External auditing firm McConnell Jones has completed its first internal audit at the college, focused on ACC’s Security, Safety, and Operations departments. The initial report is now available on the Internal Audit web page.

“What we found in this initial audit is that a lot of the frustrations we have shouldn’t have been personal. When you see the root cause, it explains why we have some of the personal conflicts. It is because the college was never set up for the kind of effectiveness that we now need to embrace, and I think what the auditors affirmed are things that we’ve talked about throughout the process,” ACC Chancellor Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart told employees at the June Virtual Employee Town Hall meeting. “We are one of the biggest colleges in the country that is still functioning on processes and policies that were created when we were a small school.”

The report presents areas that need improvement regarding processes, structures, and efficiencies. Some of the main takeaways include:

  • We need more clarity of roles and responsibilities.
  • We need more collaboration and information sharing.
  • We need more formalized monitoring processes and metrics for accountability.

As a result of the findings, the Security, Safety, and Operations departments will undergo a reorganization that will allow the college to move forward more efficiently and collaboratively. 

At the July Employee Town Hall meeting, Russell will share a plan that realigns elements of operations and safety throughout the college. He will first share it with the employees who are directly impacted. 

“We’re going to realign for effectiveness and efficiency. No one is losing their job. We’re trying to flatten the organization,” he said.

To help reduce administrative overhead, some of the options Russell shared include: 

  • Eliminating the Operations & Public Affairs Executive Vice Chancellor position when Dr. Molly Beth Malcolm retires from the role in August.
  • Eliminating unfilled vice and associate vice chancellor roles in the departments.
  • Realigning some administrative roles to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

What’s Next

This summer, Phase 2 of the internal review will begin. It will include a review of ACC’s Purchasing and Accounts Payable areas. 

Ultimately, all college operations will be audited. Later this year, the college will develop a multiyear audit plan that will prioritize all operations in terms of timing. Findings from all audits and information about the process and plan will be posted on the Internal Audit web page.