A Message from the Vice President for Administration and Finance

June 4, 2018

Lisa Chavez
Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer

The Office of the Vice President for Administration and Finance continues working to enhance our business processes and infrastructure to further the success and comfort of Cal State LA students, faculty and staff.   We would like to share some of our projects and accomplishments.

Administration and Finance - Business Process and Capital Enhancements

Budget Administration Systems and Process Improvements

  • E-Signature for Budget Transfer Forms/Budget Authorization Forms – Exploratory Phase.  Utilization of DocuWare for financial data storage and documentation.  Increase efficiency on record retention, as well as, storage space savings.  Currently piloting several key departments and receiving major success with improved work flow.

  • Oracle Planning and Budget Cloud Service (PBCS) Implementation – Phase I Financial Assessment and Reporting has been implemented and improves data gathering, accuracy and robust reporting to the campus fiscal community.

  • Oracle Planning and Budget Cloud Services (PBCS) Implementation – Phase II will be rolling out in the next year to provide Position Budgeting / Budget Planning and Development.  This will streamline workflow and plan management capabilities and support for rolling forecasts and future budget scenarios planning; migrating from disconnected planning tools and spreadsheets to achieve best practices.

Facilities System Improvements and Energy Maintenance Projects

  • Implemented Quality Assessment Reports.  We continue to coordinate regular, proactive, building walks to address custodial cleaning issues, and trained to identify hazards, repairs and report them to the appropriate repair shop via TMA database.

  • Created Facility Services Preventative Maintenance Projects & Schedules.  Examples: Electrical - relamp schedules; Plumbing - jetting and camera inspections of main waste lines; Paint – create paint schedule for building exteriors, lobbies, restrooms, and/or main hallways; Carpentry – schedule building walks to correct conditions as seen (missing tiles, loose hardware, safety hazards.

  • Health Center Renovation

  • Salazar Revamp / Utility Efficiencies

  • Library North Main Electrical Switch Replacement

Facilities Planning Design and Construction Efficiency and Major Capital Construction Projects

  • Implemented three major lighting projects this year that have resulted in the following savings:

    • JFK Library - 18 kw saved (69.77% energy savings)

    • Parking Structure A - 43 kw (60.94% energy savings)

    • "Eagle's Nest" Gym - 5.4 kw (27.19% energy savings)

  • Physical Sciences Seismic and Building Improvement Seismic retrofit for existing 1970’s 9-story building formerly purposed for physical sciences.  Project will demolish all building systems back to the primary structure, perform a seismic rehabilitation and reconstruct as new administration and student services spaces moved from the existing Administration Building.  Projects estimated to be completed by 2021.

  • Rongxiang Xu Bioscience Innovation Center Construct a 2-story building to house research activity.  Housing LA BioSpace, this two‐story building will serve as an incubator allowing startup bioscience companies to work collaboratively with Cal State LA students and faculty to develop new technologies in a university setting.  As these technologies become commercially viable, the startup firms will move out of the incubator and into the surrounding community to create jobs and stimulate the area economy.  The building will house wet laboratories for scientific exploration as well as dry lab (computational lab) and/or office space, readily adaptable for a changing multiple‐tenant occupancy.  Project completion date scheduled December 2018.

  • Parking Structure E Construct 5-story parking structure to replace existing surface parking in preparation for new student housing development.  Primary structure is concrete.  Project will host University’s first solar panel installation.   Project will provide 500 additional parking spaces that will be designated for general parking and student housing.  Completion date scheduled August 2019.

  • Implemented FacilitiesLink to streamline floor plan data, space utilization metrics and building analytics.  This web-based database will allow our campus to organize and integrate campus space and facilities information into one platform.  FacilitiesLink integrates with peer systems on campus like People Soft and Ad Astra capturing land records, current occupancies, key systems data, and equipment warranties and merging into one database. Uploaded data from multiple sources will enhance the data in FacilitiesLink for purposes of space utilization and analytics; thus, allowing contractors, camps staff and consultants to work together on campus projects using current and historical data.

