Board OKs ERP choice, accepts financial audit for Fiscal 2020

Published 12.10.2020

Student News
Faculty & Staff

The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors on Thursday approved the selection of a Florida company to provide ERP (enterprise resource planning) software/systems to the college and accepted the audited financial statements for the college for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The college will engage with Boca Raton-based Anthology for the implementation of CampusNexus, a comprehensive package of administrative software tools and systems to support business operations and engage with students. Anthology was created earlier this year after the merger of three companies: Campus Management, Campus Labs and iModules.

President Davie Jane Gilmour said the new ERP will replace a collection of systems, some of which are more than 30 years old.

“We’ve been planning and working on this since 2018. ... It’s really been a campuswide process,” she said.

Savings will be realized over time, as the new cloud-based ERP reduces the number of separate systems that are needed.

“We are very excited about moving in this direction,” Gilmour said.

The president said she has “great confidence” in Laurie A. Fullerton, director of enterprise applications and systems, and Chris J. Suzadail, special assistant to the president for ERP implementation, for the work they will perform in shepherding the transition/integration phase, which will largely be completed over the next 18-24 months.

“They have a heavy lift ahead of them,” she said.

Representatives from Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP – Andrea Caladie, partner, and Jon Nichols, senior manager – presented the results of the college’s audit for the fiscal year ended June 30. The college received an unmodified opinion on its financial statements: the highest level of assurance given in an audit.

“It is a good report card,” Caladie told the board, which accepted the audit findings.

Total assets for the college were $277,649,000 at the end of the fiscal year, an increase of 2.6% over the prior year. The auditors noted that no misstatements were identified, and no difficulties or disagreements with college management occurred during the course of the audit.

Thursday's Board of Directors meeting summarizedEthan M. McKenzie, a software development & information management major who serves as president of the Student Government Association, presented to the board on SGA activities in 2020, which he noted was a challenging year, especially after the college moved to remote delivery in spring to comply with restrictions imposed by state government.

Highlights, McKenzie said, were appointing and training 24 new members, passing nine pieces of legislation and conducting seven town halls. In addition, $1,295 was raised for the Student Leader Legacy Scholarship during a fall fundraising event.

The board was shown two videos: one on the recently renovated Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center, the other on the new Electronics Lab in the Center for Business & Workforce Development.

A $1 million-plus donation from Ward, a 1966 alumnus, funded improvements to the 14,299-square-foot machining technologies center, one of the oldest instructional spaces on campus. The new lab features fresh lighting, flooring, fixtures and state-of-the art instructional equipment. Approximately 90 students from five manufacturing-related programs gain hands-on experience in the lab each semester.

The addition of two automation degrees was the impetus for the new Electronics Lab. The 906-square-foot lab accommodates about 60 students per semester who are seeking an automation engineering technology bachelor’s degree – in either mechatronics or robotics.

In her comments to the board, Gilmour said the end of final exams on Friday night, signaling the completion of the Fall 2020 semester, will trigger “a huge sigh of relief across this campus.”

She thanked the entire campus community for its cooperation in completing a semester of in-person instruction against all odds.

“It’s really nothing short of a miracle we will be able to do it,” she said.

In her report, the president also said gifts and donations ($4.8 million) are approximately $500,000 ahead of the same time last year.

Board Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw praised the college’s administration, faculty, staff and, above all, students for doing whatever was necessary to complete the Fall 2020 semester without interruption, calling it a “success story.”

“They (students) knew that they wanted to have in-person instruction,” he said.

The next regularly scheduled Penn College Board of Directors meeting is set for Feb. 4.