EACUBO 2023 Annual Meeting
Program Details

Sunday, October 22

3:00 - 5:00 PM Registration/Information
3:30 - 5:30 PM Mentoring Program Session
6:30 - 9:00 PM Welcome Reception

Monday, October 23

7:00 AM - 5:00 PM Registration/Information
7:30 - 8:30 AM CFO Breakfast (Invitation Only)
7:30 - 8:30 AM Networking Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall
7:30 - 8:30 AM First Time Attendees Breakfast
8:30 - 9:45 AM General Session - Paula Davis-Laack, JD, MAPP, Founder, Stress and Resilience Institute
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Concurrent Sessions

Why the Size of Your Endowment Should Not Dictate Your School's Investment Approach
John Griffith, Hirtle, Callaghan & Co.
Tim Baird, Geneva College
David English, Denison University

The media devotes most of its time to talking about mega endowments such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton while ignoring the vast majority of endowments and how they are invested. Seventy percent of all college and university endowments are less than $100 million. As endowment managers, we have observed that smaller endowments invest their capital very differently than their larger counterparts – and leave additional return on the table as a result. This puts them at risk of compromising their long-term mission if their endowment cannot provide the necessary resources to sustain the organization. Our session will explore the reasons smaller endowments sub-optimize their investment portfolios, which is largely related to their perception of risk, and how they can improve results by aligning their portfolio with their school’s holistic risk profile.

We will partner with a college CFO who invests their endowment to align with their mission and organizational risk. This case study will provide a concrete example of how to do a holistic risk assessment, looking at factors such as spending rate and methodology, endowment dependency, endowment gifts, liquidity profile, operating margin, and revenue mix.

Identifying Strategic Solutions in the Face of Growing Challenges in Higher Education
Brian Mitchell, Academic Innovators LLC
Richard Gaumer, Academic Innovators LLC
Edward Steinmetz, The University of Scranton

In How to Run a College (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018), Mitchell and King posit three great inflection points in American higher education. The first two came in the aftermath of the Civil War and during the Great Depression. The third inflection began during the Great Recession and will continue through the demographic downturn later in the decade. This is putting extreme financial stress on colleges and universities, both public and private. It is also challenging leadership in ways that few have experience addressing. This pressure also means that colleges and universities have very little time or expertise to devote to examining potential strategies and solutions. That is why we set out to find a systematic way to understand, vet, and test a wide variety of potential options that align with operational and strategic goals and policies. We then work with individual institutions, consortia, and state associations to provide unvarnished recommendations as peers and thought partners who have struggled with similar challenges. In particular, we will focus on business and finance, cybersecurity, enrollment management, student wellness, and academic success. The session will include an extensive question and answer period to encourage discussion of challenges which participants in the session are facing and how they might best go about addressing them.

Laying the Groundwork for Shared Services
Diane Dimitroff, Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges
Amy Cronin, New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium

Higher education, especially in the Northeast, is moving into a time of increased competition for students and for the resources to meet their needs. How do campuses find their way to share services in this shifting period?

This workshop will provide participants with different models of successful shared services and the keys to the success of those programs. It also will include an interactive component for participants to identify potential areas for collaboration for their campuses and next steps to explore them.

Future CBOs Roundtable

11:00 - 11:45 AM Break in the Exhibit Hall
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM

The Speed of Thought: Improving Strategic Modeling and Decision Support Capabilities while Laying a Foundation for the Future
Mandy Minner, University of Delaware
Susan Bledsoe, University of Delaware
Curtis Gratz, Spaulding Ridge
Sean McDonald, Spaulding Ridge

The University of Delaware knew they had a need to make decisions more quickly and support decision-making with data. To do this the University needed to overhaul its financial planning and reporting processes, improve its strategic planning process, and run multiple iterations of different scenarios to best position the University for the future. Historically, the University had challenges turning around scenarios and responding to executive requests in a timely manner or without a significant number of manual processes. Recognizing ways to do this, UD sought to improve these processes by leveraging technology and streamlining the flow of data.

