2013 - 4th Quarter

Welcome to InFocus!


Interim Vice President and Treasurer Thomas Richards

Interim Vice President and Treasurer Thomas Richards


Greetings from the Office of Finance.  You may (or may not) have noticed that “and Administration” has disappeared from our name. As part of the transition process following the recent retirement of Vice President Nikki Krawitz, we looked across peer institutions to see how other organizations were aligned.  We noticed that when “Finance and Administration” was used at other institutions, those divisions most often included human resources and information technology. Since those functions have been separate divisions at the UM System for some time, we thought changing our name to “Office of Finance” would better reflect our areas of responsibility and be more consistent with peers.  Also related to the transition, as previously reported, a decision was made to move Institutional Research from Finance to Academic Affairs.  Beyond the name, and the move of Institutional Research, nothing else has changed.  We are the same great team doing an outstanding job each day.

On a more serious note, I’d like to update you on an important initiative currently underway across the University of Missouri System regarding our fiscal/finance function.  We are working with our internal auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), on a review of fiscal management practices throughout the University.  The purpose of this review is to gather input and observations from multiple perspectives, identify opportunities for improvement, and provide a general basis for collaborative strategic planning efforts to further strengthen how we do business and serve our customers – both internal and external.  Our goal is simple – provide best in class service in an effective and efficient manner.

As part of this review, PwC has interviewed a representative sample of fiscal officers throughout the four campuses and at UM System.  Additionally, input has been gathered from the finance leadership team at each campus.  Finally, we recently sent out a survey on the fiscal management function to over 800 employees across the System with some fiscal management role (and I’m pleased to report a survey response rate of nearly 60%).

Over the next several months, we’ll be working with PwC to assess all of the information gathered as part of this entire review. Once that process is complete, we’ll begin working with finance team leadership throughout the campuses and System to formulate a plan of action to address any identified opportunities for improvement.  Finally, results will be shared with the entire University community.

Thanks to everyone who had participated in this process!

Tom Richards

Interim Vice President for Finance and Treasurer

University of Missouri System

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