Wednesday, May 9, 2018

UVA Financial Wellness Program peer counseling service to pilot this fall

SFS's new program aims to alleviate student financial worries.
A budding new peer financial counseling program, spearheaded by Student Financial Services (SFS) and with financial support from both the Jefferson Trust and a UVA alum, will help UVA students learn from their peers how to make better financial choices. The program, funded by a grant from the Jefferson Trust, will have a pilot program in place by the end of the Fall 2018 term.

Students experience stress from a host of sources: classes and grades, work and extra-curricular activities, and, of course, financial responsibilities and looming student debt. Studies have found that financial worries can contribute significantly to students’ overall stress level, as well as their physical and emotional health.

Chris Doran, communications manager in SFS, says the program is part of SFS’s overall continued efforts to help students realize the impact of borrowing on their future. Through outreach and counseling, SFS team members have worked to encourage UVA undergraduates to limit their borrowing of unsubsidized loans and raise awareness of their current indebtedness. The peer counseling program will be another large step in the right direction.

Taking the mystery out of gifts and endowments

Gift & Endowment ImageNow system available now

Nearly 6500 files have been scanned and moved to a new system that can be accessed and searched electronically, providing unprecedented access for schools and units into their own gift and endowment accounts.

In the past, when departments or units had questions about restrictions relating to an endowment or a gift, they’d have to ask Wanda Breeden in investment accounting for help. Then Wanda would get her keys and head down to the Carruthers Hall basement (the “dungeon”) to research the question.

“SFS was only one of many units that called inquiring about gift and endowment accounts. We’d call and ask her for clarification of the endowment’s requirements or the donor’s intent, and she’d have to search the paper files to find the pertinent information. Some files could be several inches thick,” explained Lisa Shuler of Student Financial Services (SFS).

UVAFinance Procurement Analyst Represents UVA at a National Conference

Stage selfie- from Left to Right: Ron Moraski,
Director of Procurement Services,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Shannon Wampler,
Director of Strategic Operations, University of Virginia,
Lauren Leonard, Sourcing Analyst, University of Pittsburgh,
Dan Traub, CEO / Founder, FinVantage Solutions LLC
A standing-room-only panel session at the recent National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) Annual Meeting had a familiar face – Shannon Wampler, Director of Strategic Operations in Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services. The panel, “Getting Results through Data-Driven Procurement,” compared and contrasted the approaches three different higher ed institutions were using to solve procurement problems using data analysis.

“Most large institutions are using data analyses to support big changes,” said Wampler, “but that can be difficult for smaller schools to wrap their heads around."

"I tried to focus my points on small steps any college or university could take to make incremental changes with either their suppliers or their departmental clients.”

What data-driven procurement means to you

If you'd like an analysis of what you're spending in your department or unit, PSDS is happy to help.

One thing the data has already told analysts in PSDS is that remanufactured toner equals big savings.  Get in touch with Shannon Wampler if your department wants to be a part of a pilot program switching to remanufactured toner in return for a free printer!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Register now for Lean Fluency

We’re excited to announce the second Lean Fluency class, which will be held on June 7, 1:30-4:30, in Carruthers Hall, Conference Room 2. 

This class will be limited to 15 participants due to the size of the room, and is open to all, although UVAFinance employees have priority.

Description:  Many people in UVAFinance and across Grounds have completed the Lean Certification program. If you don't understand the concepts of Lean or know the terminology, it may seem like they are speaking a different language. If you feel like the intent of process improvement initiatives is being lost in translation, then register for Lean Fluency! 

This is a 3-hour workshop (with some pre-work which you will get by May 31st) designed to familiarize learners with the basics of Lean principles, vocabulary, and tools. 

Register HERE by May 30th, 2018. 

If you have questions, please contact the training team at

Thursday, May 3, 2018

New Recon Site Launched

The newly refreshed site for Recon@ went live last week, sporting not only a new look but also easy-to-navigate content and information on both GA and GL!

What else is new? 

You're invited to go check the site out -- take it for a spin and share your feedback with the team at 

UVAForward: Register now!

Registration for UVA Forward 2018 is now open!

UVA Forward will be held on May 24th, at the Darden Business School. We hope that you will find many of the sessions inspiring and useful to your personal or professional development. To read more about the sessions and the speakers and to register, please visit the UVA Forward website at

Only a few tickets left!  Register now!

Monday, April 30, 2018

New Payroll Website

Payroll calendars, forms, policies and procedures, and other resources are available on the new Payroll site.  This site will be updated with helpful information as the Payroll team continues to UVAFinance.

We welcome our new colleagues in Payroll, and we welcome your feedback on the site.  Please share any thoughts/suggestions with Lori O'Connor.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Resources for those who communicate in UVAFinance*

* That means everyone! 

Everyone communicates, even though for most of us, it's not our primary job function.  And the better we are at communication, the better and more successful we are at our jobs.  

UVAFinance team members have a whole host of resources available to them to help in the pursuit of more effective communication:

  • UVAFinance Brand Resources on Box:  Email to be added to this folder, which contains:
    • Logos, stationery, presentation templates
    • a bank of UVAFinance photos
    • guidelines for communicating within UVAFinance most effectively
    • walkthrough of communication channels within UVAFinance
    • many other helpful communication tools and resources
  •  You can view most of the assets compiled here by University Communications, but it's easy to create a login in order to download an array of great resources:
    • UVA photography (searchable by keyword)
    • print resources, including word templates for one-pagers
    • examples of great communication pieces done by schools and units across UVA
    • and much, much more!
  • Finance Outreach & Compliance's "Effective Communications" playlist All of this content has been vetted by FOC, and covers a wide range of topics including:
    • grammar
    • writing email
    • communicating across cultures
    • having difficult conversations
    • business writing
    • overcoming fear of public speaking
    • and much more! 

And one more thing:

Monday, April 16, 2018

Financial Planning & Analysis Welcomes Rick Johnson

Rick Johnson has joined the Financial Planning & Analysis team as a Senior Financial Analyst. In this role, Johnson will coordinate the process of budgeting tuition and fees across the University, in addition to working with UVA’s multi-year financial plan.

Johnson, a 2013 graduate of Liberty University, has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration: Finance. He comes to UVA most recently from Sight & Sound Theatres in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he wore multiple hats in his role as a staff accountant.

That position combined with his previous experiences in accounting and finance inspired him to further explore the analytical side of the profession.

“Numbers tell a story, and what I most enjoyed in my previous roles was using my analytical abilities to clearly and creatively convey that story to our stakeholders,” he said, adding that he saw a move into higher education as a great opportunity to develop that skill.

Collaborative effort produces a targeted class to help UBI users

As the sun went down on Discoverer for Finance, a few UBI users in UVAFinance began to worry that some of their colleagues might get lost in the shadows.

Josh Breeden of Financial Reporting & Operations and Danielle Hancock of Finance Outreach & Compliance were concerned that accounts receivable billing specialists might not be comfortable transitioning to the new tool for their reporting needs.

I encourage UBI users to say what they’d like to see in the tool. The UBI team is very responsive to information from our users that will make the tool more helpful. – Josh Breeden

With his inside knowledge of the AR process, Breeden began working with Hancock on a training session for his colleagues, tailoring his UBI knowledge to fit their needs.

As UBI Trainer Linda Leshowitz points out, accounts receivable is a smaller audience with specific needs. “I was thrilled to learn that Josh and Danielle were putting this session together,” she said.