Past Messages from the Vice President for Administration & Finance
Below, please find an archive of the messages previously sent by Vice President Josee Larochelle.
March 14, 2019
I enjoyed seeing many of you at last week’s Administration and Finance Divisional Meeting. For those who attended, I hope that you walked away with a better understanding of the ambitious work occurring across our division and looking forward to our future events.
If you were unable to attend, we shared important upcoming divisional events and initiatives, provided an update on major capital and construction projects, and shared information on the achievements from our 2018-2019 Strategic Plan. I encourage you to review the presentation to learn more.
I have also summarized highlights and resources below:
Capital and Construction Projects
We continue to improve the Plattsburgh experience through investment in capital and construction projects and the planned renovation of Memorial Hall is no exception.
Examples of 2018-2019 Strategic Plan Achievements
Morale and Teambuilding - The revival of the division-wide Summer Picnic and Retreat! Hosting division-wide meetings and the announcement of the A&F Excellence in Service Award. (Nominations due March 15, 2019)
Retention and Staff Development - A formal on-boarding process for new employees with periodic follow up.
Cost Savings and Efficiencies - Based on the ideas and contributions of our campus community, the team worked with other campus stakeholders and has currently identified $90,000 in cost savings!
Holding regular meetings is part of our strategic plan to keep you better informed about the good work that is occurring in our division. We encourage you to complete our meeting evaluation survey. No personally identifiable information will be collected and the results will be shared with the Teambuilding and Morale Team to help us improve future programs.
I hope you will join us at our next divisional meeting in Fall 2019.
See you then, Josee
Aug. 21, 2018
It has been over a year since I was given the opportunity to join the SUNY Plattsburgh community as the Vice President for Administration and Finance. This past year has been a period of growth and renewal within the Administration and Finance Division.
We have come together as a division to formulate a new strategic plan - our first in nearly 20 years as a division. We have developed a multi-year financial stability plan that charts a course to a strong financial future. We completed important capital projects to ensure that our facilities will continue to meet the evolving needs of our campus community. We have supported vital initiatives to make our campus a welcoming and inclusive community for all people.
These highlights and more are outlined in our 2017-18 Annual Report. Please take a few minutes and read about our accomplishments as a division. We have much to be proud of and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish working together with common purpose in the year to come.
Finally, it was great meeting many of you at our 2018 Summer Retreat and Picnic. I hope you enjoyed the opportunity to learn about our strategic initiatives, get to know your colleagues within the division, and have some fun at the same time. Our accomplishments are not the work of a few; they are the result of many dedicated staff within the Administration & Finance Division. Thank you for all that you do throughout the year to make the transformative learning environment at SUNY Plattsburgh possible.
June 20, 2018
It is my pleasure to share with you that effective July 1, 2018 our division will be renamed Administration & Finance, or A&F, for short. This change is part of our new strategic plan and intended to better communicate the scope of services that we provide to the campus. Please ensure that you adopt the Administration & Finance name anywhere your department currently references “Business Affairs.”
Over the last several months, members of our division have been working together to develop a strategic plan that represents who we are and what we aspire to become in the next five years. The current plan not only meets this endeavor but also sets a course for meeting our aspirational goals. We strive to become a division that is a leader in innovative business services and facilities management through a collaborative team approach.
Moving forward, four strategic directions have been identified:
- Cost Savings & Efficiencies
- Morale & Teambuilding
- Retention & Development of Current Employees
Teams have been created to work on these endeavors. In the near future, you can expect regular updates from your colleagues working on the teams responsible for work towards meeting their goals.
April 3, 2018
Over the past weeks, members of the campus community had the opportunity to attend a Financial Stability Plan Update presentation. For those present, thank you for attending. The level of engagement and inquiry was outstanding. Our plan for attaining financial stability is a collaborative effort and we are confident that our campus community has the ability and stamina to achieve the plan. If you were unable to attend the presentation, you can learn more about it here.
Highlights from the presentation include the following:
- Fall 2017 enrollment exceeded the goal by 3%, which results in increase tuition revenue.
- There was no change in the expected temporary salary reductions, however cuts in permanent salaries will extend into FY2021-22.
- Permanent Salary & Expense reductions totaled $662,000 in FY2017-18 & $1.5 million in FY2018-19.
- The structural deficit in FY2021-22 increased from $2 million to $4.2 million due to the elimination of the expected 10% reduction in scholarship offerings. We are working towards a balanced budget by FY2021-22 through cost savings & efficiency & revenue generation committees.