Higher Ed Transformation: Is It Alchemy?
Sharron Scott, Vermont State Colleges
Sarah Truckle, Vermont State University
Wilson Garland, Vermont State Colleges

They say demography is not destiny, but it sure is in the driver’s seat. The twin issues of demographics and state funding led the Vermont State Colleges to near closure of three of its rural campuses in 2020. Through partnership with the State of Vermont, our accreditors, and substantial hard work, the system is transforming itself into a smaller, leaner, more efficient organization poised to meet the needs of the state through a merger of three of our institutions and aggressive administrative consolidations. In this session we’ll discuss the issues that led to the closure announcement and how you can spot these issues for yourself. We’ll talk about the key issues on our road to transformation and describe the primary areas of change we believe will lead to a stable financial future. Designed as an interactive panel discussion, this session is intended to give attendees the opportunity to ask challenging questions as you explore areas your institution may need to consider.

Tax Update

How the Disruption in Higher Education Led to the Development of the “CentroHub”
Jason Marsala, North Shore Community College
Stephen Creamer, CBIZ & MHM

This presentation will offer an example of how a community college took the challenges it faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and responded with an innovative approach to student service that accomplished the following:

  • Increased accessibility, convenience and cohesion in the student service experience
  • Bi-lingual (English and Spanish) student services built to serve the College’s growing Hispanic student population and its Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) status
  • Formalized bi-lingual student services to build a deeper feeling of belonging for Spanish bi-lingual students and full-time staff
  • Strategic use of one-time HSI funding from COVID-19 relief to add key part-time bi-lingual Spanish speaking staff members as hosts for new virtual student service
  • Formalizing virtual student services demonstrated to the College administration and the larger community that the change caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could positively impact the future of the College’s interactions with our students.
  • The above also demonstrated that this solution offered greater accountability for the perceived concerns about staff productivity losses due to hybrid work opportunities. Supervisors are better able to track the work of their employees working virtually in this new virtual space.

This session will include a video feed to demonstrate the service students receive in “CentroHub” as well as data to show its impact as the fastest growing service medium at North Shore Community College, outpacing face to face options on two campuses.

12:45 - 2:00 PM NACUBO Update with Kara Freeman, NACUBO President and CEO and Networking Lunch
2:00 - 3:00 PM

Reimagining Non-Core Business Areas Through Outsourcing
Alessandro Mazzotta, Fordham University
Tyler Higgins, AArete LLC
Saul Alvarado, E&I Cooperative Services

There has been a substantial change in the perception of outsourcing higher ed functions in the past 5-10 years and we plan to dive into potential areas of consideration (bookstore, print shop, internal audit, facilities operations, etc.) and why the industry is considering these to create value. The presentation will layer a macro perspective combined with real life use cases including engagement plans with the audience on their own personal experience.

The summary of the content will be as follows:

  1. How current economic conditions are putting pressure on universities to create value and drive affordability
  2. A review of how organizations can drive value creation
  3. A dialogue around how moving out of non-core business functions and aligning with strong partners can create a more agile/nimble organization but still meet cultural expectations
  4. A dive into example areas
  5. A deep dive case study
  6. Q&A

A New Generation of Finance Leaders
Audra Kahr, Lafayette College
Russ Owen, TruEd Consulting

In today's rapidly evolving higher education landscape, the role of finance leaders is becoming increasingly critical. As we witness the emergence of a new generation of finance professionals, it is essential for higher education institutions to understand and adapt to the unique perspectives and expectations they bring. This conference presentation aims to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with this dynamic shift and provide actionable insights for higher education finance leaders.

This session brings together industry experts, thought leaders, and finance professionals to delve into the characteristics and motivations of this new generation. Through a series of engaging discussions and interactive sessions, we will delve into topics such as:

  • Understanding the mindset of the new generation of finance leaders: Explore the values, aspirations, and goals that define this cohort and gain insights into how they approach financial management in higher education.
  • Navigating technological advancements: Discover how emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and data analytics, are reshaping the financial landscape and learn how to harness these tools to drive innovation and efficiency.
  • Fostering cross-generational collaboration: Explore strategies for bridging the generation gap and creating an inclusive environment that encourages knowledge sharing, collaboration, and mentorship between seasoned finance leaders and the young professionals.
  • Embracing diversity and inclusion: Recognize the importance of diversity and inclusivity in finance leadership and discover how embracing different perspectives and backgrounds can enhance decision-making and drive institutional success.
  • Developing agile leadership skills: Identify the core competencies required for finance leaders to thrive in an ever-changing higher education ecosystem and learn how to cultivate agility, adaptability, and resilience.

