By George Mauzy
Mark K. Hopton has been named Ohio University's first director of shared services and will begin work March 17.
His duties will include developing and implementing a comprehensive shared services model that provides enhanced finance, budget and human resource services. He will report to Vice President for Finance and Administration Bill Decatur.
Decatur formed a shared services project team last September and charged it with guiding the development of a shared services model, which is intended to eliminate duplication of efforts and consolidate routine processing in university service centers. The model will be designed to improve the quality of service while also reducing costs. It should be fully implemented by July 2009.
"Among my first tasks will be to engage in the shared services planning process with consultants and the university's project team," Hopton said. "It will be important to be open and honest with the campus during this process in an effort to create understanding, share our messages and help people overcome their fear of the process so that they can embrace it."
Another immediate task for Hopton will be coordinating the project team's gathering of data on the cost and number of university financial transactions.
Hopton currently is the shared services director at American Greetings in Cleveland, where he has led those operations for the company's North American shared services center since April 2003. New operational process improvements he implemented have saved the company more than $6.6 million since his appointment.
Since arriving at American Greetings in 1989, Hopton has worked in a variety of roles, including as corporate payroll services manager, corporate accounts payable manager and consumer affairs supervisor.
"I'm obviously excited that Mark will join our team because we will benefit greatly from his vast experience and leadership in shared services,"Decatur said. "He built the shared services function at American Greetings from the ground up, so he knows how to implement a new shared services plan."
A Wickliffe, Ohio, native, Hopton earned his MBA from the University of Phoenix and his bachelor's degree in business administration from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. He and his wife, Karrie, have two daughters and a son.
"This was a phenomenal opportunity to work at Ohio University, and everything lined up for me and my family to make the move at this time,"Hopton added. "My daughter will be a freshman at the university next fall. During my visit, everyone I met was so warm and friendly. Those things, along with knowing the executive staff supports this initiative, made the move easier."
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