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Sense and Sensibility – A Review of Two Post Award Office Structures Presenters: Rochelle Athey – Executive Director Sponsored Programs University of Nevada.

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Presentation on theme: "Sense and Sensibility – A Review of Two Post Award Office Structures Presenters: Rochelle Athey – Executive Director Sponsored Programs University of Nevada."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sense and Sensibility – A Review of Two Post Award Office Structures Presenters: Rochelle Athey – Executive Director Sponsored Programs University of Nevada Las Vegas Kim Calvery – Assistant Director Office of Post Award Administration Oregon State University

2 UNLV The experience of a combined post-award office in a growing, medium-sized research university

3 Background Information “One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering.”

4 UNLV Post-Award Statistics  $106M in awards in FY07  $104M in expenditures in FY07  Experienced expenditure growth of 16.5% annually over the past five years  Staff has not increased significantly during that time frame 1 Assoc Dir; 4 Sr. Research Administrators; 2 Grant Coordinators

5 UNLV Post-Award History  Co-located with the pre-award office in November 2005  Combined with pre-award in May 2006 as Sponsored Programs  Oversight under Vice President for Research  Many adjustment issues after combination

6 Advantages of a Combined Office  One Vice President to provide vision and leadership  One Director to manage office  Unification of policy, procedure and process  Better staff understanding of cradle to grave business processes  Team work is easier

7 Disadvantages to a Combined Office  Potential audit issues – no separation of duties  Potential for weak or disfunctional relationship with other divisions at university if under Research, then potential relationship issues with Finance or vice versa  Sometimes there is little understanding by your division leadership for aspects of your workload that may be more familiar to another division (try explaining F&A proposal development to a sociologist)

8 OSU The experience of a separate post-award office in a growing, large - sized research university

9 Background Information “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

10 OSU FY07 Statistics  Carnegie Foundation designation Very High Research Activity  $145 million in Awards  $149 million in Expenditures  2,800 Active Awards  Cognizant Agency is DHHS  Major Sponsors are NSF, USDA, HHS  No Audit Findings for Last 12 Years A-133 Audits; OIG Investigations; OIG Close-out Audits

11 Staff – Post Award Admin  Twelve Total Staff 1 - Assistant Director 1 - Assistant Manager 5 - Grant Accountants 1 - High Risk Monitoring Accountant 1- Accountant 2 – Award set-up 1- Fiscal Coordinator – Cash Mgmt, Cost Share 1- Lead Fiscal Coordinator – Subcontracts 1- Admin Program Specialist – PAR, Electronic Files

12 Duties of Post Award Admin  Award Set-up in FIS – Banner  Invoicing Agencies  Accounting/Monitoring  Budget Changes  No Cost Extensions  Reporting/Closeout  High Risk Expenditure Approvals  Audit Coordination  Cost Share  Subcontract Admin  Electronic Filing System  Effort Reporting  Fellowship Admin  Training Campus Department Staff

13 OSU Pre and Post Award Structure  OSU has separate Pre and Post Award Offices Pre-Award and Contracts combined – Report to VP for Research Post Award – Report to VP for Finance  July 2006 Contracts Combined with Pre-Award Previously co-located with Post Award

14 Advantages of Separate Offices  Commended by Internal Audit  Allows for Separation of Duties  Maintain Focused Missions  Post Award Reports to Finance VP  Understanding of Financial Issues

15 Disadvantages of Separate Offices  No Flexibility for Exceptions Unique Circumstances Post-Award very focused on Regulations  Pre-Award Doesn’t Understand Post-Award Issues with Invoicing and Budgets  Communication Breaks Down or non-Existent  Conflicting Policies and Procedures  Hard to Establish “Seamless Operation” with Faculty

16 Culture- UNLV “One man’s ways may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.”

17 Culture and Transition at UNLV  New mission and focus for institution  Workload changes  Technology  External and internal environmental awareness

18 Culture – Age of UNLV  Experience with non-standard research issues  Reputation of university

19 Culture – Centralization v. Decentralization  University Systems Use to your advantage  Risk management and Office Role  Distribution of Activities Time/effort monitoring Expenditure monitoring Other post award activities

20 Culture at OSU “As long as you’re going to think anyway – you might as well think BIG!”

21 Culture – Centralization v. Decentralization at OSU Business Centers

22 Business Centers at OSU  Combine College Thematic Areas  Central Accounting Office Pay Bills up to $500,000; Reimbursements Process HR Actions Review Proposal Budgets Effort Report Monitoring  Reports to Finance and Administration Ensures compliance Provides separation of duties for Colleges

23 Business Centers at OSU  Train Staff Grant Accountants come to OPAA for Training  Immersion in OPAA (Central Admin functions)  Train for 4-6 months  Include in staff meetings/social functions when return to Business Center Grant Accountant from OPAA will Rotate to Business Center to Establish Compliance Culture

24 Growth at OSU “Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.”

25 Plan for Growth at OSU  50% Increase in Awards Occurred over 3 years  No New Staff Reclassed only Admin Support position to Grant Accountant  Little or no Overtime Allowed Budget Constraints  Leadership Change in Post Award New Ideas

26 Plan for Growth at OSU  Review Processes Can you stop doing non-essential functions?  Double reviews; Shadow Accounting Systems Automate Invoicing  Hand typing invoices and forms Decentralize Functions  Bill payment; non-standard invoicing Student Labor vs Classified Staff

27 Plan for Growth at OSU  Automate Processes  Keep VP’s Informed of Growth Let them know your struggles  Staff Very Team Oriented Suggestions taken from Staff Nothing implemented w/o staff buy-in  Celebrate Your Successes!! Make them Public

28 Growth at UNLV “Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.”

29 Growth – Complexity at UNLV  Contract requirements  Export control  Cash  Interest  Program Income  Cost Sharing

30 Growth – Efficiency at UNLV  Consolidation of activities in post award  Business processes  Benchmarking Keep statistics of process functions Time tracking

31 Growth – Audit and Compliance  Increased funding  Contracts  International awards  Small business relationships

32 Communication “Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken.”

33 Communication Between Separate Pre- Award and Post-Award Offices  Close Proximity of Offices Co-locate if you can  Meet Weekly to Discuss Issues  Develop Joint Policies and Procedures  Develop Joint Communications to Campus  Develop and Present Training Jointly  Review Websites for Conflicting Information

34 Communication Between Separate Pre- Award and Post-Award Offices  Release Data Jointly OSU offices work together for award and expenditure data releases  Host Joint “Meet and Greets” for Campus  Create Opportunities for Staff Get to know each other Mentor each other in procedures Encourage team building

35 Communication in a Combined Office  Weekly meetings between Associate Vice President for Research and Executive Director  Weekly individual meetings with Executive Director and Associate Directors of pre and post award to discuss issues  Monthly combined meetings of Executive Director and both Associate Directors  Monthly staff meetings  Regular meetings with Finance Division staff

36 Communication in General  Ad hoc work or issue groups OSU utilizes for policy implementation  Formal university committees  Informal networking within university OSU meets monthly with campus University Research Administrators  External networks and groups

37 Lessons Learned at UNLV “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”

38 Lessons Learned  Quantify  Create policies and procedures  Write it down and document  Business process redesign  Quality  Network  Communicate

39 Lessons Learned “Working together works.”

40 The End Any Questions?  Contact Information: Rochelle Athey Office of Sponsored Programs University of Nevada Las Vegas  Contact Information Kim Calvery Office of Post Award Administration Oregon State University /postawards/


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