Ohio University Business Service Center Initiative

In November 2021, Ohio University President Hugh Sherman created the Business Service Center Advisory Committee to inform prioritization of services to be delivered through an integrated business service center.

Various business service models have been adopted across higher education to ensure consistent, simplified, high-quality administrative services in support of the academic mission, including, for example, travel, expense reimbursement, purchase of supplies and equipment, billing, and human resources services.  
The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to inform the design of our shared service model and prioritization of service implementation. The Advisory Committee includes representatives from across the University who will seek input through the design and prioritization of processes and facilitate adoption of services.  

Driven by continuous process improvement, the end goal is to create excellent customer service.

Business Service Center Focus Areas

  • Purchasing
  • Travel
  • PCard
  • Human Resources
  • Budget and Analytics

Business Service Center Advisory Committee

  • Heather Krugman, Executive Director of the Ohio University Business Service Center (Co-Chair)
  • Zaki Kuruppalil, Professor of Engineering Technology & Management (Co-Chair)
  • Sylvia Mickunas, Director of Operational Improvement
  • Julie Allison, Associate Vice President, Finance
  • Chris Ament, Chief Information Officer
  • Colleen Bendl, Chief Human Resource Officer
  • Candace Boeninger, Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Marion Candrea, Chief Audit Executive
  • John Day, Associate Provost for Academic Budget and Planning; Interim Chief Budget Officer
  • Cary Frith, Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Mark Heil, Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration
  • Rosanna Howard, Director of Operations & Budget for Regional Higher Education
  • Carly Leatherwood, Associate Vice President of Communications
  • Brian McCarthy, Senior Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • John McCarthy, Interim Dean, College of Health Sciences Professions
  • Sylvia Mickunas, Director of Operational Improvement
  • Laura Myers, Director of University Compliance
  • Tina Payne, Executive Director of Treasury Operations
  • Susan Robb, Assistant Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs
  • Elizabeth Sayrs, Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Kari Saunier, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer, College of Fine Arts
  • William Schafer, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Aaron Wilson, Associate Professor, Accountancy; Chair, Finance and Facilities Faculty Senate Committee


  • President Sherman committed to improve administrative efficiencies by setting up a business service center (BSC) based on previous work and recommendations, including the Academic Policy, Process, and Practice (PPP) report through the Provost's Office
  • The BSC Advisory Committee was formed
  • A core working group was formed to move the initiative forward
  • President Sherman approved hiring a Director of Operational Improvement, and Sylvia Mickunas was hired in January 2022
  • The core work group identified transactional focus areas to recommend as the initial services for the BSC, which were grouped into five buckets: Purchasing, Travel, PCard, Human Resources, Budget and Analytics
  • Pam Gabel, Assistant Vice President of the Shared Services Center at the University of Michigan, visited Ohio University for three days to consult about the development of the OUBSC, meeting with leadership and representative groups across the institution
  • President Sherman approved hiring an Executive Director for the BSC; the search was completed and a report was sent to President Sherman for review and potential hiring
  • The Executive team verbally agreed to move forward with the identified focus areas (buckets)
  • The core work group is identifying members to invite to the process improvement/redesign teams for each of the five buckets
  • The BSC mission, vison, and working principles are under development with the core work group

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Business Service Center?

A Business Service Center is an organizational structure common across industries, including higher education, that consolidates transactional business activities into a single delivery point, prioritizes communication around and high-quality delivery of service, and commits to continuous process improvement in operations. 

Why create a Business Service Center?

Business Service Center models are well established across higher education institutions and throughout industry. It is our hope that through this initiative, we will improve service and streamline processes that support the University's mission.

Through this initiative, we aim to ensure consistent, simplified, high-quality administrative services in support of the academic mission, including, for example, travel and expense reimbursement, purchase of supplies and equipment, billing, and human resources services.  

The end goal is to create efficiencies that, over time, will lead to improved service delivery. While the initial goal is not to reduce our workforce in these critical areas, we do anticipate improved service as processes are streamlined.

What is the timeline?

We anticipate the Business Service Center to launch in 2023 with services focused on Purchasing, Travel, PCard, Human Resources, and Budget & Analytics. Additional services will be added in stages.

Will people lose their jobs?

The Business Service Center Initiative has not been given a target for budget savings, and it is not intended as a plan for reduction in the workforce. Over time, as processes become more streamlined, a goal is to constrain growth in the number of positions needed to manage transactional work across the university system and will be met through natural attrition.

How will this affect my unit and me?

We are still evaluating an appropriate Business Service Center model that aligns with the University’s mission; however, the ultimate goal is to provide increased internal customer service through the Business Service Center model.

What changes should I expect from the Business Service Center model?

Our goal is to improve customer service for faculty and staff and help you work smarter. Benefits of the Business Service Center include: 

  • An expert community available to answer questions and find answers. You won’t have to worry about your question sitting in someone’s inbox for weeks — you will receive prompt communication and will be kept in the loop while we find you the correct answers. 
  • Relief from certain transactional work being handled by strategic people in your unit. 

Continued operational excellence support — our goal is to make processes more user-friendly and efficient through technology and process improvement.

What areas are transitioning to the Business Service Center?

The Business Service Center Advisory Committee has agreed upon five focus areas: Purchasing, Travel, PCard, Human Resources, and Budget & Analytics. Input from offices, units, and employees who engage in transactional work will continue to be gathered as the Business Service Center evolves.

Is there a continuous improvement model in place to allow for constructive feedback?

Yes. Feedback is encouraged and may be given directly to members of the Business Service Center Advisory Committee or provided via the Provide Feedback button below.