College Restructures Budget Office
Three-member team manages fiscal health of 16 departments, eight programs, six administrative units
As part of ongoing efforts to enhance administrative efficiency and effectiveness, the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) has reorganized its Budget Office.
Andrea Persin is the college’s new director of budget and finance. Her team includes newly appointed Assistant Director Beth Wagner G’04 and Budget Manager Alissa Strusienski. All three have worked in the office since 2015.
Located in the Hall of Languages, the Budget Office provides strategic and operational oversight of the college’s financial planning and analysis.
“I am excited to serve A&S in this new capacity,” says Persin, who succeeds former director Laura Troendle. “Everything we work on, including budgets and long-range planning models, reflects the college’s goals and objectives."
In her new capacity, Persin oversees the fiscal health of 16 academic departments, eight academic programs and six administrative units.
She works closely with A&S Dean Karin Ruhlandt—something that began in earnest in June, following her promotion to interim director—to create projections and proposals supporting the college’s forward momentum.
“Having accurate and effective forecasting of business finances ensures we run smoothly," says Persin, who came to A&S after a nine-year stint in the Syracuse office of AXA Equitable. "They include current revenue, revenue potential and expenses, and are a critical part of business planning."
Persin also prepares short- and long-term income and expense budgets; manages financial, resource and research analysis; develops budget and feasibility studies; and oversees a comprehensive, multi-year financial plan.
Ruhlandt is enthusiastic about the new team, praising its strict adherence to financial prudence and transparency.
“Andrea brings a wealth of experience to the position, making sure that our operations continue to run smoothly and with integrity,” Ruhlandt says. “Her technical accounting background, combined with industry experience and innate leadership skills, is well timed. Andrea's appointment impacts everyone—faculty, staff, students, even alumni.”
Persin quickly climbed AXA's corporate ladder, landing senior management positions in enterprise governance and insurance accounting.
While there, she worked alongside Strusienski, a seven-year veteran of the insurance juggernaut, who rose to manager of human resource accounting.
In A&S, Strusienski implements and deploys the University’s financial objectives in real time. She helps prepare and process payroll for hundreds of employees, coordinates operating budgets and finances, and administers various human resource activities.
"Alissa also trains, supports and guides A&S staff in multiple areas, including financial processes, payroll and dispursements. She makes sure these activities comply with University policies and procedures," Persin says.
Whereas Strusienski and Persin are relatively new to campus, Wagner previously worked in the Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition and in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics.
Wagner oversees compensation-related data and processes, administers and monitors salary budget allocations, and analyzes and reviews budget and expenditure activities. She also manages the appointment processes of faculty and staff, and has oversight of personnel leaves and other employment changes.
"Beth, Alissa and I aim to deliver the highest quality budget management and information services possible. We are beholden to the college's liberal arts mission," Persin adds.