Welcome to In Focus!

The University of Missouri System
Finance & Administration quarterly newsletter 
Nikki Krawitz
Vice President Krawitz

Enhancing customer service begins with valuing employees.  
A measurable and strong link exists between how we feel and how we perform.  When we believe that our contributions to the University are valued, we feel good about ourselves and this is reflected in our interactions with others.  Happy employees usually have happy customers.

Goal 4 in the University of Missouri Strategic Plan, Valuing People and Creating a High-Performing Organization, recognizes the importance of this issue.  To evaluate F & A's performance on this goal, we have conducted work environment surveys for the past two years of all our employees.  While the results showed that in many ways, F & A employees perceive a positive work environment, in the area of feeling valued, we have work to do!

So, what are we doing?  Among other initiatives, with this edition we are initiating the Hats Off Award for Exceptional Customer Service Contribution!  This program will provide the opportunity to recognize and value F & A employees who have performed exceptionally.  Read more about this award in the News & Updates section of InFocus.

The goal of the newsletter is to enhance our customer service by providing information that will support the work that you do for the university.  As always, we welcome your feedback and your contributions.

- Natalie "Nikki" Krawitz
  Vice President for Finance & Administration


In the last newsletter, we illustrated the many ways that F & A looks after University money, constantly working in the background to support the mission of the University.  Of the 6 offices within F & A, by far the largest is the Division of Management Services.

Our Spotlight for this edition is on William "Bill" Cooper who in February took the reins as Associate Vice President for Management Services.  He will continue as our Chief Procurement Officer for UM Procurement Services, maintaining continuity within the department, and lead us through the ePro implementation (get an update about ePro in the News & Updates section!).  Bill reports directly to Vice President Krawitz and now will oversee the other five Management Services departments.

A Chicago native, Bill has extensive University experience in California (CA Institute of Technology and CA State University-Northridge) and Ohio (Cincinnati State Technical & Community College).  He also draws on his experience of owning his own business and working in both an industry environment and with the Federal Government.  Bill's family includes his wife, Angela, and his teenage son, Tyler.  We welcome Bill into his new role with F & A!

As mentioned previously, Management Services includes six departments.  These departments will be highlighted in future editions of InFocus, but in the mean time, here is a glimpse into what each does for you:

  1. Business Services (Business Policy Manual, Real Estate, Non-Purchase Order Contracts)
  2. Facilities Planning and Development (Construction on Campuses)
  3. Minority Business Development (Business with Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises)
  4. Procurement Services (Purchase Order Contracts, Purchase supplies; UM Credit Cards)
  5. Records Management (Record storage)
  6. Risk and Insurance Management (Insurance, Workers' Compensation)

To find out more about the different ways that Management Services works with you and the University and who to contact if you have a question, check out their website.

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OwlWISDOM'S CORNER *New Section*

Featuring Challenging and Inspiring Thoughts
The Power of One

Building strong healthy relationships and exercising one's individual influence are essential elements that lead to personal and professional success and significance.  If you find yourself frequently complaining that people and systems are preventing the change and improvements you desire and that you can't do anything about it – think again.  Think about the "power of one" – one person can make a difference, one person can change the course of events, one person can touch the lives of hundreds in a significant way.  Gandhi did, so did Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa, and countless other less known men and women down through the centuries.  And, so can you!  Be like the children's story book character in the "The Little Engine that Could."  Just say to yourself "I think I can," "I think I can," I think I can."  Exert the power of one, expand your boundaries of influence and cultivate positive working relationships that create "win-win" outcomes for all parties.  And, before you know it, what once seemed impossible has become a reality.  That's the "power of one."

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Are you traveling out of state on University business?  Are you being charged TAXES?

Did you know that University of Missouri employees and students traveling on University related business are exempt from sales tax in 22 other states?  A list of states where the University qualifies as exempt from sales tax and links to any forms necessary to prove this exemption is maintained on the Controller’s Office website.

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riskyRisky Business

I’m renting a car for University Business.  What insurance options should I take?

