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WSU introduces new budget office role

New director intends to improve fiscal health, payroll technology

Kelley+Westhoff%2C+the+new+executive+director+for+budget%2C+planning+and+analysis%2C+was+formerly+an+operating+budget%0Adirector.+Westhoff+began+her+position+a+few+weeks+after+Joan+King%2C+former+chief+university+budget+officer%2C+retired.
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WSU introduces new budget office role

Kelley Westhoff, the new executive director for budget, planning and analysis, was formerly an operating budget
director. Westhoff began her position a few weeks after Joan King, former chief university budget officer, retired.

Kelley Westhoff, the new executive director for budget, planning and analysis, was formerly an operating budget director. Westhoff began her position a few weeks after Joan King, former chief university budget officer, retired.

COURTESY OF WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY

Kelley Westhoff, the new executive director for budget, planning and analysis, was formerly an operating budget director. Westhoff began her position a few weeks after Joan King, former chief university budget officer, retired.

COURTESY OF WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY

COURTESY OF WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY

Kelley Westhoff, the new executive director for budget, planning and analysis, was formerly an operating budget director. Westhoff began her position a few weeks after Joan King, former chief university budget officer, retired.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen reporter

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The new executive director for budget, planning and analysis wants to help recover WSU’s fiscal health and update the current payroll system.

Kelley Westhoff began her new role on Nov. 1 after Joan King, former associate vice president and chief university budget officer, retired from her position on Oct. 18.

“Our boss, Joan King, was a great mentor,” Westhoff said. “It was a surprise that she had made the decision to retire, but I was thrilled for her.”

When King announced her retirement, she recommended Westhoff for the promotion that would help fill her previous position, said Stacy Pearson, vice president for finance and administration.

“She was the senior leader there with the greatest experience,” Pearson said. “We knew she could do the job and she was ready for an increase of responsibility.”

Pearson and Westhoff will be splitting the responsibilities once held by King. This move was made to save money by having one less staff member, Pearson said, since she and Westhoff already work at the university.

Westhoff started her career at WSU about 10 years ago as a budget analyst, she said. She worked her way up to her previous position as operating budget director and is now the executive director for all budgeting.

“It’s a great opportunity for me,” she said. “I’m a first-generation college student. I’ve been fortunate firsthand to know what a college education means.”

She will be responsible for overseeing the capital and operating budgets. The two budgets often work closely together, Westhoff said.

“Funding for capital projects gets appropriated to build a building, but then operating has to pay for the maintenance and the utilities of that building,” she said.

Before King’s retirement, the budget office would report directly to the WSU president. Now they will report to Pearson, Westhoff said.

“It’s a really good fit for the budget office to be a part of this new system,” she said.

Westhoff plans on updating the out-of-date computer technology the budget office currently uses for human resources and the payroll system, she said.

“There are some exciting initiatives about to happen,” Westhoff said. “We are on technology that is from the 1980s, so we are well overdue for an update.”

Westhoff said she is helping with the process of recovering WSU’s current financial state. The budget office also will work to get a more comprehensive understanding of financial recovery with the different business areas of WSU, she said.

“Modernization is one of our key goals,” Westhoff said.

About the Writer
MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen reporter

Madysen  is a freshman journalism and media production major from Hunters, Washington.

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WSU introduces new budget office role