Public Safety Process Improvements and Transportation Services

  • Parking Structure E (Cont.) Construction for a new 2,300 stall parking structure that will be located on the western portion of existing Parking Lot 5. This $63 million project consists of a 5-story design-build parking structure with improvements to existing Parking Lot 5 and Parking Structure C. These improvements include: redeveloping existing entrances and exit access to improve circulation and safety while maximizing the number of parking spaces within the new structure.  Increased general parking and spaces for electric vehicle charging, clean air vehicles, disabled access, housing residents and motorcycle parking will be available in the new structure.  The new parking structure will also include a car counting system.  The new structure is targeting a Fall 2019 opening.

  • The Universal College Student Transit Pass (U-Pass) program upgrades students’ existing Cal State LA student ID to a transit pass.  To qualify, students must be currently enrolled carrying 6 or more units.  A sticker featuring smart-chip technology is placed on the students’ Cal State LA ID card.  The U-Pass works like a TAP Card and contains purchased fare for students to board a bus or rail line.  The semester U-Pass is good for unlimited rides on all Metro Rail and bus routes, including Zone 1 for the entire semester period.  There are currently 2,100 college students participating in this program.

ITS System Improvements and Technology Enhancements

ITS Enterprise Applications

  • Human Capital Management/Campus Solutions database split and 9.2 Upgrade:  Led the successful Human Capital Management and Campus Solutions environment split for the University to transition from one unified GET system to two unique systems:  HRM and GET.  Commended by CMS for being an exceptionally managed and seamless upgrade within the CSU system.

  • Academic Staff Senator Election:  Worked with the Academic Senate to update and administer the Academic Staff Senator voting system.

  • Collaborations

    • Continued supporting major Academic Affairs-led projects such as the Degree Planner and EAB Student Success Collaborative.

    • Partnered with Student Life and Enrollment Management to interface Campus Clarity training with the GET system to ensure Title IX compliance.

    • Participated in the Student Opinion Survey (Student Course Evaluations) taskforce and achieved increased response rate.

    • Led the Preferred Name initiative on the technical side by working with all of the University divisions to prepare all of the third-party interfaces and systems to be able to accept the preferred name value from the GET system.

    • Currently working with CETL on designing and automating the Canvas LMS interfaces for users, instructors, term setup, and course enrollment.

    • Partnered with Academic Affairs to design a scalable security model for the University's Tableau data visualization system.

  • GETmobile

    • During the past year, GETmobile experienced tremendous growth in download and usage.  To date for this fiscal year, there have been a total of 10,403 new downloads, and over half a million visits to GETmobile.  Compared with 2016-2017, this represents a 122% increase in visits, and a 35% increase in the number of transactions preformed for this fiscal year.  Some of the most popular functions include My Class Schedule, Enrollment, Financial Aid info, Student Account Summary, and the Starbucks Live Stream.

    • During this fiscal year, many new Parking and Transportation features were added to the GETmobile.  These new features include access to the Transportation Programs web page.  Buy Parking Permits, RideAmigos, ZipCar, U-Pass, Metro, Foothill Transit, and Chargepoint.  The Housing and Residence Life web page was also added to GETmobile.  The Cal State LA iServeLA tracker was made available from GETmobile as well.

IT Client Support Services

  • IT Service Catalog – Upgraded the IT support ticketing system to the latest version to take advantage of new features.  The ITS service catalog expanded to include forms specific to users in ECST and Admin Tech.  ITS also integrated DocuSign signatures with the ticketing system, including three network account request forms for Guest Vendor and Affiliate.

  • Great Place to Work – Based on requirements from the committee, ITS developed a “Great Place to Work” web page that showcases the benefits of working at Cal State LA.

  • Student Orientation:  Provided IT training, support, and information at all student orientations to increase awareness of software offered, training available, and to assist new students with Wi-Fi, email, my.calstatela.edu, Moodle, and GET. 