We recommend that employees always use the University sponsored Corporate Card (aka: Travel Credit Card – NOT the P-Card) when renting a car.  This method of payment provides physical damage coverage at no cost to the University and with no deductible to the department! Using the Travel Credit Card also helps reduce costs for the University by paying for physical damage repairs to the rental car.  If you do not have a Travel Credit Card the university's self-insured program pays for the physical damage to the rental car. However, if you use the vehicle for any personal business you would be responsible for the any damage and liability that occurs.

Here are the conditions in which the insurance options should be elected:

  • Renting a vehicle for a country OUTSIDE of the United States or Canada
  • UMR rentals at the Rolla Enterprise location
  • Passenger van with seating capacity greater than 8
  • Truck (or similar vehicle) with the purpose to transport any type of cargo or property
  • SUV for off-road use
  • Rentals within the United States and Canada by authorized foreign national guests of the University.

If you do not fall into any of the above categories, then decline all options! 

Uh-Oh.  I had a little accident.  What do I do now?
Don’t panic – just report it!  Contact your appropriate Campus Contact to begin the claim process. An accident report can be vital to the claim process. Please contact the following if you are involved in an accident:

  • On campus; contact the University Police Department
  • Off campus but in town; contact the City Police Department (call 911)
  • On the highway; contact the Highway Patrol (in Missouri use *55 on your cell phone)

Immediately report the accident to the following:

  • Complete the Vehicle Accident Report, Form UM-5
  • Contact your appropriate Campus Contact
  • Contact Master Card Claims to initiate a claim if the vehicle was rented using a Travel Credit Card and there was physical damage to the vehicle. Contact the toll free number on the back of the credit card (800-622-7747). 

For more information about Auto Coverage or other insurance matters please see our website: www.umsystem.edu/rim or contact our office at 882-8100.

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newsNews & Updates

arrowFinance & Administration

Hats Off Award

The Hats Off Award is the recognition of a Finance and Administration (F & A) employee or a group of employees who have made an Exceptional Customer Service Contribution to the University of Missouri.  Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration, it is a management tool to improve the work environment.  Specifically it is a way F & A can help employees feel valued and appreciated, as well as tie performances to the working of the University.  It is also directly supportive of the UM Strategic Plan IV – Valuing people and Creating a High-Performing Organization, and addresses the past 2 years of data showing the staff do not feel they routinely receive recognition or praise for good work.

hatsAll University of Missouri employees who give “Exceptional Customer Service Contributions” to the University through F & A program initiatives are eligible (i.e. outstanding job performance that positively impacts F & A internal and external customers and allows F & A to achieve its goals through a task force, committee work, etc.).  Because F & A employees work intimately with other divisions and campuses, the Hats Off Award may be given to an employee or group outside of F & A, but whose specific effort has significantly enhanced F & A performance.

Specific positions within F & A have been named Hats Off Supervisors (HOS) as listed below and are responsible for the Hats Off Awards in his/her area.  S/he will receive all nominations or solicit nominations and determine if the cited performance merits “Hats Off” recognition.   When the HOS determines a “Hats Off Award” is appropriate, s/he immediately sends an e-mail to the recipient copying the entire division (i.e., all staff within Management Services, Office of the Controller, etc.), the Vice President for F & A, and the InFocus editor.  This e-mail will specifically cite how the Exceptional Customer Service Contribution positively reflects on the reputation of the entire F & A division.  The HOS will make a presentation of Award items.

Sound like fun?  We’re looking forward to seeing the expressions on the faces of the award recipients for a job well done.

Each of us is vital to the success of the University.  When you see someone making an Exceptional Contribution, let them know – you just might make their day!

arrowOffice of the Controller

In the previous newsletter you were warned to Beware of the Ides of March.  Since all of us (except Julius Caesar) survived March, we have scheduled our timeline for campus visits to discuss Unrelated Business Income Tax beginning in May instead of March.

