Donna Asher, a veteran of the University of North Texas administration with nearly 20 years of experience in human resources, fiscal operations, space management and information systems will join the UNT System as Associate Vice Chancellor for Business Services and will head the newly established UNT System Business Service Center. Asher's appointment begins June 13, 2011.
The UNT System BSC is a progressive undertaking designed to improve effectiveness in business operations, or "back office" services, that enable the three System campuses – UNT, UNT Health Science Center, and UNT Dallas– function as high-quality educational institutions.
As head of the center, Asher will lead a team of executive directors who will focus on delivering shared business services including: purchasing, payment, travel, payroll and human resources. Additionally, she will lead an on-going evaluation of current and future services to recommend the most appropriate management structure, location of service personnel, degree of central coordination, campus variation, and outsourcing opportunities in order to ensure high quality, cost effective services to each campus and System operating unit.
"The creation of the UNT System Business Service Center marks a significant milestone in our journey toward excellence in delivering higher quality business services at a lower cost," said Terry Pankratz, vice chancellor for finance and leader of the System's shared services implementation. "The UNT System has been preparing for this migration for two years and we have been actively engaged in developing a delivery framework and implementation process since April 2010. It is time to implement our plan and operationalize our vision for shared business services.
Donna is a leader who sees well beyond the near term horizon and can envision a future state business model that is not tied to traditional higher education back office practices. Fortunately for us, she couples incredible vision with an impressive track record of getting things done. I am thrilled that Donna has agreed to join our team and to lead this significant endeavor. I look forward to the hard work and success that lies ahead with Donna Asher at the controls."
During the summer, Asher and the center's 136 employees, who all previously worked for various system member institutions, will create their mission and vision statements, as well as their operating principles and transition plans for becoming a streamlined shared service unit. Beginning Sept. 1, the center will begin to function as a shared service team under the oversight of Asher and the UNT System.
Asher also will define the ongoing strategic direction of the center and ensure a coordinated offering of effective and efficient services for all institutions. "The BSC is a bold and forward-thinking initiative and I'm honored to have the opportunity to lead it. I look forward to working with my new team to find efficiencies in the business operations of the UNT System Administration and the component institutions. We have a great challenge ahead of us, but we are ready and able to meet it."
Since 2004, Asher served as UNT's Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Administrative and Fiscal Services and Vice Provost for Academic Resources, advising the UNT provost on budgetary, human resource, space management and information system matters. She was the chief budget officer for a more than $200 million budget and chief academic human resources officer for more than 1,000 full-time equivalent faculty positions and more than 750 full-time equivalent staff positions. Prior to joining the provost's office, Asher was Associate Director of UNT Human Resources, a unit that she worked in for more than 13 years.
Asher is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources and holds a bachelor's degree in accounting, and an MBA in human resources management from UNT. She is President-Elect of the Texas Higher Education Human Resources Association and a member of the Society of Human Resources Management, the Colleges and Universities Professional Organization for Human Resources, and the National Association of College and University Business Officers.