Through this presentation, attendees will gain valuable insights into the emerging trends and future directions of finance leadership in higher education. Join us to gain a comprehensive understanding of the new generation of finance leaders and learn how to leverage their unique strengths to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Tax for University Leadership: How Non-Tax Professionals Can Review a Form 990
Rob Butler, Emerson College
Erin McLinchey Couture, Grant Thornton
Mary Torretta, Grant Thornton

Once a year a package of tax returns crosses your desk. The returns display detailed information about your university and its affiliates. You are in charge of reviewing, perhaps signing, and recommending the returns go to your Audit Committee or Board for approval before filing with the IRS and being posted to the internet. How do you review Form 990 to minimize risk and efficiently use your time and specific knowledge of the university? In this session, we will provide a roadmap for executive review of Form 990 so you can efficiently focus and maximize the impact of your review. We will provide practical insights and best practices as well as review tools you can take back to your university after the session to review your filings and process.

Community College Roundtable

3:00 - 4:00 PM Dessert in the Exhibit Hall
4:00 - 5:15 PM General Session 2 - US and Canadian CBO Panel Discussion
5:15 - 6:30 PM Happy Hour in the Exhibit Hall
8:30 - 10:00 PM Cheers! Reception

Tuesday, October 24

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM Registration/Information
7:30 - 8:30 AM Networking Breakfast
7:30 - 8:30 AM Chair's Business Partner Appreciation Breakfast (Invitation Only)
8:30 - 9:30 AM General Session 3 - President Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Carleton University
9:30 - 10:00 AM EACUBO Annual Business Meeting
10:00 - 10:45 AM Break in the Exhibit Hall
10:45 - 11:45 AM

Finding the Ideal Strategic Partner-Best Practice
Richard Staisloff, RPK Group
Richard Hannmann, Excelsior University

Higher education has historically been reluctant to consider partnerships, due in part to a belief that all academic and administrative service needs are unique to an institution. Recent enrollment and revenue challenges have made higher education leaders more open to the opportunities in strategic partnerships. This session will explore the continuum of partnership options, from consortiums through to full mergers. In addition, best practices will be shared when moving from shared future vision to ideal partner identification, to due diligence and ultimate partnership creation. The learnings in this session will be amplified through a case study using Excelsior University's recent proactive strategic partnership journey in support of its growth strategy.

GASB Update

Building New Social Practices in Your Organization
Stephanie Reed, Rutgers University Finance and Administration
Howard Teibel, Teibel Education Consulting

We don’t pay attention to practices in the workplace – they are taken for granted and invisible to us. When you are skilled in a practice, you just act. Closing the books is a financial management practice we just do as part of being in that community. Onboarding an employee is an HR practice we inherit from that culture and act without thinking about it.

What if the practice of how we work together can be learned? There is a great deal of struggle and ambiguity around being an effective team or organization. As a result, individuals often suffer.

In this interactive session, you will learn techniques and activities that have been proven to build exceptionally competent teams in institutions across the country. Howard Teibel, President of Teibel Education Consulting, and Stephanie Reed, Senior Director of Culture and Communications for Rutgers University Finance and Administration, will speak to how we can transform our cultures to operate with more trust, openness, and efficiency in communication.

Small Institution Roundtable

12:00 - 1:00 PM Washington Update with Liz Clark and Networking Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 PM

The Power of Data: Integrating Operational Processes to Drive Informed Financial Decisions
Justin Martin, Syntellis Performance Solutions
Michelle Salo, Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology

Higher education institutions are awash in data; however, many are challenged to glean the insights they need to make informed financial decisions. In fact, in a recent survey of financial professionals, 85% of respondents said their institutions should do more to leverage financial and operational data to inform strategic decisions. In this session, Confederation College will share how they moved away from manual planning processes and adopted a fully integrated financial and operational planning system, which has enabled them to bring together diverse data sets and unlocked the ability to conduct advanced analysis to optimize decision-making.

Confederation’s new system integrates budgeting, forecasting, labor and enrollment planning, grant optimization, as well as program financial contribution assessment processes, allowing the finance team to comprehensively assess the interconnections and effects to identify opportunities to improve programs, better allocate resources, and prioritize investments. They have also realized benefits, such as the ability to accurately forecast financials, efficiently perform labor planning, and optimize their enrollment strategy.

Session attendees will learn how the deployment of a fully integrated system has transformed Confederation College's financial and operational efficiency and agility within the rapidly evolving higher education landscape and better positioned the institution to achieve its goals.

Financial Reporting Best Practices and Other Accounting Topics
Sue Menditto, NACUBO
Rick Cole, FORVIS
Charlene Sweeney, Brown University

This session is part 2 of the session from last year.

