Wednesday, March 21, 2018

UVAFinance: Don't forget to join us for the Finance Strategic Transformation Panel Discussion!

Panel members will include Melody Bianchetto, Jerry Burke, Nicole Ferretti, and James Gorman.  

Thank you to all who have submitted questions!
Questions and thoughts are always welcome via the suggestion box (either physical or virtual).

Can't make it on the 23rd?  We'll publish a recording of this session soon after!

Staff Changes in Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services

Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services (PSDS) has experienced some staffing changes within the Travel and Expense (T&E) team:

  • Dolores Hildebrand, the T&E program leader, has retired after a long career in PSDS. Thank you to everyone who came to her retirement celebration to say goodbye – she will be missed!
    • John McHugh has assumed her duties for this important program. 
  • Carrie McGowan, the Travel, Expense, and Card Program Manager, has accepted a position within the Vice President for Research Office effective today. PSDS is thankful for her contributions to the Expense and T&E Card Programs. 
    • Carrie’s T&E Card responsibilities have been assigned to Crystal Dollens and Raegan Harouff, who can be reached at
  • Lisa Atkins, the Travel and Expense Administrator, has accepted a position within Enterprise Applications to support Expense UVA and our procurement systems. Her last day in PSDS will be March 30th. PSDS appreciates her years of service to PSDS and her dedication to the Expense UVA project. We are glad that both Carrie and Lisa are staying within the UVA family.
    •  Korby Griffith will assume Lisa Atkins’ responsibilities beginning on April 1, 2018. Lisa (in the short term) and Korby can be reached at

The entire Travel and Expense team can be contacted by phone at PSDS’ main number 924-4212 and selecting “2”.

PSDS looks forward to maintaining the high level of service clients have become accustomed to throughout this transition of staff and service.

Be a part of the “human firewall”: UVAFinance to participate in McIntire School of Commerce Cybersecurity Research

McIntire School of Commerce Associate Professors Ryan Wright and Steven Johnson are working on research to build cybersecurity resilience, with a focus on teams.

The majority of enterprise attacks, they say, start with email phishing or a socially-engineered attack, and although most organizations (UVA included) invest much time, money, and expertise in training employees how to identify and avoid these, the success of the training is still limited.

Wright and Johnson are studying social networking at work: finding out who our work friends are, who we ask for IT advice, and how our teams are connected to other teams. Working on the premise that high-performing teams bring all members up to a high-performing level, even in matters of smart cybersecurity behaviors, they say a lot can be learned by studying those high-performing teams.

In short, Wright says, they’re “bringing IT knowledge to the team level rather than directing people to IT.”

See more about the project here. (It’s really interesting!)

UVAFinance will participate in this research project starting mid-April, with an aim of having at least 80% of our teams complete the survey distributed by Wright and Johnson. The high completion rate is necessary for the data to be meaningful. No results will be made public, and no individual names of participants will be collected.

In return for participation, the research team will provide UVAFinance with useful data that can help us protect our data and better train our people.

When the surveys launch later this spring, we strongly encourage our team members to participate, so that the necessary 80% or more response rate is met.

Look for more information coming within your unit soon, and thanks in advance for taking part!

Change, Gardening, and Vermiculture: A Conversation with Mara Hilliar, Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Finance

Mara Hilliar joined the UVAFinance team on March 5.  Now, with a couple of weeks under her belt, she sat down to talk with our blog reporter to chat about how she’s finding life in UVAFinance so far.  Hilliar had a lot of interesting insights on both her work environment and her little piece of the forest in Goochland.

Why were you attracted to this position in UVAFinance?
I really love support work, being a part of a team, and making things more efficient.  I have eleven years of experience in higher education, so when I saw the opening, I knew my skill set would match what was required.  Being a seasoned state employee, I knew that there would be a panel interview, but I was surprised that Melody was on the panel.  Usually, you don’t get to meet with the executive until later on. That showed me that UVAFinance truly was a team environment and a good fit for me.  And I wasn’t wrong – everyone has been so welcoming, and I get the feeling from those I work with that we’re all in this together.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Change in Surplus Property Operations

As of Monday, March 19, Surplus Property operations have transitioned from Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services (PSDS) to Facilities Management.

