Congratulations to Jan Bakken, auditor, Procurement & Payment Services, on her retirement after 34 years of service to the University of North Dakota. Her last day will be July 31.
A native of Stephen, Minn., Jan began her career in the banking industry before joining the UND Bookstore in June 1987. She spent four years working with accounts payable at the Bookstore, before transferring to Accounting Services, now Procurement & Payment Services, where she served as data entry operator before accepting the role of auditor. As one of the go-to persons for auditing questions, Jan is well-known for going above and beyond for campus departments experiencing accounting/invoicing issues. Behind the scenes, she excels in digging into these issues and getting to the bottom of the problem, ensuring that departments are properly credited.
Throughout the years, Jan has seen many changes at UND. After the April 1988 Bookstore fire in the Memorial Union, Jan’s office was moved to the basement of Swanson Hall, where she and her co-workers diligently worked to re-open the retail store in the ballroom of the Union. Reconstruction of the Bookstore was completed 28 weeks later.
The change from paper invoices to electronic invoices has been one of the most significant changes during Jan’s career. When Jan began her auditing career, she was responsible for auditing 100 percent of all products that UND purchased. Her auditing co-workers were responsible for reimbursements, services and travel. Jan diligently tackled the never-ending stacks of paper on her desk. Corrections to the paperwork were done either by phone or via intra-campus or snail mail.
Jan has worked with four different accounting-related software in her career: legacy system, PeopleSoft, Perceptive Content and now Jaggaer. While each new software made information more readily available, processes and procedures required adjustments. Many of Jan’s ideas and suggestions for central finance process improvements have been implemented over the years. Jan also played an essential role on the P-Card implementation and oversight team.
Jan’s dedication to UND campus departments and to her coworkers is second-to-none. Jan is always the first to volunteer to assist with central finance recognition events, and she goes the extra mile to make everyone feel included and appreciated. Jan has been an integral part of our unit. Her commitment and contributions will always be valued and remembered.
In retirement, Jan and her husband, Wayne, look forward to spending more time with family, camping and “having a plan to not have a plan and see what the future brings!”
Thank you, Jan! We will miss you!
Patty Schoenrock, Office of Associate VP for Finance