MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

July 16, 2016 

Business Office undergoes considerable change


The campus has seen lots of changes lately. One of the places where one can especially notice this is in the Business Office. There have been several personnel changes over the last several months, and this means some change in processes, as well.

Lois Karlstad, who had been working with the North Dakota Area Health Education Center (AHEC) for the last several years has now joined the business office staff as an accounts payable technician. She joins Ashley Mooney, who is the accounts receivable technician. The department is headed up by Laura Nelson, Mayville State’s controller.

Charlotte Anderson is also new to the business office. She had been a member of the enrollment services staff for a number of years. In her new role, she is an accountant, and has taken the place of long-time Mayville State employee Janice Jorgensen.

Janice retired at the end of April. She had been the accountant at Mayville State University since 1977, but her tenure with the university began in 1969 when she joined the business office staff as a purchase order clerk. In 1972, she became the payroll clerk and served in that role until 1977. In addition to her regular duties, Janice maintained the accounting records for the Mayville Mutual Aid Corporation.

Karen Amundson, another long-time Mayville State employee, retired at the end of June. Karen had worked in the Business Office for 41 years, and was the payroll/benefits coordinator.

During her tenure, Karen led the university through many changes and complexities surrounding payroll and benefit administration. She was at the forefront of many campus human resource management system enhancements, including the North Dakota Higher Education system-wide accounting and payroll system (HECN) in the 1970s and the present-day PeopleSoft and ConnectND systems. Other changes she oversaw were the adjustment from preparing payroll once a month to twice a month, moving from eight-day to 15-day pay lags, and the switch from distributing paper paychecks to direct deposit. These system upgrades required considerable learning and implementation time and effort from Karen and she handled all of these responsibilities very well.

As the payroll/benefits coordinator, Karen interacted with all Mayville State employees, which includes about 160 full-time staff, as well as some part-timers, plus just as many student employees. We all depended on her to get the required work done so that our semimonthly pay would end up in our individual bank accounts. Not only that, she was entrusted with seeing that the Social Security, Public Employee Retirement System, and TIAA-CREF retirement contributions, and other withholding and matching dollars would end up in the proper accounts within the appropriate entities. This was no small task, and we are grateful to Karen for her hard work. We wish her all the best in her retirement.

Karen’s planned departure provided an opportunity to consider an alternate payroll arrangement for Mayville State, thus another change. We will now be working in collaboration with the University of North Dakota for several payroll and employee benefit business operations. Collaborations and the streamlining of such processes have been encouraged by the North Dakota University System, and we are happy to do our part to contribute to efficiency.

We are very fortunate to have a number of employees who have invested many years of service to the “School of Personal Service.” These folks have made great contributions to the university over the years, and we appreciate their efforts, while we look to the future with great new employees who have stepped into their roles.