I also wanted to draw your attention to the New York State Budget, which was passed on March 30, 2018. The highlights as related to the State University of New York are as follows:
- No Increase in state funding Funding for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is kept at the current FY2017-18 level with no reductions
- $18 million for Performance Improvement Plan is kept at the current FY2017-18 level
- $4 million for Open Educational Resources (OER) at SUNY is included in the new budget
As a public institution, our financial position continues to depend heavily upon the budget-making process in Albany. While it is disappointing that we did not see an increase in state funding, it is at least reassuring that the Governor and Legislature funded SUNY at a level consistent with the past year. As we look to future years, we will continue our efforts to advocate for SUNY while also identifying and implementing cost savings and revenue generation ideas to achieve a secure financial future for the College. As always, I thank you for your efforts on behalf of our campus.
Feb. 26, 2018
To Employees of the Business Affairs Division:
These are difficult days for our nation and our College. The recent school shooting at Parkland, Florida and racist social media message that circulated on our campus remind us that we have a long way to go to achieve a society where all feel welcome and safe.
If you did not attend one of the student forums, know that the pain and fear experienced by our students is very real. Hearing their stories reminds me how difficult it is to understand what others face without walking a mile in their shoes and the long road ahead of us as a community.
I can assure you that the College’s Leadership recognizes this and the action plan developed is a significant step forward and will make a difference. You will hear more about the steps we are taking in the weeks to come.
While the focus of our efforts in the Business Affairs Division is on providing administrative, operational, and financial services, we must never forget that our first and foremost concern must be the students attending this institution. We must recognize that our students are struggling and our conduct sends a message to them.
As your vice president, it is imperative to me that we act in ways that show our collective support to the students of this institution. Each of us can make a difference and here are some steps that you can take:
- Recognize that these feelings are genuine and deeply felt and they do not go away even if the headlines do. Our students are struggling and I continue to echo Provost Morgan's request that you be compassionate and understanding in these uncertain times.
- Diversity Week is this week – show up to an event to demonstrate your support for our campus efforts. (Please coordinate your attendance with you supervisor first).
- The recent events on campus are worthy of healthy, respectful discussion and it is in our best interest to support and facilitate such discussion where we can. It is important to remember, however, that opinions will vary and certain topics within this discussion may be divisive and/or hurtful to portions of our campus population (students, employees and/or guests). As such, please be mindful and respectful of your surrounding audience, and limit discussion to those who are interested in participating. If conversations must occur in open spaces, please ensure that they are not intruding on those who may be within earshot or apt to pass through the conversational space.
- You are encouraged to contact your departmental leadership or Human Resource Services/EAP if there is an interest in having someone facilitate an organized conversation around the recent events and our reactions to them.
- If you see an incident of discrimination or harassment, please report them to the Affirmative Action or Title IX Offices.
Lastly, if you need to talk about these events, know that my door is open. Please make an appointment by calling Amanda Suriel at (518) 564-5062. These are challenging times but I am confident that through our collective efforts we can achieve a community where all people feel welcomed and supported.
Oct. 2, 2017
Over the past few weeks, I have enjoyed meeting many of you as we have gathered together to discuss our plans for ensuring a strong future for SUNY Plattsburgh.
As I mentioned in our community gatherings, a Budget Plan Website has been created that provides detailed information about our budget plan. On it, you can find a copy of the financial stability plan presentation, learn about the guiding principles for our budget plan, and submit your budget ideas for cost savings to the campus.
As a reminder our "Coffee with Clark" program kicks off this week. Please come join Clark Foster, Associate VP for Administration and Finance, have a cup of coffee and share your ideas for cost savings and revenue opportunities. A list of dates and times can be found on our Share your budget ideas. All ideas are welcome and will be reviewed!
While I am newcomer to SUNY Plattsburgh, one thing that has become readily apparent to me in these few short months is the talent of the individuals in our community and the shared commitment to our College's success. I look forward to collaborating with you as we strive to ensure that the College's future remains strong.
July 24, 2017
Dear Business Affairs Team:
I want to say "Thank You" for the warm welcome I have received since arriving on campus. It has been an exciting time for me as I step into my new role, and one of the best parts has been getting to meet all of you in the Business Affairs team. If I have not yet had the chance to personally say "Hi" to you, please know that it's a priority for me to go around and meet everyone in Business Affairs this summer.
In terms of other priorities, those are still developing as I work with the President's leadership team. It is my plan to share information and communicate with the division and the wider campus community regularly, and I look forward to starting that soon.
I hope you all are enjoying your summer. I hear that the wet weather we are having has been "unusual" but it has not stopped me! I have hiked beautiful Point Au Roche and breathtaking Rattlesnake Mountain, and been kayaking through Ausable Marsh and down the Saranac River. The North Country is a truly extraordinary place and I'm thrilled to be here.
I look forward to working with all of you.