Message From the President

DATE: October 7, 2013

FROM: Robert J. Jones, President

TO: All Faculty and Staff 

SUBJECT: Internal Controls

As we begin the new academic year, I want to take this opportunity to affirm my personal commitment to internal control awareness and proper risk management at the University at Albany and within our affiliated entities. Internal controls are the operating practices, reporting relationships, and policies and procedures adopted by the University to help achieve our goals and objectives. They help to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of operations, reliability of financial reporting, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Internal Controls also help protect our valuable assets, data and other resources from theft and misuse.  Within an internal control system, the most important element is the overall control environment which is the organization’s ethical values, integrity, competence, and operating philosophy.  Each individual faculty and staff member shares responsibility for creating and maintaining this environment.

During the past few years, many of you have participated in risk assessments, internal control reviews and training programs and have taken steps to enhance our overall campus internal control environment.  I give my sincerest thanks to those of you who have participated in this process and I urge your continued full support and participation in related training and assessment opportunities as the internal control team continues to make its way around campus.  Maintaining proper and sufficient internal controls is an ongoing task with new challenges and constant threats. A review of our on-line internal controls training or a conversation with our internal control staff regarding new developments is always a good idea to make sure we are each doing all we can in this area.  We are especially focused at this time on information security on campus and the development of office-specific business continuity and disaster recovery plans.  I am pleased to recognized joint efforts being undertaken between our Internal Controls Office and both the campus Information Security Officer and Emergency Preparedness Committee in strengthening our campus position in these areas.

In order to make the required internal control training more convenient for both faculty and staff, we continue to maintain an online training presentation, which can be viewed 24/7 at http://www.albany.edu/internalcontrol/.  I encourage each of you to devote about 20 minutes of your valuable time to view the presentation or take 10 minutes to discuss the latest internal control challenges with our internal control staff.

Should you have questions about the University’s internal control program, or should you want to schedule a training session or private consultation, please contact Kevin Wilcox our Campus Internal Control Officer or Jonathan St. Clair our Campus Internal Control Coordinator at 956-8120.  Questions or observations may also be sent, anonymously if desired, to the internal control hotline at 437-4738.

Thank you again for your participation and cooperation in this important and ongoing endeavor.

Sincerely yours,

Robert J. Jones
President