Finance Initiative Begins Identifying Savings and Operational Efficiencies

Last year, spending on finance administration at SMU was 70% more than at our peer institutions, due largely to duplication of work and systematic inefficiencies. To help the University save up to $6 million annually, the Finance Initiative committee began their work on December 19.

The primary work of this team will be to reorient finance from a functional processing unit, focused on transactions like expense reimbursement, to an operation more concerned with strategic activity like forecasting and budgeting. To that end, they will explore ways to automate and digitize processes to make transactions more efficient.

Dr. Tom DiPiero, dean of Dedman College, and Brad Cheves, vice president of Development and External Affairs, will serve as executive sponsors of the Finance Initiative. Mike Condon, University treasurer, and John O’Connor, associate vice president and controller, will serve as advisors to the team. Ernie Barry, associate vice president for Budgets and Planning, will serve as project manager and will collaborate with a committee comprised of the following SMU contributors:

• Alicia Brossette (Research Administration & Technology Management)
• Yvette Castilla (DEA)
• Roxanne Crowley (OIT)
• Pery Doan (OIT)
• Robert Garrett (Business Services)
• Clint Gilchrist (Controller’s Office)
• Marc Peterson (Enrollment Services)
• Bob Puelz (Cox)
• Darrel Pyle (Data Warehouse)
• Marjorie Rush (Payroll)
• Amy Sample (HR)
• Mary Tays (Budget Office)
• Teri Trevino (Lyle)
• Michael Tumeo (Provost’s Office)
• Cynthia Watson (Meadows)
• Roland Webb (Dedman Law)
• Kevin White (Athletics)
• Patti Wilson (Student Affairs)
• Pat Woods (Enrollment Services)
• Susan Wright (Business Services)


By Nick Rallo