be on reconciling lingering data inconsistencies that are still within the system (mainly resulting from the end of FY21), collaborating with Human Resources in providing comprehensive performance support resources to better utilize the Oracle system (e.g., excel literacy, Oracle Guided Learning), improving our reporting support for campus users through the development of improved reports and skill developments such as SmartView, and improving the processes and workflow within the system.  

Both myself and Amanda Preston-Nelson (AVC/Controller) will be hosting a second Oracle Town Hall on Monday, September 19.  More information regarding agenda, time and Zoom link will be sent to the campus community on September 1.   

Our work is definitely cut out for us this year, but we are starting from a far better position than last year.  Furthermore, I thank all the campus staff that participated in our Oracle Reboot Camps over the summer.  Their extra effort in these trainings has helped improve the knowledge base necessary to support our campus in the coming year. We greatly appreciate their shared ownership of the Oracle system and our collaborative need to better support the campus moving forward. Next time you interact with your financial staff and our team please express your gratitude for the improvements that they have been able to provide to support the campus.