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Rod SmithI often share with folks that it’s an honor to work at UNC, and I’m especially proud of our University as it leads in so many areas. I’m also impressed with how employees and students have adapted to how we do things during the COVID-19 virus. Go Heels!

I was fortunate to grow up around my grandparents, but I’m especially fortunate how transparent they were about their values and for all the wise advice and stories they shared, too.  Some things that always resonated with me in relation to my grandparents (and my parents too) were that they always worked hard and they always kept their workplaces in the highest regard.  They worked hard to improve their workplace and treated it and its property as if it were their own.

Likewise, I have folks reaching out to me from within our University every single week to ensure they’re following proper procedures, laws, policy, etc.  These folks are reaching out to ensure they’re doing things the Carolina Way, which is the right way – and this underscores that one of the best Internal Controls we have on campus is staying in control of our resources.

One point that I want to stress this month is staying in control with wise spending.  I implore folks to continue doing great things for our University, but I also ask that we be exceptionally wise in our spending considering the current climate of uncertainty in the economy.  As we adapt to having to do things a new way, we must make good business decisions and think things through to ensure we’re spending funds wisely.  Prior to departments making purchasing decisions, please be sure the item(s) purchased are necessary, that there is a critical need for the supplies ordered, and that they’re allowable.  Next, determine if there’s guidance from within our University (Purchasing Services) on how best to order what you need. In addition, I’d like you to take a step back and determine the perception of the item purchased (public perception): would the public believe the University was faithful to the trust instilled in them to do the right things with the funds we are granted?  If so, ensure that the item is the best quality and find it for the absolute best price.

Finally, I caution departments that feel the urge to outfit entire departments working from home with printers, ink/toner “flashy” office equipment, furniture, and supplies, etc.  Is it necessary to print everything? Remember, our University strives to be a leader in leaving a green footprint, and one of the first steps is eliminating unnecessary and wasteful printing. Do you really need to purchase high-end headphones?  We have a fiduciary responsibility, so it’s imperative that we have the absolute best interest of the University in mind when we’re spending dollars.

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