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SU administrator saves university $30k

An earlier online and print version of this article stated that Beth Walsh was a professor at Salisbury University. The online version has since been updated.

BY HANNAH HYAT AND SAMANTHA STELTZER

News Editor/Staff Writer

CAMPUS – Salisbury University’s staff continues to soar above and beyond.

Graduate Studies and Research Grants Specialist Beth Walsh was recently awarded with the Board of Regents’ Staff Award for Excellence in Effectiveness and Efficiency by the University System of Maryland.

Walsh took the initiative to learn administrative functions after financial obstacles almost blocked SU from purchasing a digital grant tracking database.

Walsh ensured the university would be able to obtain the software, and in doing so was able to save SU over $30,000 by tailoring the system for optimum use.

Walsh admitted there were difficulties involved with obtaining the database, but she managed to persevere.

“The grant submission and approval process was cumbersome and paper-heavy,” Walsh said. “I was certain that obtaining a database for grant submissions would increase efficiency and provide a more seamless procedure for all involved in the reviewing and approving.”

Walsh’s efforts did not go unnoticed. SU President Charles Wight believed the award was a fitting honor for the Walsh’s work.

“She went well beyond her typical job duties to take on this project, successfully implemented it and developed trainings for faculty while still excelling in her daily work,” Wight said. “This is a fitting honor for her hard [work] and dedication to the university.”

SU Director of Sponsored Programs Teri Herberger nominated Walsh for the award because of the invaluable work she put into obtaining the software.

“She also independently worked on maintenance tables and took the initiative to learn administrative functions that allow us to customize tables without the need for Kuali support at $200 per hour,” said Herberger.

The software will allow SU to customize maintenance tables without the need for support from the company, Kuali.

“The database leads to greater efficiency in the work process with grants and contracts,” Walsh said. “It also serves as a repository for grants so that a faculty member can go back and review his/her grants and can even copy from a prior year and update.”

Walsh is hopeful about the opportunities the database will bring.

“In the future, we will be able to pull reports easily and can generate specific reports based on the needs of the requesting party,” Walsh said.

Walsh’s work will play an important part in helping future staff at SU.

“Because of Beth’s diligence, we were able to avoid the types of problems that we sometimes see when key project staff don’t take the time to understand the system fully and make thoughtful configuration decisions,” Kuali Research Director Kaci Foster said.

Interim Dean of SU’s Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology Mike Scott expressed Walsh’s efforts have always been of the highest caliber in her 20-year career at SU.

“I believe what truly sets her apart and shows that she is deserving of this award is her long-term commitment to a very high level of both effectiveness and efficiency,” Scott said.

Walsh is still learning the kinks of Kuali, but not closed to the idea of obtaining new systems.

“Ask me in a couple years. I am hoping to use DocuSign for all contracts so that all award documents are sent electronically,” Walsh said.

When asked if there was anyone she would like to thank, Walsh acknowledged her colleagues.

“Everyone that I work with and my bosses and deans that wrote the letters of recommendations,” Walsh said. “Plus everyone that endured my training sessions on Kuali.”

Featured photo by Salisbury University’s Office of Public Relations

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