Category Archives: Business Operations Services

Ann Kitalong-Will Attends 2018 Policy Administrators’ Conference

Photo of Ann Kitalong-WillAnn Kitalong-Will, Michigan Tech’s policy administrator and executive director for Business Operations (Vice President for Administration), attended the 2018 Annual Conference for the Association of College and University Policy Administrators (ACUPA), held April 29-May 2 in Anaheim, CA. This year’s conference was held in conjunction with the Western Association of College and University Business Officers (WACUBO).

The 2018 ACUPA conference included sessions on developing effective policies for children on campus and children’s programming, Title IX policy development, ways to effectively produce policies to support compliance and risk management, and the importance of including faculty and front-line staff in the policy development and review processes. Kitalong-Will also attended the ACUPA pre-conference workshop, focusing on logistics of managing an effective policy program in higher education.

Kitalong-Will is a founding member of ACUPA, having served on the Committee to Explore Incorporation prior to ACUPA’s formal filing as a business entity in 2013.

Safety Tip—Illness Prevention

There are many things that can be done to prevent the spread of illnesses in the workplace and around campus. Simple things like washing your hands with soap and water after using the restroom or coughing into your arm or into a tissue can stop the spread of germs and keep people from getting sick. Disinfecting a surface or object that may be contaminated will greatly reduce the risk of spreading your own or someone else’s illness to unsuspecting individuals. Some of the best ways to stay healthy are by drinking plenty of fluids, exercising, and making sure to get enough sleep.

Image of germ graphic

Safety Corner—Office Ergonomics

ergonomics-iconWe’ve all had those days where time just drags on, and as time progresses you noticed you’ve gone from sitting up right to slouching in your chair. A good way to avoid this is to use the lumbar chair support to relieve pressure on vertebrae—it gives support without you having to think about it. When setting-up you chair, be sure that your feet comfortably reach the floor while seated. Ensure screens are at proper height to avoid neck strain. Even if you are following these tips take breaks, stand and stretch every half hour while at a sitting workstation. If you really want to change things up consider incorporating a standing work station. You’ll still want to make sure your screen is positioned correctly, but it helps with back problems. Whether you’re using a sitting or standing workstation, the mouse position should be close and at the same height as the key board. To avoid carpal tunnel, use palm and wrist rests or ergonomic keyboards while typing. Following these simple tips could make your workday better and your body will thank you for the extra comfort.

Comment with your safety tips for office health!

5th Floor Retreat and Training

The Huntington National Bank Building’s fifth floor has welcomed the Michigan Tech Fund Employees from the 8th floor into their office space. In an effort to become more of an inclusive environment and to get to know the new members of the floor, Business Operations and the Office of Information Services hosted the Tech Fund employees in a 5th floor retreat and training half-day.

Team Building Exercise

The retreat consisted of forming two mingled groups out of the floor members to test their group building skills while attempting to solve the various puzzles of Career Services’ escape room. The two teams then discussed the job duties they perform, general likes and dislikes to compare and create an affinity diagram.


The whole floor also participated in the Active Shooter Training provided by Michigan Tech’s Public Safety Lieutenant Marc Geberkoff. The floor updated their old safety plans and shared the documents with the floor members and the course trainer.

For more information on Career Services’ Escape Room, please contact

For more information on the Active Shooter Training Provided by Micihgan Tech’s Public Safety, please visit the Active Shooter Training for Workplaces website.

Parent Ambassador Training in the Keweenaw

Picture of Danielle Davis2018 UPCC Conference

Danielle Davis, Administrative Assistant for Business Operations, attended the 2018 UPCC Conference, Mental Health Matters: Building Our Collective Capacity to Promote Mental Health & Social – Emotional Competence held at Northern Michigan University on May 7th. The conference was hosted by The Upper Peninsula Children‘s Coalition. The Conference sessions included: “What is Mental Health? Beyond the Absence of Illness,” “Changing the Path: Using Best Practices,” “Social & Emotional Competence: A Common Goal,” and “Current Child Advocacy Opportunities” which provided an update on the “2018 Kids Count in Michigan Data.” Kids Count Data gives information on family support programs, family and community, access to healthcare, health, education, etc. The report has data from across Michigan, with individual county profiles being revised and available soon. The local Kids Count Data will be shared at the Copper Country Great Start Collaborative meetings. Finally, the UP Legislative Panel answered questions regarding the well-being of children and families in the Upper Peninsula.

For more information on Kids Count Data visit the Michigan League for Public Policy website.
For future UPCC Conferences or information please visit the Upper Peninsula Children’s Coalition’s website.

Parent Ambassadors

The Copper Country Great Start Collaborative (CCGSC) started training seven new parents as local parent ambassadors on Thursday, April 26th in Baraga County. Five of the parents are from Baraga County and two from Houghton County.  The last group of parent ambassadors trained by the CCGSC connected over 100 families with local resources. They invited Danielle Davis, Administrative Assistant for Business Operations, who is was previously trained in this program to speak to the group in training. Danielle shared her experiences with helping local families find resources and information about the events she has volunteered for in the past. Danielle shared how the Strengthening Families Framework Training, which is a based on engaging families, programs and communities in building the five protective factors, helped her while she was working with families in the community.

There will be another Strengthening Families Framework Training for family service providers, parents and community members on Tuesday, June 12th and Wednesday, June 13th in Bergland, MI. Please call 906-575-3438, ext 103 to register by May 16th.

