Business and Financial Systems Support Department
In a message recently addressed to the AUB community, AUB Vice President for Finance Steve Kenney said: I am pleased to announce the formation of the University’s Business and Financial Systems Support Department (BFSS) which began operations on March 11. The BFSS Department will focus its efforts on evaluating technology use and needs, recommending improvements, controlling operational budget and expenditures, and ensuring that sound internal controls are in place for processing all AUB financial information, and that system access controls are adequate to reduce the risk of accounting error, financial fraud, and identity theft.
The BFSS Department will also ensure compliance with external data security and accounting standards, and compliance with financial reporting laws and standards for securing personal financial information, and that appropriate planning is in place for disaster/emergency response and business continuity plans for financial systems, while maintaining internal controls and focusing on documentation and procedures.
Antoine Assaf has been appointed to lead the Business and Financial Systems Support Department, assisted by Samia Azar, who will assume the role of senior systems financial analyst in mid-April. In his capacity as director of this department, Assaf will be reporting directly to me.
Prior to joining AUB, Assaf held several positions as information technology (IT) consultant and project manager on projects related to banking systems and higher education enterprise resource planning (ERP) strategies in a number of consulting and IT services companies, and as director of information systems at the Lebanese-American University (LAU).
As IT consultant for Deloitte Consulting ME, Assaf worked on various projects in Lebanon and the Middle East, providing technology integration, IT strategies, organization design, and business process reengineering (BPR) consulting services.
As a project manager, Assaf was involved in the implementation of several banking systems including Harland-Phoenix Core-Banking, Getronics-Mosaic Branch Automation, CSFi-uSwitchware ATM Switch, SAB2i-SAB Banking Application, and also a satellite application around the Misys-Midas System.
During his tenure at LAU, Assaf supervised and worked on the following initiatives: IT software selection exercise and implementation of several ERP systems including SunGard Banner Student, Oracle Financials, BlackBaud Raiser’s Edge Fund Raising System, the OLIB7 Library Automation System, as well as on many IT infrastructure systems.
Assaf received his BE in electrical engineering with a major in computer sciences from Saint Joseph’s University in Beirut (ESIB) in 1985, and he is an experienced management and technology consultant with over 23 years experience in financial services and higher education industries.
Similarly, Samia Azar brings to the BFSS unit a significant background in information systems and university/hospital operations. For the past four years she has served as the assistant to the vice president/dean of Medical Affairs, with a particular focus on strategic planning and organizational processes. Prior to joining the AUBMC in this capacity, she served as assistant director for Finance and Administration of Computer and Network Systems (CNS) at AUB, addressing several challenging areas, most notably the implementation and setup of the Oracle Financial System.
Azar received her BS in math from the University of Baghdad and has more than 20 years of experience in higher education and health care.