2015 - 1st Quarter

Welcome to InFocus!

By Brian Burnett, Vice President for Finance and CFO
Brian Burnett, Vice President for Finance and CFO

Brian Burnett, Vice President for Finance and CFO

The only constant in life……….change.

With the diverse missions of the University of Missouri System and its campuses and operations, there is no question our ability to serve is increasingly financially strained under increasing demands for service from more students, limited state appropriation growth, tuition increase limits, and a challenging environment for competitive research funding. These are the realities we face as we work to serve the state of Missouri and the students who come to our campuses to learn and grow their abilities to be productive citizens of the state and nation. Thus, as the university continues to look for ways to not just survive but thrive in an era of a challenging funding climate, we must continue to examine ways to improve our operations and services. For the UM System Office of Finance, we must find ways to improve our operations and effectiveness of our services to the campuses we serve.

We announced earlier this year one such effort to attain enhanced internal audit coverage for our growing enterprise. We are doing this by “insourcing” our internal audit function after more than a decade of outsourcing this function to PwC. PwC has been a reliable and trusted audit partner for the UM System since 1999. We are grateful for their work and expertise over the years in what, at times, can be a challenging function for any organization. However, after careful analysis and discussions with the President and Board of Curators, we made the decision to move to a System Office of Internal Audit, effective November 1, 2015. To build a new division from the “ground up”, it is imperative we move quickly and thoughtfully to hire a Chief Audit Executive that will lead and oversee this new division. The search for this position is underway and we hope to have this person selected by April or May. This new Chief Auditor will then work to assemble a team of qualified audit personnel to create this system division. This new function will not cost the system or campuses any additional funding beyond what we were already spending on internal audit but is expected to result in greatly enhanced audit coverage and processes consulting across the four campuses, health system, and UM system.

Life coach and self-help guru Tony Robbins has been quoted as saying, “Change is inevitable. Progress is optional”. I would encourage all members of our teams to continue, as so many of you have, to work on making positive progress in the face of inevitable change. Change comes in many forms in terms of work locations or space, daily or weekly assignments, reporting structures, the “dreaded” administrative system upgrades and changes, and so many others. I continue to appreciate what each of you do across the UM System and I encourage all of you to bring forth your positive energy, ideas, and dedication to the University of Missouri as we meet the challenges we face together.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email