It will provide more examples of Financial Reporting Best Practices for colleges and universities. It will also include common errors in financial reporting and accounting. We will also discuss some areas of confusion with interpreting grants and contribution barriers. The session will also discuss some commonly forgotten disclosures.

Internal Lending Programs
Gauri Gupta, S&P Global Ratings
J. Michael Gower, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Trevor Rodgers, University of Toronto

Learn about optimizing your internal resources for capital projects on campus and how different institutions take this approach. The panel is geared towards understanding what internal lending program look like at US and Canadian institutions and the type of projects they finance. We will be discussing term and financing structure especially in the wake of rising interest rate costs. We will also address how programs benefit the university and why universities choose internal loans vs. public debt or alternate financing options? At the end of this discussion, we will cover rating agency perspective on how this impacts credit and what institutions we see doing this and the differences in approach.

DEI Topics Roundtable

2:00 - 3:15 PM Ice Cream Social in the Exhibit Hall
3:15 - 4:15 PM

The Decarbonization Journey – A Proven Process
Bryan Swarthout, Vassar College
Bob Mancini, Ecosystem

This session will showcase how campuses can achieve their President’s decarbonization goals for just an incremental cost over existing capital and deferred maintenance budgets. Speakers will debunk the myth that your campus will need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to carry out this extremely challenging initiative. They will present a proven methodology, share specific examples of the journey with Vassar College, and provide meaningful tools and templates for the most important components of the process.

Maximizing Wellness Benefits through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
James Summerlin, TIAA

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are becoming more and more common. While the practice of offering ERGs to employees is becoming more commonplace, it is becoming more appropriate and critical that institutions fully embrace ERGs’ potential to provide maximum value to the institution and to the employee. Join [these experts internal and external TIAA]. Panelists will offer an overview of the benefits. Presenters will also broaden the engaging discussion through Q&A and provide an opportunity to share best practices that you may be offering at your institution. This session is sponsored by TIAA.

Public Research Institutions Roundtable

Spurring Growth and Transformation Amid Economic Uncertainty: How to Prioritize IT Investments that will Deliver the Greatest Impact
Jonathan Lindsay, Goucher College
Karen Bull, Hartman Executive Advisors

Technology has disrupted the way we live and do business, and it cannot be ignored if an institution wants to meet its goals for enrollment and retention. One major challenge for institutional leadership is prioritizing technology investments that will deliver the greatest impact.

The presentation will explore the major trends in the education business model and in the technology marketplace to address why institutions need to carefully plan investments in their IT portfolio to keep up with modern student expectations and remain competitive in the marketplace. The panel will discuss best practices for aligning technology and business goals to run an efficient operation with increased opportunities for cost savings.

The presentation will be interactive as participants will identify challenges they have experienced and foresee regarding enrollment and retention, budget constraints, and technological solutions that align with the goals of their institution.

4:30 - 5:30 PM General Session - Linh Nguyen, Vice President for Equity, Culture, and Talent, Lumina Foundation
5:30 - 7:00 PM Networking Reception

Wednesday, October 25

8:00 - 11:30 AM Registration/Information
8:00 - 9:00 AM Networking Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 AM General Session - Laurel Farrer, Founder & CEO, Distribute
10:15 - 11:15 AM

Cyber Security-A Rating Agency, College and University and Investor Perspectives
Kenneth Rodgers, S&P Global Ratings
Jeff Davis, Amherst College
Mary Jane Darby, Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC

The panel will explore what colleges and universities can do to mitigate emerging credit risk from cyber security attacks.

The nature of the risk, adequate remediation and market disclosure will be examined by a panel of experts from a college or university, a rating agency analyst and a financial advisor. The discussion will look at popular risk mitigation strategies, what a rating agency is interested in knowing and what type of disclosure best suits the college or university's interest as well as investors interest.

Directing Social Mobility Outcomes via a Transformative Access Program: A Panel Discussion with Leaders at ODU
Todd Johnson, Old Dominion University
Rhyannon Potter, Follett Higher Education Group

Old Dominion University (ODU) fosters a dynamic on-campus and global online learning experience that enriches the lives of students and motivates the pursuit of academic and professional excellence. Part of this endeavor relies on a capacity to reduce barriers that impede progression and inhibit social mobility.

