The Catholic University of America

May 28, 2009

Catholic University to Receive National Innovation Award

NACUBO Will Recognize CUA's Web-based Compliance Partners Program
  Work on a Web-based project by (from left) William Lantry, director of academic technology services; Cathy Wood, vice president for finance and treasurer; Margaret L. O'Donnell, associate general counsel; and Craig Parker, associate vice president and general counsel, will be honored on June 28.

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) will honor Catholic University on June 28 for its innovative Web-based Compliance Partners program, which enables small schools to track and comply with the ever-growing number of federal regulations that govern higher education.

NACUBO will present its Innovation Award to Craig Parker, associate vice president and general counsel, and Cathy Wood, vice president for finance and treasurer, during the association's 2009 annual meeting in Boston. In its award letter to the university, NACUBO noted that CUA was the association's only award winner selected for 2009.

Parker says the award also recognizes the work of two other members of the CUA community who have been key to the program's success: Margaret L. O'Donnell, associate general counsel and principal manager of the program, and William Lantry, director of academic technology services.

O'Donnell, who has been at CUA since 1995, is a nationally recognized expert in higher education federal regulation issues. Parker described Lantry as the "key strategic partner" in the program.

Parker noted that "Cathy Wood has been an enthusiastic supporter of the compliance efforts, especially as they impact Catholic University's financial area."

Maintained by Catholic University's Office of General Counsel, Compliance Partners is built around three linked Web sites, which include the Campus Legal Information Clearinghouse operated by the general counsel's office with the American Council on Education; the compliance Web site, where specific compliance responsibilities at CUA are spelled out; and the university's policies Web site.

Because the Web-based program draws from existing university resources, it has saved Catholic University money while increasing productivity, Parker says.

Parker notes that the CUA program is unique in American higher education in weaving together a school's federal compliance obligations, legally required policies and individual position descriptions in a transparent, regularly updated, freely available compliance system.

The program has allowed CUA to pull together, at the "virtual" level, a variety of campus offices around the issue of compliance, including campus security, equal opportunity, human resources, research, immigration, information technology, controller, environmental safety, financial aid, registrar, disability services and others.

Parker says that with no single source in the country providing complete information on compliance rules in higher education, the more than 200 existing federal statutes impose a substantial burden on smaller institutions.

NACUBO's Innovation Award goes to a college or university that has taken a new approach to an institutional issue, providing a cutting-edge resource that is applicable to other colleges and universities. The association represents chief business and financial officers at more than 2,500 colleges, universities and higher education service providers across the country and around the world.