The Controller’s Office staff and the University’s tax advisors, Deloitte Tax, LLP will be traveling to each campus to educate campus staff about unrelated business income tax (UBIT).  We will discuss what qualifies as unrelated business income and provide tools for the campus to use that will ensure that all unrelated business income is accounted for appropriately.  Specific dates of the visits will be scheduled soon.  A frequently asked questions (FAQ) relating to unrelated business income tax is maintained on the Controller’s Office website.

arrowNew Assistant Controller!
Joe Sanning

Joe Sanning joined the Office of the Controller team as Assistant Controller Post Award Grants Administration on March 26th.  A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a graduate of Morehead State University in Kentucky, Joe will provide system-wide leadership over post award sponsored programs activity for Federal, State and Private grants and contracts and compliance with OMB Circulars A-21, A-110 and A-133.  Joe’s experience with both the University environment as well as previous public accounting experience will be quite an asset to our team.  Please join us in welcoming Joe to the University!

arrowInternal Auditing

2007 Annual Big 12 Internal Audit Conference!

This year's Big 12 Internal Audit Conference will be hosted by the University of Missouri.  The conference will be held at the Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia, May 21 – 23, 2007 with arrival activities on Sunday, May 20.  The agenda consists of a variety of topics which impact many areas of higher education.  The Conference Schedule and activities can be found here.  Register TODAY!

arrowInstitutional Research and Planning

When decisions need to be made by senior administration, who do they call?  IR&P!

We access data on many levels – Students, Human Resources, Research Funding, Financial Aid – and provide those decision makers with the information they need to make the best decisions.  Not just for the University, but also for other external constituents.

We encourage you to visit our website!  Many of the tables and reports are useful particularly if you are looking for historical information across the four campuses or for the UM System as a whole. Information can be found in the following areas:

  • Students, Enrollment and Credit Hours
  • Faculty and Staff
  • Financial Aid
  • Degrees and Graduation
  • Research Funding
  • Academic Programs

So if you’re ever in the need of that University data to make critical decisions in your area, check out the website for information on the above areas, or give us a call at 882-2778.

arrowProcurement Services

eProcurement (ePro) – Taking University Purchasing to the Next Level!

The ePro implementation project is moving along right on schedule, gaining energy and impetus as it progresses.  From early January through mid-February "fit-gap" analysis sessions were held with each Campus Advisory Group (CAG).  The purpose of these sessions was to demonstrate the functional aspects of the software solution, compare that to local business practices, and identify and address significant "gaps" if present. 

We are pleased to report that there were no major design issues identified as a result of the "fit-gap" sessions.  During the week of February 26 the Campus Advisory Groups hosted project overview and product demonstration assemblies open to all staff at their respective campuses.  Attendance at all of these programs was tremendous with UMC turning out overflow crowds in excess of 225 persons for both the morning and afternoon sessions. 

During these campus assemblies the "Name the Marketplace" contest was announced.  All staff were invited to submit to their respective CAG ideas for a name and corresponding logo that best personify our new system wide "virtual" shopping mall.  The entries were reviewed by each CAG and their choice of the best campus submission was forwarded to the Core Project Team.  These submissions will be showcased on the new ePro Project web page

checkWe are calling on you to select the winning name and logo by going to the web page and voting for your favorite design! 

Individuals submitting the overall winner and the three runner-up entries will all receive prizes.  The winning design, names of all the contest winners and the prizes received will be posted on the new ePro Project website after the contest ends on May 1, 2007.

This web page, which can be accessed via the UM Procurement Services website, will also serve as a ready reference for all information regarding the current status of the project including executed supplier agreements.  Later on, in the system development of the site, we will include a "sandbox" training environment where future users can become accustomed to the look, feel and function of the new marketplace before we go live.  Remember to direct any questions, suggestions or concerns to your local CAG as your input is really important to the success of this project!!

Campus Advisory Group Leads are UMC - Teresa Vest, UMKC - David Babcock, UMR - Pat Davis, and UMSL - Tangie Brooks

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Focus On: Answer


UMSL, Thomas Jefferson Library

Located off of West Drive, this signature glass pyramid is located on the west side of the Thomas Jefferson Library on the UMSL campus.  This feature of the library was part of the remodeling project in 1990, and pays tribute to the strong French influence in the settling of the St. Louis area.

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