ODU’s Inclusive Access program, IncludedEd, was designed with social mobility and student success at its center. The focus of the program is to identify and address key obstacles to course material access, particularly for students acclimating to the college experience. Before IncludedEd, 65% of ODU students went without course materials the first week of class, and 30% never purchased them. In a survey of ODU instructors, 92% agreed or strongly agreed that students who have access to required course materials perform better than those who do not.

Drawing on the observation that untimely and/or reduced access to course materials could negatively affect retention and persistence outcomes, ODU developed a program that relies on an unparalleled collaboration between administration, academic department leadership, committed classroom instructors, and student support services to deliver timely access to educational materials to ensure student success. In its seven years of operation, the program has proven to be value-adding, expanding from its original three sections to well over 1,000. Outcomes include the reduction of DFW rates, faculty advocacy, course material support for thousands of students, and campus-wide education and socialization.

In this one-of-a-kind panel discussion, stakeholders from each critical function of the framework will share how they contributed to the launch and maintenance of ODU’s program. The session will offer time for a Q&A and interactive audience polling related to current data trends in student access and outcomes. Part of the activity will also include a special review of the needs of first-generation and under-represented student populations.

Implementing Travel and Expense Automation: Connecting Your Campus
Carmen Gonzalez, Stony Brook University
Gerardina Paduano, Stony Brook University
Liz Rees, SAP Concur

It’s 2023 and time to move beyond manual, paper-based expense reporting. It’s also time to connect all those silo’ed campuses, departments and applications across your institution. But how do you begin the journey towards automation? How do you enlist advocates across your institution who may not welcome oversight?

Hear how Stony Brook University, a flagship academic medical instution in the State University of New York system, took the journey and overcame initial implementation setbacks, re-grouped and successfully launched their travel & expense management program across the entire institution. Avoid issues many universities have experienced, learn implementation, change management, configuration and communications strategies that will set up your program for success for the future. You’ll learn the value of tools that ensure compliance and spend governance while providing an excellent user experience for your end users.

Women’s Leadership Roundtable

11:15 - 11:30 AM Break
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Maximizing Financial Performance: Using Data Analytics to Assess Profit Margins in Higher Education
Christina Hoven, Niagara University
Eric Demske, Freed Maxick CPAs
Ryan Caster, Freed Maxick CPAs

We will be co-presenting with a member institution, and our presentation will focus on the use of data analytics to identify profit margins by program, college, and other relevant segments within a university. In today's highly competitive higher education landscape, institutions must be able to understand and optimize their program design and profit margin to remain sustainable. By leveraging data analytics, universities can gain valuable insights into which programs are generating the most revenue, which are incurring the most expenses, and where there are opportunities to improve overall profitability.

During our presentation, we will walk attendees through a “Program Economics” dashboard that provides insight into College, Program and even course-level margin and profitability, by allocating direct and indirect costs down to the credit hour for each student. This enables an understanding of the value each area drives, along with the ability to understand which costs erode otherwise favorable margin.

Further, a review of our “Program Scorecard” dashboard allows for key metrics to be evaluated to determine how costs are aligned with an increase/decrease in students and credit hours at the College or Program level. Metrics include Discount Rate, Net Student Revenue per Student FTE, Operating Margin per Credit Hour, etc.

Finally, our “Instructor Productivity” dashboard allows for an analysis of instructor course load, from a student and credit hour perspective, as well Instructor Cost per Credit Hour, as we align the costs of the specific instructor to the classes and students they teach. This allows for an understanding of the cost complement of Full Time versus Adjunct staff, as well as opportunities to redesign programs due to a prevalence of courses with few students.

To ensure a highly engaging and interactive session, we will walk attendees through live examples of a Tableau dashboard that demonstrates how data analytics can be used to assess margins, program design and operational efficiency across the various segments within a university. We will encourage questions throughout the presentation to ensure that attendees can fully understand the concepts and techniques we are presenting.

FASB Update

Benchmarking Data: How It Can Contribute to More Effective Plans and Budgets
John Risboskin, Lackawanna College

This session will help attendees sift through some of the numerous sources of comparative data in order to be arrive at benchmarking data that is valuable to the planning and budgeting processes. Attendees will learn how comparison data can identify issues, prompt critical questions, guide resource allocation and even provide strategic direction. The importance of identifying an appropriate comparison group will be covered as well as factors that should be considered. The session will include actual examples of using the comparative data, including how it can assist the institution in determining its employee levels, both faculty and staff.

Ethics Session

12:30 PM Program Adjourns