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From Finance and HR to Facilities and Data Systems, SDSC Business Services Gets It Done

Published August 17, 2022

SDSC Business Services Division members photographed at a recent group gathering.  Credit: Jake Drake, SDSC External Relations.

By Cynthia Dillon, SDSC External Relations

If the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) has a superhero, it just might be the Business Services Division. As the center’s business office, the division provides the administrative support for the entire center through four main areas: finance, human resources (HR), facilities and data systems.

“We provide all aspects of HR support—guiding employees from their first day to their last. We provide financial support and controls in the form of center budgeting, post-award support to contracts and grants, invoicing and management of service agreements, and management of self-supporting activities, to name a few items,” said Fritz Leader, division director. “We support center staff in all purchasing and expense reconciliation. We provide pre-award support for proposals and contracts in development. We care for the building facilities, coordinating maintenance, moves and allocations of space. We also develop business applications to fill gaps not provided for by campus services.”

The list of services the business office provides is long, but Leader describes the division’s impact by using grants as an example.

“Every large grant or contract that SDSC receives—and is known for—has started as a proposal the business office has managed and submitted. For each of those grants to be successful, the business office provides the fiscal management needed to meet sponsor goals. Every research staff member who works on a grant has been hired and onboarded by our HR group and works in building space that we manage. All of this activity is tracked and managed in both campus systems and applications we develop. In short, we have broad impact across all of the center’s activities,” he said.

One of the heroes within the division is Sandra Davey, who manages Facility Services. Throughout the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, Davey has worked on site every day of every work week—sometimes on weekends, too.

“I’m honored to be a long-term employee of SDSC. Many times, I may be the first person a new employee or visitor will meet; it is a privilege to be the first face they see representing SDSC,” said Davey. “I am also fortunate to interact with a large group of essential workers at SDSC and UC San Diego. Together, we provide the 'Get it Done' services that are required in the day-to-day operation of SDSC.”

Leader says that what he appreciates the most about the division he directs is the people, whom he describes as highly competent with a cohesive sense of team and a genuine care for each other.

“It’s comforting knowing that we are all available to support each other on any issue—and we have had a landslide of them over the past two years. We have been through a lot of overlapping UC San Diego systems transitions. As a group we actively share together what we learn about emergent challenges and learn from what everyone is experiencing. But despite challenges, I also know that we can continue to laugh together and enjoy each other’s company,” said Leader.

For more context about the many aspects of SDSC that the Business Services Division manages, feel free to visit the Business Services website.