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NACUBO Notes

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2012 NACUBO Award Recipients

Each year, NACUBO honors individual and institutional excellence through its awards program. The 2012 recipients were recognized in July during the annual meeting in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area at a ceremony supported by Sodexo.

McFarlane and Tucker Receive Distinguished Business Officer Award

Edwin O. "Ed" McFarlane, vice president and treasurer, Reed College, Portland, Oregon, and James R. Tucker, senior vice president of student life and administrative services, Drexel University, Philadelphia, received NACUBO's most prestigious honor for outstanding contributions to business and financial management in higher education.

McFarlane

McFarlane, who has worked at Reed College for 40 years and has served seven presidents, has been instrumental in growing the college's endowment fund from $4 million in 1973 to $400 million in 2012. He has overseen the considerable expansion of campus facilities, adding 16 acres and approximately 350,000 square feet of new building space, not including the 80,000-square-foot performing arts building under construction.

McFarlane encouraged the creation and development of numerous organizations—at regional and national levels—in support of higher education. He is a founding member of several organizations, including the Pacific Consortium of West Coast Small College Business Officers; the College Liability Insurance Co.; and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a funded study group that resulted in the establishment of Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions.

McFarlane also is a founding trustee and chairman of the board of the Oregon Educational Employees Workers' Compensation Trust, and of the Pioneer Educators Health Trust.

He has dedicated considerable attention to regional accreditation, serving for 12 years on the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, including seven years as chairman. An active member of WACUBO and NACUBO, McFarlane often presents at meetings and conferences of both groups and he has served numerous times on WACUBO's professional development committee.

TuckerTucker started his career in higher education in 1977 at the age of 19 as a parking attendant at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, while working toward a bachelor's degree. He spent the next 30 years at the university, rising to the position of vice president for administrative and business services, where he was responsible for 1,800 employees and a $201 million annual operating budget.

His accomplishments included increasing the university's national collegiate ranking in U.S. News & World Report by 27 positions in four years; improving work-order cycle times by 350 percent; executing the university's $250 million Main Street project; and improving on-campus safety by 35 percent and off-campus safety by 25 percent.

After retiring from the University of Cincinnati in 2007—and becoming one of only two nonacademic administrators in the university's history to receive the title of vice president emeritus—Tucker joined Drexel University as senior vice president of student life and administrative services. In this position, he oversees the combined operations of more than 45 departments with approximately 2,300 university, student, contract, and union employees, and a $100 million operating budget. He established the university's first police department, which in less than three years achieved international accreditation.

Tucker has embraced sustainability at Drexel. Measures include a 75-foot-high living biowall—a functional wall of tropical plants that purifies indoor air; a commitment to using the Green Globes building-assessment system on all construction projects; and participation in Pennsylvania's Campus Energy Efficiency Fund. Drexel also has surpassed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment goal by purchasing 100 percent wind power, and reducing the university's operations carbon footprint by 81 percent and water consumption by 42 percent in two years.

Wheeler Named Daniel D. Robinson Award Recipient

WheelerMary S. Wheeler, assistant vice president of finance, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, earned NACUBO's Daniel D. Robinson Accounting Award.

Wheeler has more than two decades of diverse experience at large and small campuses; private, public, and community colleges; and an affiliated foundation. She has worked tirelessly for the advancement of higher education, and in particular, on accounting for colleges and universities.

Since 1994, Wheeler has been actively involved in the creation, development, and implementation of the Kuali open source software solution for higher education. An early advocate of the community source concept, Wheeler served as the representative to the Kuali Functional Council while at Cornell University. She accepted the position of assistant vice president of finance at the Stevens Institute in 2010, where she was a major proponent of installing the Kuali Financial System. Wheeler spearheaded the implementation project, which was completed in less than a year.

Intent on helping to shape developments at standards-setting organizations, Wheeler joined NACUBO's Accounting Principles Council in 2005 and became its chair in 2010. She wrote NACUBO's Guide to Unitizing Investment Pools and coauthored a number of articles on a variety of topics for Business Officer magazine. She has participated in numerous conferences, workshops, and webcasts and is routinely sought by colleagues and accounting standards setters for her insightfulness.

Malpass Selected for Adams Award

MalpassScott C. Malpass, vice president and chief investment officer, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, earned NACUBO's Rodney H. Adams Endowment Management Award.