Safety Tip—Eye Strain

Using computers and other screens is unavoidable but there are ways to make it easier on your eyes, and keep them in tip-top shape. This all starts when you sit down at your computer, make sure to position the computer screen an arm’s length away at eye level. Next adjust display brightness to approximately the same brightness as the surrounding area. Adjust text size and contrast for easier reading. Once you are all set up and working remember to look away from the screen, about every 20 minutes, and focus on a distant object for 20 seconds. Next time you are reading a book or magazine also try this tips to prevent your eyes from fatigue.

Baby with magazine

For more information on eye health please visit The National Institute of Health’s website.

Customer Service Pilot Project—Phase 2

Initiating the Pilot

Auxiliary Services within Michigan Tech’s Administration has been conducting a Customer Service Pilot Project aimed at aligning our departments with our Mission and Guiding Principles. Specifically, our pillar of Customer Service/Service Excellence which states “Our units strive to create a great Michigan Tech experience for students, employees, and visitors. We seek to continuously enhance our understanding of customer and stakeholder needs that supports institutional values.” The pilot project consisted of creating a universal means of gathering customer service data from a variety of service-oriented locations on campus in order to poll a range of customers and situations. Auxiliaries partnered with the Office of Information Services and Business Operations in order to create location specific QR Codes that are able to be displayed in a tableau dashboard on Administration’s website. This dashboard is able to display both the “big picture,” combined results of the surveys from all of the locations the surveys have been deployed to and it is able to “drill down” to the specific locations where customers interact with Auxiliaries employees.

Locations that were selected for the pilot include: the Campus Store, the Portage Lake Golf Course, University Images, and the Central Ticketing Office.

Customer Service QR Code Ad
Look for our customer service QR Code stations around campus!

The Next Step

Phase two of the Customer Service Pilot Project included improving the design for the original “Rate our Service” ads by creating vanity URLs for each location that is tied to the same survey the QR Code is on that ad. This is a way to expand the response base from those who have used QR Codes before to everyone with a smart phone. Business Operations also created a second version of the ad that has a lower profile, so each location is able to decide what type of ad is appropriate for their space. Lastly, Business Operations created two different “How To” posters, one for the customer, explaining how to download the QR Code reader and use the “Rate our Service” ad and one for the Auxiliaries employees to explain to them how they are able to help their customers give the feedback that we find so important.

How to use a QR Code poster
Look for our “How to” posters around campus!

New locations for Phase Two include: the Mont Ripley Ski Area, the Memorial Union Guest Rooms and Office, the North Coast Grill and Deli, the Library Cafe, Coaches Corner, the Campus Cafe, Fusion, Huskies Cafe, and the Par and Grill.

If you have any questions on this or any other customer service project, please contact the Office of Information Services.

Continuous Improvement: Tips to Success

Establish an enduring culture

A leadership team who embrace change and are adaptable is critical. Similarly having a team who are resilient can also pay dividends. It’s also important to gauge the impact of any improvement work on the overall culture of the organization.

Lean MeetingGet feedback from all concerned

Be open to suggestions and take on-board feedback that has been given. Also remove blame from the equation, and allow for an open discussion.

On The Road—Educause and CUWFA

Donna Mathew attends the 2018 CUWFA Conference

Donna's Staff PhotoDonna Mathew, WorkLife Program Coordinator within VP for Administration, attended the College and University Work-Life-Family Association (CUWFA) 2018 conference. The annual CUWFA Conference took place on March 13, 2018. The three day event was hosted by Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and was attended by over 100 work-life professionals from universities all over the country and Canada. This year’s conference focused on the theme of ‘Working Together for a Sustainable Tomorrow.’ The conference encouraged its attendees to focus on some of the unique work-life related challenges that colleges and universities face together, and exchange their experiences about what is working in their own institutions and where there still seems to be some struggle, so that they may develop solutions to close these gaps and move towards a more sustainable future.

Colin Neese attends the 2018 Educause Enterprise IT Summit

Picture of Colin NeeseColin Neese, Business Systems Analyst within the Office of Information Services, attended the 2018 Educause Enterprise IT Summit on March 5-7 in Orlando, Florida. This summit is a collaboration between EDUCAUSE, AIR, and NACUBO, the Enterprise IT summit brings together IT and finance leaders to discuss ways they can work together to address institutional challenges. The focus this year was around analytics and how they can be used to improve student success.

Need Help Finding Professional Development Opportunities?

If you would like assistance in locating professional development opportunities, please contact the WorkLife Connections Office at Remember that professional development activities should be discussed with and approved by your supervisor.

Safety Tip of the Week—Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety IconWe’ve all seen that outlet that is filled to capacity. Extension cords everywhere and cords tangled in a knot that has no foreseeable end.  Did you know that this situation could be a fire hazard and an example of poor electrical safety practice? This week’s safety tip of the week is dealing with electrical safety.

An easy thing to remember is to unplug appliances when they are unused, this also saves money on electric bills.

When unplugging a cord, pull gently at the plug rather than the cord itself.

Replace and damaged electrical equipment immediately; do not attempt to repair equipment unless qualified and authorized—you wouldn’t was to shock yourself.

Do not use electrical equipment in wet or damp conditions without a ground fault circuit interrupter—water conducts electricity and could seriously injure you.

Do not tie power cords in knots; this can lead to short circuits. Only use extension cords for temporary use.

Do not overload outlets with power strips and adapters.

Allow air circulation around appliances to prevent over heating, and use light bulbs with the correct wattage to prevent overheating.

Switch power tools OFF before connecting them to a power supply.

Poor Electrical Safety Practice has the potential to start a fire—if you find you self in that situation call 911 immediately.

For other information visit the OSHA website: