Thursday, May 29, 2014

From Melody's Desk: May 29

On Tuesday last week, several of you were also able to participate in the fourth Finance Professional Workshop, coordinated by an awesome support team of planners, speakers, and facilitators that included the following members of the Finance Team: Devin Herod, Mike Holian, Ana Lynch, Sharon Brooks, Susan Herod, Judy DiVita, and Chip German.  (Others serving on the planning team included Victoria Savoy, Troy Dunaway, Elizabeth Allan, and Mary Andrew).  With technical support from Mike and Devin, the workshop is now available for viewing for everyone at

You will want to find time to view updates on the Managerial Reporting Project, the University Financial Model, Organizational Excellence (including the Hackett benchmarking project), and the Center for Leadership Excellence.  After a thought-provoking conversation cafĂ© break-out session, the day culminated in a conversation with Pat Hogan. 

Be sure to watch Pat’s session to prepare you for the upcoming Coffee and Donuts Chats – Pat is clear in his conviction that every one of our staff is a leader and in exhorting us all to “take courage, be leaders.”

On June 5th and 6th, the University’s Board of Visitors will meet.  You can view the schedule, read background materials, and see all proposed actions for the various committees at this site:  And, of course, you can watch the live streaming of the meeting here:  Of particular interest, the 2014-15 budget proposal will be discussed at 8:45am on Friday, June 6th.

Have a great week!


What is a CRA?

As with most professions, there is a desire to reflect a certain level of acquired knowledge, application and expertise through a formal examination and certification process. This is true in the accounting profession with the (Certified Public Accountant) CPA title, the auditing profession with the (Certified Internal Auditor) CIA designation and other professions such as the certified Project Management Professional (PMP). The same holds true in research administration with the Certified Research Administrator (CRA) exam and designation. There are currently nearly 40 employees at the University that have obtained this certification! Other related certifications are the Certified Pre-Award Research Administrator (CPRA) and the newly branded Certified Financial Research Administrator (CFRA) title. For more information on the educational and work experience requirements for these examinations go to

U.Va.: #9 Most Influential University on Twitter

Internet marketing company Coldlime crunched the numbers to determine the top 100 most influential U.S. universities on Twitter and then Times Higher Education ranked the institutions by their "social authority" score, naming UVa the ninth most prominent powerhouse on the social media platform.

Read the full story at InTheCapital.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

From Melody's Desk: May 27

Good afternoon! Another Final Exercises has come and gone as we now move into Summer Session and prepare for the fall semester. A huge thanks to all who had a part in the ceremony last weekend and especially to Jeanne Sampson-Giles who ensured that no student was prevented from walking due to an unpaid student bill! To get a feel for the festivities, here is a video produced by University Communications to commemorate the 2014 Final Exercises:

Congratulations to all of you who graduated this spring as well. It is such an accomplishment to balance work, school, and personal life:
  • Johann Reinicke, SFS, with a master’s degree from the McIntire School
  • Nita Graves, SFS, with a bachelor’s degree from SCPS
  • Jeanie Sampson-Giles, SFS, with an associate’s degree from Piedmont Virginia Community College
  • Michael Ludwick, OSP, with a graduate certificate from SCPS 

Beginning in June, Pat Hogan and I will host five upcoming Coffee and Donuts Chats in Carruthers Hall Conference Room E. We want the opportunity to meet each of you and to hear directly from you about the greatest opportunities and challenges in the central finance areas, questions about University initiatives, and anything else on your mind. Be on the lookout for the Microsoft Outlook invitation to one of the upcoming sessions. Our recent service award honorees and our newest employees will be invited to the first session; everyone will be invited to a coffee before the end of the calendar year. We look forward to talking with you!

I also wanted to pass along an opportunity sponsored by Organization Excellence. The Finance team was well-represented in submitting ideas for the Pay It Forward initiative, so I hope that some of you will be interested in extending that conversation with the Quality CORE Network. The first meeting is tomorrow, but you can join the conversation even if you are not able to attend tomorrow’s meeting by sending an email to

Finally, thank you for your support of this blog – there were over 350 views of the blog in the first five days. I hope that you continue to find stories that bring you back and that you also share with us items of interest that you would like to see featured. I will not send out each of my updates via email, so I hope that you will bookmark the new blog at There will be new content released on a weekly basis and you can sign up to receive posts regularly by email. For questions or submissions, contact your area representative (identified on the lower left of the blog’s main page) or to

 Have a great week!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

A New University Financial Model: The Final Step from Concept to Reality

This year is the final stage of planning for the new financial model, and the University has constructed the academic division budget for FY14-15 with an eye to translating it into the new model’s terms in the earliest days of coming fiscal year.

The new model’s planning period has been long enough that the term “new” seems oddly inappropriate when applied to something we’ve been discussing for years now. So, you are likely to hear references in coming days to the “University Financial Model,” or UFM. That will be a good signal to us all that the concept is fast becoming real.

So where does this notion of a University financial model fit in the broader context of things we’re trying to do at the University these days? Is it connected to Organizational Excellence? What is its relationship to the Managerial Reporting initiative? Let me start my personal answer to those questions with a picture:

First, the University has established an ambitious Strategic Plan that sets a path to the future by specifically identifying areas on which the institution will focus its attention. It tells us where and what, but the plan wasn’t specifically designed to tell us how. The answer to how will come in many forms.  Those forms include new ways to maximize the effects of our financial resources (University Financial Model) and new ways to drive excellence in how we approach our work (Organizational Excellence).  Also, more effective navigation of the sea of data in which we are all immersed every day (Managerial Reporting) will provide the improved analysis and decision-making that we need to make progress in reaching the ambitious goal of this remarkable and challenging place.  All of these efforts are interconnected. For example, the first use of a new Cost-of-Education tool that is part of the Managerial Reporting initiative will be to develop scenarios that illustrate the University financial model.

Consumer Information & The Department of Education

What does Constitution Day (September 17th, for those of you keeping score at home) have to do with University of Virginia undergraduate students’ financial aid? Well might you ask! And it takes a federal bureaucrat’s mother to love the connection. It all comes down to required disclosures of consumer information as determined and dictated by the Department of Education. In the case of Constitution Day, for example, the University of Virginia, and all other federally funded institutions, are required to offer educational programming on the history of the Constitution. The Batten School has taken over this noble task and ensures that we both educate the University and Charlottesville community and remain in the good graces of the Department of Education.

Because the timely disclosure of consumer information is linked to receiving Title IV federal financial aid funds, SFS leads the charge in coordinating all the various offices at the University who individually or in partnership with each other make the required disclosures. SFS spends hundreds of hours each year ensuring compliance with the federal regulations. 

For more information, please visit

Virginia Colleges & Universities: #2 Graduation Rate in the Nation

Virginia public four-year colleges and universities, as a group, have the second highest combined graduation rate in the nation (70% and tied with Iowa), lagging behind only Delaware (73%) using the IPEDS Graduation Rate Survey results of the 2007 entering cohort of first-time, full-time students.

Read more from SCHEV.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Welcome to the AVP for Finance News Blog!

I’m excited to announce the launch of a blog for our finance team.  This blog will be a great vehicle to better connect our units, to share all the great things that are happening in finance and the University, and to provide periodic updates to the exciting projects that will affect all of us.

You can bookmark the new blog at There will be new content released on a weekly basis.  You can sign up to receive posts regularly by email, but we will also send out notice of updates to the news blog on a regular basis. 

Take a few minutes to explore the blog.  Regular posts will provide updates on departmental activities and achievements, individual employee happenings – to welcome new employees and celebrate retirements, University news, higher education finance current happenings, and even a little fun.  We will use the blog to celebrate the amazing people in our team and to distribute information.

It will include:
·         ABOUT:  Background about the Finance team
·         FROM MELODY’S DESK:  Notes from me
·         FINANCE NEWS: What is happening in our team?
·         UNIVERSITY NEWS:  What is happening on and around Grounds?
·         CALENDAR:  Upcoming activities and events
·         PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:  Professional development or personal enrichment
·         JOB OPENINGS:  University positions that may be of interest to the finance group

The blog is for the entire Finance team and I welcome your ideas for content.  What is it that you want to hear about?  Did your department have a great achievement?  Is there an interesting news article on higher ed that you want to share?  Do you want to write a post to share with the finance team?  For questions or submissions, contact your area representative (identified on the lower left of the blog’s main page) or to

Hope you enjoy reading the blog!


BOV Approves 2014-15 Tuition & Fees

The board voted to increase tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students by 3.8 percent, or $452 annually, to $12,458. Out-of-state student tuition and fees will increase by 4.8 percent, or $1,826 annually, to $39,844.

Read more at UVA Today. The next BOV meeting will be June 5-6. The full schedule and meeting materials can be found at

Get to Know: The Office of Sponsored Programs

OSP is the institutional level office that helps facilitates the research endeavors of the faculty and the overarching research enterprise/mission through its pre-award, post-award and compliance functions, as associated with financial transactions and export controls. (Refer to the organizational charts for the functional areas of OSP.)

In Fiscal Year 2013, U.Va. received in excess of $275 million in externally funded sponsored research. In supporting these efforts, the office operates functionally as noted above. This funding is primarily from the National Institutes of Health, sponsoring medical research. Other federal sponsoring agencies include the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the Departments of Defense and Transportation and many more. Awards are also received from state agencies, other universities, industry, foundations and pharmaceutical companies.

Once the statements of work and budgets are submitted to the sponsors, we (like other applicants) wait for the good news of award! Once received, these awards review/negotiation of terms and detailed setup in the integrated system along with constant management until the awards are eventually closed. The importance of responsible management and stewardship by everyone involved with these funds is extensive, thus the necessity of compliance roles involving policy, procedure, and oversight.

Our responsibilities find us partnering with many of you and other offices across Grounds. This includes school and departmental research personnel, Human Resources, the Internal Studies Office, Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services and so on.

More details by function – coming soon!

Change to In-state Tuition Policy

Attorney General Mark Herring has instructed Virginia’s public colleges to grant in-state tuition to potentially thousands of students who were previously considered ineligible because of their immigration status.

Read the full post at The Daily Progress.

Service Awards

Congratulations to the following employees for their years of service with the University!

Office of Sponsored Programs
Hannah Edelen (10)
Victoria Poindexter (15)
Greg Ball (10)
Angie Michael (10)

Student Financial Services
                Edrina Allen (35)
                Lloyd Dollins (25)
                Mary Fields (10)
                Candie Flippen (10)
                Marsha Gibson (40)
                Ja’net LaPointe (15)
                Stacey Parmenter (10)

Office of the Comptroller
                Virginia Sprouse (45)
                Barbara Worsley (10)
                John Wallace-Smith (15)
                Gary Young (10)
                Susan Herod (10)

Associate Vice President for Finance
               Ana Lynch (15)

Donna Henry Inaugurated as 8th Chancellor of U.Va.-Wise

“UVa-Wise will incorporate the best practices in technology in every discipline so students, whether they are majoring in the social sciences, history, communications or literature benefit as much from the strengths of technology as do students in the natural sciences,” Henry said. “The challenges our region faces over the next six plus years are considerable but our resolve is strong.”

Read more from U.Va.-Wise.