Malpass has served as chief investment officer for Notre Dame since 1989, during which time the university's assets have grown from $500 million to $7 billion. Today, the university's endowment is the 14th largest in American higher education and the largest at a Catholic university.

Under his stewardship, the university's investments have shifted from a basic portfolio of large-cap stocks and high-grade domestic bonds to a highly diversified global portfolio; the university's endowment has achieved top-tier investment performance for both short- and long-term periods; and the investment office has increased from a staff of 5 employees to 36.

Malpass is widely recognized for his expertise. He is one of 12 leading chief investment officers profiled in the book Foundation and Endowment Investing: Philosophies and Strategies of Top Investors and Institutions (Wiley Finance, 2007). In 2010, he was both a contributor to and subject of a case study on endowment management at the Harvard Business School.

He also has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the James E. Armstrong Award, given annually to an alumnus who is a current employee of Notre Dame and has rendered distinguished service to the university. In 2011, Malpass received the Large Endowment Manager of the Year Award from Institutional Investor magazine. He is a concurrent assistant professor of finance in the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame.

Malpass also serves on the investment advisory committee for Major League Baseball and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and is on the boards of directors for TIFF (The Investment Fund for Foundations), and the Vanguard Group.

Carson Receives 2012 Tax Award

CarsonDavid L. Carson, vice president of business and finance, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Georgia, has received the NACUBO 2012 Tax Award in recognition of his more than 25 years of experience in accounting, finance, and taxation in higher education, particularly his contributions to tax advocacy and professional development.

As vice president of business and finance, Carson oversees accounting, finance, facilities, real estate, capital projects, budget, human resources, tax reporting, business and auxiliary services, information technology, and athletics.

Carson is a staunch advocate for higher education and an active member of NACUBO's Tax Council. He volunteered to work on the Form 990 response team—a group of campus tax administrators who analyzed and commented on the draft version of the expanded Form 990. Carson participated in NACUBO meetings with Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington, D.C., during the comment period, giving feedback about the many challenges the new form presented for colleges and universities. His leadership during the comment process resulted in a number of NACUBO's suggestions being adopted by IRS in the final version of the form.

Carson has served at increasingly senior positions in campus business and financial operations, beginning in 1987 as an internal auditor at Indiana University. As chief accountant at the university in the late 1990s, Carson developed and implemented the then-new and daunting Form 1098-T reporting and information systems, while managing to streamline operations and reduce campus costs.

Carson has spoken on tax matters at various events, including NACUBO's Tax Forum, UBIT workshop, and annual meeting, and he has participated in numerous webcasts.

Bailey and Rehn Named Rising Stars

Mary Kaye A. Bailey, associate vice president, financial services/controller, College of Southern Nevada (CSN), and Lynn M. Rehn, assistant vice president and controller, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Baltimore, Maryland, received NACUBO's Rising Star Award that recognizes outstanding professionals at colleges and universities with high potential to succeed as executives and officers in higher education.

BaileyBailey's planning and effective cost-cutting measures have been particularly beneficial to the college at a time when state appropriations have been slashed by more than 21 percent. She has implemented more efficient procedures for both staff and end users, and has been able to increase staff at a time when many organizations are hard-pressed to expand their workforce.

To help advance college practices and processes, Bailey participates in numerous internal-service activities. She is also a member of the CSN's all-college budget reduction committee, the human resources advisory committee, and the accreditation team. She is the college's sole representative on various committees within the statewide system on enterprise resource planning processes.

Outside the college, Bailey is involved with a number of groups for the Nevada System of Higher Education, including the NSHE controllers' group and advantage users' group. Her professional activities include NACUBO, WACUBO, the Nevada Society of CPAs, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Bailey devotes considerable time to social causes. She and her husband were integral in the enactment of a law that improves mental health care for veterans. The law was initiated by a letter from the Baileys—who also testified at a congressional hearing—to U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka after their son Justin died while receiving care from Veterans Affairs.

RehnRehn has made significant strides at UMBC since joining the institution in 2009. As assistant vice president and controller, she is responsible for all financial accounting and reporting functions for the campus, including accounts payable, plant accounting, financial reporting, payroll, inventory control, and contract and grant accounting. She also provides fiscal control, oversight, and reporting of the university's net assets, which total $228 million, and supervises a staff of 30 full-time employees.

