Bursar Services focuses on customer support with in-person and remote options

A small team of five staff in Bursar (Cashier) Services is responsible for providing customer service to students, faculty, staff and parents, including receiving fees, disbursing funds and accepting deposits, as well as administrative reconciling. University Bursar Allen Moreno explained that customer service includes helping students navigate campus, answering their questions when possible and cashiering.

"We help frustrated students and parents who are lost, confused and looking for help," Moreno said. "They just want to talk to someone. The best thing about our office is that they can meet someone in person. We try to provide answers or find the person who can."

Bursar Services did not pause in supporting the campus community during the COVD-19 pandemic.

"Our office is considered essential, so we have always been present in the office," Moreno said. "We need to be in the office to post student payments as well as retiree payments. We accept payments through the mail, which helped students and staff to make sure payments were applied to their accounts when the building was locked."

When possible, Bursar Services accepts department deposits through campus mail or email, which has helped many departments whose staff members are working remotely. Moreno noted that last year, even with the impact of COVID-19, Bursar Services accepted and approved departmental deposits from over 200 departments on campus.

"About 45,000 checks came through our office this past year, despite the pandemic," Moreno said. "We adapt, we make things work."

Bursar Services is a unit of the Treasury and Risk Management department in Accounting and Financial Management. Director of Treasury, Risk and Payment Information John Walker emphasized that as the university entered into a new world of mostly remote work during the pandemic, Bursar Services maintained an on-campus presence.

"They provided a much needed professional, personal presence for the university’s students and departments, keeping critical operations running," Walker said. "We really appreciate their dedication, flexibility and commitment during these most unusual times."

In addition to the duties expected of Bursar Services, the unit has the largely unknown role of assisting departments on campus that are planning event-based performances, a role that is becoming more frequent as the university is moving toward more typical, pre-pandemic operations.

"We work closely with departments on campus to assist artists or companies who are performing on campus, such as shows at the Performing Arts Center and the Erwin Center," Moreno said. "For example, they typically must pay stage hands up front."

Moreno attributes Bursar Services’ customer service approach to its staff members.

"I enjoy working with my staff and the in-person customer service we provide," Moreno said. "It’s a small office, so we’re tight-knit. We have a family atmosphere and we have worked together for a long time. The staff career experience in our office ranges from 8 to 21 years, not including myself. There is a lot of knowledge in this office."