Why did this change happen?
Facilities Management was already involved in picking up and transferring surplus property and had an interest in enhancing both the surplus business operations and the sustainability efforts of the program. Both PSDS and Facilities Management have been working hard to make the transition as seamless as possible for users.

What is the new process?

To begin the surplus process, visit the Facilities Management Customer Portal - the same place FM work orders are entered! Submit a request for surplus and a brief description of your item(s). A surplus representative will contact you to finalize your request.

The public will now be able to easily browse and purchase University surplus property online at the new UVA ReUSE storefront!

For now, if your items are IT equipment, you will be routed to the Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services website in order to comply with electronic data disposal requirements.

Who should I call if I have questions?
Please call the Facilities Management Surplus Manager at (434) 243-1468, email, or visit the new UVA ReUSE STORE website.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Finance Matters: Common Manager Challenges

Welcome to the first podcast in our series! 

Finance Matters is a production of UVAFinance, hosted by Brandi Van Ormer and Patty Marbury.  The goal of Finance Matters is to provide the finance community at UVA with news, helpful info, direction to resources, interviews, and more.

Common Manager Challenges

In today's episode, Patty and Brandi talk about common challenges that face managers everywhere.  Don't suffer in silence with questions, worries, and frustrations:  there are resources close by to help, and you're not alone!

Mentioned in this pod:

The Center for Leadership Excellence
UVAFinance Book Club
Finance Outreach & Compliance Training

Got an idea for a podcast or know someone who’s doing good work out there on the operational side of things at UVA?  Let us know!  Email Brandi or Patty or tweet us at @UVA_Finance 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

UVAFinance: Check out "Analytics for Finance Professionals" this spring!

In partnership with the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, UVAFinance is offering this 4-day course developed through Cornerstone Program to provide an opportunity to learn how to use data to advise and influence your stakeholders. These skills will be particularly useful as we begin to review our current business processes in preparation for Finance Transformation.

In addition to the course this spring, UVAFinance is also planning on offering a fall course.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

UVAFinance: It’s time to get cooking!

We’re excited about the 2nd Annual UVAFinance Potluck Event scheduled for March 23. 

Finance Strategic Transformation Panel Discussion planned at UVAFinance Potluck Event

Grab a bowl of chili and join us at 12pm in Carr-1 and 2 for a panel discussion featuring UVAFinance Leadership. Panel members will discuss what we know so far about Finance Strategic Transformation, and they’d like to address your questions, as well!

UVAFinance team members are invited to share questions and thoughts regarding Finance Strategic Transformation for our panelists to tackle. Anonymous questions and comments are absolutely OK!

Please consider sharing your thoughts and questions by March 20 via the online suggestion box or in the purple suggestion box in the Carruthers foyer. All questions and comments are anonymous unless you specifically direct otherwise in your submission.

Have you signed up for a potluck dish yet?  Need to enter the Chili Cookoff?

From “Controller” to “Financial Reporting & Operations”

Since coming to UVAFinance in June of 2017, Assistant Vice President for Financial Operations Jerry Burke has tackled many projects, one of which has been the organization and alignment of functions within his area to more effectively handle changes coming to UVAFinance.

The role of AVP for Financial Operations is itself a departure from the previous role of Controller, and the newly revised structure of Burke’s area of Financial Operations is now a more clear reflection of the priorities behind the role.

In the new organizational structure, the former “Controller” area will now be called “Financial Reporting & Operations.” Management of the new unit will be shared between Thomas Schneeberger, Director of Financial Reporting, and Bill Define, Director of Financial Operations.

As AVP of Financial Operations, Burke also has oversight over Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services and Payroll Services.

New websites are in progress for Financial Reporting and Operations, Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services, and Payroll Services.