She has significantly raised the data accuracy and analysis of the university's financial records. Rehn implemented much-needed business process improvements in reconciliation, recordkeeping, financial analysis, and inventory. She also implemented policy changes and established system-based solutions to facilitate these improvements. She has elevated staff performance, attracted strong new hires, and improved overall operations.

Rehn reorganized the year-end close process in response to negative internal audit concerns from the previous year. A recent follow-up on the poor financial statement audit resulted in all findings deemed "resolved."

Rehn's influence has extended to other departments in central financial services as well, including her extensive work with contract and grants accounting to improve the processing of payroll adjustments, reviewing of journal entries, and reconciliations.

Three Institutions Receive Innovation Award Honors

Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island, for its TecHub and TechStation, a computer-equipped study lounge and information center for students at the institution's library. To address the challenges of expanded technology usage on campus, the library and information technology services formed a joint venture to create TecHub within the library. The IT help desk was functionally merged with the library staff to deliver tech support at hours and a location convenient to students, faculty, and staff. IT and library staff were cross-trained, reducing the need to hire additional employees for extended hours of service. The TecHub, which can accommodate about 85 students, and the newly named TechStation (formerly the help desk) opened in fall 2010. TecHub offers the strongest wireless connectivity on campus and features computer terminals and data ports; collaboration tables, each with a Mac minicomputer; a wall-mounted, flat-screen monitor to project images from a laptop; and tables and chairs on casters, so they can be rearranged by students. TechStation, located in a corner of the TecHub, is a technology and research help desk staffed by student workers in IT and the library. The entire space can be reconfigured to accommodate formal student readings and presentations, lectures, digital art exhibitions, and even musical presentations and social dances. The cost of renovation and furnishings totaled $133,000, while the co-location and cross-training of staff has resulted in an annual savings of nearly $50,000.

University of Illinois at Chicago for its six communication strategies designed to improve financial information and services to incoming students and their parents, thereby increasing tuition payment and student retention, reducing payment delays, and improving the university's cash flow. The University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations (USFSCO), which is responsible for student billing and collections at the institution's three campuses, implemented the following strategies.

  • Webinars: The staff conducted 12 webinars for new students and their parents, including instructions on how to sign up for direct deposit and authorized payer.
  • Parent open house: USFSCO presented four parent open houses at each campus after hours and on Saturday mornings, providing DVD copies of the webinar to attendees.
  • Individual consultations: Customer service staff conducted consultations with freshmen in person or over the telephone. The consultations, along with the webinars and open houses, reduced call volume.
  • Web site redesign: USFSCO revamped its Web site (http://paymybill.uillinois.edu) by augmenting the financial information, making the site easier to navigate, and enhancing visual appeal.
  • Payment plan: USFSCO developed a more user-friendly payment plan by improving the budget component and requiring users to authorize any changes to the monthly payment amount.
  • Student Money Management Center: The center provides resources to help students manage their finances in school and after graduation.

Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration, Troy, Michigan, for its social engineering awareness and data-loss prevention initiative. In May 2011, officials at Walsh College discussed ways to defend against a targeted attack on the institution's staff, facilities, and information system, but concluded that training sessions alone for the staff without any sense of urgency would not achieve a long-term transformation. The administrators decided to contract with Identity Theft Loss Prevention (IDTLP) to conduct a penetration test of the college's people, technology, and facilities. The date of the test was a closely held secret so that the event would be as realistic as possible.Exposing the institution's entire operation to a series of "real life" breaches in a controlled environment, by ethical "thieves" using actual tactics, shocked almost everyone at the college. The test revealed that the majority of the college's vulnerability was outside the cyber domain. The definition of information security had to be expanded to include the security of confidential and sensitive information in documentation that also resided in drawers, desks, and storage rooms. In the second phase of the initiative, officials worked with IDTLP to create an identity-theft prevention program, starting with the assembly of a multidisciplinary team. The team assessed departmental vulnerabilities, identified interdepartmental risks, and developed an implementation strategy for the program. The final phase involves maintaining the program. The identity-theft prevention team plans to meet quarterly, and officials will continue to engage IDTLP for ongoing team, faculty, and staff training, as well as periodic practice assessments.