  • eSignatures/DocuSign:  ITS began the second phase of the eSignature adoption and implementation by making DocuSign available to administrative offices outside of ITS, providing online training resources, and increasing awareness.  In partnership with the Purchasing, Budget, Public Safety, Facilities, and Human Resources areas, ITS provided DocuSign access to all of these areas.   Purchasing has implemented several forms using the DocuSign application.  Currently, Human Resources is in the final testing phase with a new electronic HRM access request form.

  • New Training Rooms:  ITS released training rooms KH 171 and 172 for Academic Affairs allocation.  ITS training reconfigured LIB N B130 as a new training room that can be reserved by non ITS departments through scheduling with ITS Training.

  • Training:

    • Customer Service Training:  The ITS training program created and provided customer service training to the ITS staff.

    • Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) - ITIL is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world and provides a cohesive set of best practices, drawn from the public and private sectors internationally.  In preparation for deployment of the larger IT Strategic Plan, an initial ITIL foundation training and certification was provided to 24 ITS staff.

    • Safe Zone Training:  Safe Zone Training was provided to Open Access Lab staff to ensure that ITS follows the appropriate safety procedures in support of students, faculty, and staff.

  • Emergency Student Support Services:  Working with Student Life, ITS created a campaign to promote student services (emergency: food, housing, funds) in the Open Access Labs by sharing information through table tents and via social media.

ITS Infrastructure Services

  • Outdoor Wi-Fi Enhancement:  The addition of new gigabit outdoor wireless access points provide students, faculty, and staff ubiquitous connectivity to a high-speed data network able to connect any mobile device and provide access to on-line resources.

  • Campus Wireless Coverage:  ITS added 37 access points to expand Wi-Fi coverage for a majority of outdoor spaces and deployed a new wireless management server for traffic analysis and reporting.  Remaining project tasks involve deploying outdoor access points to cover the new tennis center and providing full coverage to the track and baseball fields.

  • Identity Management System:  The implementation of Microsoft’s Identity Management (MIM) system was successfully launched in fall 2017.  The MIM manages the identity of students, faculty, and staff throughout their lifecycle and provides access to all campus computing systems, CSU-wide systems, and other academically federated systems.

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Education and Office Professional 2016:  Provided Windows 10 Education and Office Professional 2016 to faculty and staff via the Work-At-Home Program.  Faculty and staff can purchase each software license at $9.95 each.

IT Security and Compliance

  • 2-Step Verification:  Conducted two security workshops and demonstrated the 2-Step Verification application (Duo) to end-users.   2 Step verification provides users the option of adding a second layer of security.  Phase I provided users with a way to self-enroll into the system to secure their access.  The project included implementation of the 2-Step Verification infrastructure into the MyCalStateLA portal, communicating to the campus, creating FAQs and instructions, and providing the website for self-enrollment.

  • Phishing security awareness training:  Throughout the year, the University has received security alerts from various Security Advisory Centers related to malware and ransomware received through email messages.  Even though the campus has various layers of security to help block these email messages from being delivered to users, evolving variants of these messages are able to bypass these controls.  In September, IT Security and Compliance sent out communications to the campus community to let them know that a comprehensive spear phishing awareness program supported by the Chancellor’s Office was being launched to help train our users in identifying phishing attacks.  This program periodically sends out simulated spear phishing emails that imitate real attacks in a safely controlled environment to help users become familiar and more resilient to tactics used in real attacks.

  • Student Administration Security Redesign:  In collaboration with Enrollment Management, the GET system security was redesigned to streamline requests for access by creating a set of profiles that align a user’s access with his/her job responsibilities.

Project Management Office

  • IT Strategic Planning:

    • Conducted IT Strategic Planning focus groups in fall 2017.

    • Conducted IT Strategic Planning Town Hall sessions in spring 2018.

    • Developed web forms for the focus groups and town hall sessions attendee to provide feedback regarding the IT Strategic Planning process.

    • Developed initial draft of the IT Strategic Plan for campus community to provide feedback via the IT Strategic Plan web page.