I write to inform you of three organizational changes that I have decided to make, effective January 2, 2014.
I have decided to expand Sara Sidebottom’s responsibilities as Vice President of Legal Affairs and University Counsel. Specifically, the Office of Financial and Operational Audit will now report to Sara Sidebottom. The principal rationale for this change is to ensure the effectiveness of the internal audit function by establishing organizational independence from the programs and activities that this unit typically audits. This separation of duties will enhance the capacity of our auditors to conduct audits with greater independence. The University’s chief compliance officer, who currently reports to the University Auditor, will also move to Legal Affairs, and the chief compliance officer will now report directly to Sara. In short, Sara will now be responsible for legal affairs, internal and operational auditing, compliance, and institutional ethics.
I have also decided to give Sue Hodges Moore some additional responsibilities. In addition to her current responsibility for planning and institutional research, she will now have responsibility for actively assisting me with the implementation of the University’s strategic plan. More specifically, she will support me with respect to (a) monitoring and measuring our collective and coordinated efforts to achieve our vision and our goals, (b) developing and executing implementation strategies and tactics, (c) ensuring alignment of all University resources with those strategies and tactics, (d) maintaining sound University policies, and (e) monitoring our institutional risk management portfolio. In order to perform these responsibilities, Sue will assist me in working closely with other members of the University’s leadership team, and she will help me to maintain a strong, collaborative working relationship with the CPE. To reflect these different responsibilities, the division that Sue leads will now be called the Division of Institutional Effectiveness.
Finally, I have decided to move the Budget Office, which presently reports to Sue, to the Division of Administration and Finance. Ken Kline will report to Ken Ramey. In reviewing the structure of other comparable universities, I learned that it is common for the budget office and the comptroller to report directly to the vice president of administration and finance. Such a structure allows for a more coordinated and strategic approach to stewarding and investing the university’s resources.
As we continue to implement our new strategic plan, I am confident that these changes will improve our University.
If you have any questions, please call me.
I wish you and your families a peaceful holiday and a healthy new year.
Geoffrey S. Mearns
Northern Kentucky University
800 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099