By Kristina Michel
As cash control supervisor for the University of Houston Cashier’s Office in the Office of Student Business Services, Christopher Hubbard has a big responsibility, but it’s a responsibility he welcomes taking on every day.
The Cashier’s Office is responsible for processing all payments made by the University’s 43,000 plus student population. This includes processing cash, checks, money orders, cashier’s checks and even wire transfers from international students.
“The Cashier’s Office typically processes on average about 500 payments a week,” said Hubbard. “However, at peak times, such as at the start of the academic semester, we can process as much as 500 payments a day.”
The office also processes cash advances for various departments, including Athletics, for teams traveling at away games, and the Student Center Games Room, such as when it needs to refill the coin changer machines.
Hubbard has been working in the world of finance since his days as a student. While studying at Lamar University, he worked part time at Woodforest Bank. He has also worked at Houston Community College as a financial aid associate and at Lone Star College as College Work-Study program manager. Hubbard has a bachelor’s degree in business from Lamar and an M.B.A. from Prairie View A&M University.
Hubbard began working at UH in 2012 as a financial coordinator for the campus’ Federal Perkins Loan program. He advanced to his current position as cash control supervisor in January 2015. He much prefers working in the Cashier’s Office to the high-pressure, sales-driven environment of retail banking.
“When I was a student working at Woodforest Bank, I envisioned getting my own branch and becoming the top guy in the banking industry. As time went on, though, I changed my mind,” Hubbard said. “At the bank, we were constantly driven to set up new accounts. Sales came first and customer service second. Here, it’s the opposite. Our office doesn’t have to worry about recruiting. We can just focus on providing first-rate customer service.”
Hubbard said he especially enjoys assisting international students.
“The University of Houston is definitely a melting pot of different cultures. We get a lot of international students, and, for them, it may be the first time they’ve ever even filled out a check,” said Hubbard. “We can help with those kinds of disconnects by showing them how to properly fill out a check to make their tuition payment but to make payments outside of the university as well. I’m proud we’re able to do that for them.”
Hubbard is proud of his employees and the great work they do. To help ensure things are running smoothly, the Cashier’s Office undergoes periodic auditing both internally by the University and externally from a third-party company. During the audit, the auditor notes exceptions, which are inaccuracies in financial statements, and areas for improvement. At its most recent external audit, the office received a glowing evaluation with no exceptions and no areas for improvement.
“Basically, they told us we’re firing on all cylinders. That was a major accomplishment for our department,” said Hubbard. “It was reassurance that we were doing everything we’re supposed to be doing. It was also a big deal for me because I was still relatively new as cash control supervisor. It reassured me and my supervisors that they had left the office in the right hands.”
Outside of working, Hubbard enjoys spending time with his family and watching sports. He’s currently most invested in football, as he is an avid fantasy football player.