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A Year in Review

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | January 8, 2014 | 1 Comment |

The Division of Business Affairs enables the College’s mission by providing support through the following means: operating, funding, technological, and physical infrastructure. We work to secure and effectively manage funds necessary to maintain the College’s academic programs and support services. While 2014 is in full-swing, here are a few highlights from 2013:

Business and Auxiliary Services

Kudos to the Cougar Card Team on the successful migration of the Blackboard Transaction System – 18 months of planning, 2 new servers, conversion of 82 card readers, and transition to a new reporting system. Cougar Card Services also headed a team effort with Dining Services, Residence Life, and IT to restructure our student portal, refine the financial process, and update the meal plan delivery system.

In 2013, we introduced a new All-Access meal plan for students that has been wildly popular. We also permanently opened the late night window at City Bistro on weekends from 11:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. In one weekend, over 350 students used a meal swipe at the window! Composting was expanded to FFC and all Food Services locations and 69 tons have been composted this year. We are all excited to open a new Starbucks in Addlestone Library in Fall 2014!

Our bookstore rented 14,000 textbooks to students this year – an increase of 80% over last year. We also began selling clothing and gifts with the new College logo! Look for the College Corner, our new gift shop, to open in May 2014 on King Street.

Parking Services partnered with the Grounds department to bring our parking lot maintenance in-house. What a difference Paty and her team have made! The B and WA lots received new islands, hardware, and gates and both now use the Cougar Card for entry.

Mail Services processed 58,000 packages this year – a new record.  And we have hired student workers to work our customer service window – what a difference it has made to have students serving students.

The Sottile Theatre completed an upgrade of the rigging system and acquired a custom-built orchestra shell. With an increase of 25% in rental days over the previous year the Sottile is rocking out.

An increased property policy deductible resulted in a 10% premium savings for the College. Four new major leases have been executed this year, a major accomplishment given the number of approvals required by the State.

The Copy Center continues to provide incredible service with a smile!

Facilities Planning

The Science Center Build Out began in January 2013 and was completed just before Christmas. Occupancy and use of the newly completed space can begin in the spring semester 2014.

The Dixie Plantation Barn and Studio were completed in 2013.

The North Campus has found a new home. After exploring various options, the College decided to move forward with a newly constructed 50,000 square foot building located at 3800 Paramount Drive. The new location of will allow the building to be visible from I-526.

Finally, the design for the Rita Hollings Science Center renovation was approved.

Fiscal Services

2013 was an exciting year for Budgeting and Payroll Services. We welcomed three new members to our team; Marla Cochran, Matt Michenfelder, and Matt Priester. Additionally, Matt Nichols was promoted to the Budget Manager position. We instituted the pay card program eliminating (almost) the printing of paper payroll checks, and continued to train end users to be more self-sufficient in regard to managing their budgets.

The Controller’s Office welcomed three new permanent employees:  Crystal Mead (Grant Accounting), Brian Donohue (General Accounting) and Jodi Rupp (Accounts Payable). The Accounts Payable area was renovated to accommodate an additional AP position. We successfully completed the financial statements audit, Single Audit, and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. We also processed over 25,000 vouchers and over 5,300 IDTs!

Human Resources

Human Resources completed the transition of our employee recruiting and position management systems to the new version of PeopleAdmin. We provided training to the campus on this new functionality. We are in the final phases of EPMS system development now. This transition has required countless hours and many months of work for our PA team, including Linda McClenaghan, Dee Cole, Sherri Shannon, and Mina McCann.  A huge thank you to this team for a long, hard job well done!

Our office developed and introduced a new Executive Onboarding system to help orient our new leaders to the College community and culture. We are piloting the program now and plan to expand it in the coming year.

Human Resources also developed and launched a new online exit interview process for our employees who are leaving the college. Now we can track trend data and provide reports to help monitor issues in the workplace.

Lastly, we revised our supervisory training program to offer new, practical information to help develop our supervisors.

Information Technology

Some highlights from Information Technology include the extension of Helpdesk hours, the rollout of Microsoft EES, and completion of network installation on the second floor of the School of Science & Mathematics building. We also completed 27 classroom upgrades as well as an upgrade to the Faculty Technology Center. Other highlights include the completion of several workflow and web forms, the completion of the second TechQual+ survey with 25 percent greater feedback than last year, and a successful 2-day project management training session with 28 attendees. We also made significant progress on the wireless network upgrades and launched the new standing IT Strategic Advisory Committee.

Physical Plant

2013 has been a productive and challenging year for the Physical Plant. The department has accomplished many significant goals and objectives due to the hard work of many dedicated employees.  Sometimes it is the consistent and routine accomplishments that say so much about our staff and the difference that they make on a daily basis. We would like to extend a BIG thank you to the Physical Plant personnel for all of the effort they put into maintaining the facilities and supporting important events like Commencement to ensure that our students have the best possible experience at the College.


Campus Bike Share Program Launched: The Office of Sustainability launched the campus’s bike share program this August. This first semester was very successful with a total of 171 combined students, faculty, and staff members registered to use the program and 264 total bike checkouts.

Campus’s 1st Zero Waste Event: In collaboration with the Office of Student Life, Dining Services, and Food Waste Disposal, the Office of Sustainability helped host the College’s first zero waste event in September 2013. This event–held during Fall Family Weekend–met the industry’s definition of zero waste by sending less than 10% of the event’s waste to the landfill.

Office of Sustainability Interns Present at AASHE Conference: This semester two undergraduate interns and one graduate assistant for the Office of Sustainability presented at the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) National Conference in Nashville, TN. CofC Senior Lexa Keane presented on the College’s relationship with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) while junior Abby Tennenbaum and MES candidate Ashlyn Hochschild spoke about the campus’s increased composting efforts.

under: Business Affairs
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Amazing number and magnitude of accomplishments. Thanks to all who have made these happen.


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