Overview of Westfield State University

This section describes the makeup and responsibilities of the Westfield State University.

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Westfield State University (WSU) was established by Section 5 of Chapter 15A of the Massachusetts General Laws and operates under the direction of a board of trustees, the members of which are appointed by the Governor. The board is responsible for reviewing the university’s mission, appointing a president, and approving the annual budget. Its officers include a chair, a vice chair, an alumni trustee, a student trustee, a secretary, and other members, as well as the president of the university, who is an ex officio member.

WSU is a member of the Massachusetts public higher-education system, which consists of 15 community colleges, nine state universities, and five University of Massachusetts campuses. WSU is a public institution that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies. It is a department of the Commonwealth and receives funding through state appropriations, tuition and fees, investment income, capital grants, and other sources. In 2019, WSU received appropriations of $39 million from the Commonwealth. According to its website, for fiscal year 2020, WSU had 5,810 students enrolled in credit and non-credit courses.

Vendor/Customer File Information and Changes

When a state agency enters into contracts with a vendor, the agency must first obtain information, such as the vendor’s legal name, address, and electronic fund transfer (EFT) information, from the vendor. EFT information is required for all statewide vendors that receive multiple payments, so that the Commonwealth can transmit payments directly into their bank accounts. When registering a new vendor, a state agency must also obtain from the vendor a completed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) W-9 form (“Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification”), which allows the vendor to provide the state with a unique taxpayer identification number that the vendor needs in order to be paid. Once the agency obtains this information, it is stored in a vendor/customer file in the Massachusetts Management Accounting and Reporting System (MMARS), the official accounting record of the Commonwealth. The agency is responsible for reviewing and updating the information as necessary to ensure that it is accurate. Pursuant to policies issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Commonwealth (CTR), when a vendor wants to change any of its information in MMARS, it must contact the agency it is working with, inform the agency of the necessary change, and provide documentation to support the change. Once a state agency receives a request to change information in a MMARS vendor/customer file, it must collect supporting documentation for the change; verify the change with an authorized signatory by phone; process the change; and notify CTR, providing the aforesaid documentation. WSU procedures incorporate these requirements except the documentation of the follow-up with the vendor.

Date published: April 15, 2021

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