Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge and federal funding for research

Many of you have heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge to benefit ALS and all the funds it has raised to benefit research around this disease.  Here’s an article that relates this fun awareness and fundraising effort to the negative impact that dramatic reductions in the federal research budget have caused to research for ALS and other similar diseases… something that our OSP team is well aware of.  Also, Francis Collins, the head of NIH quoted in the article, is a U.Va. alum, having received a B.S. in Chemistry in 1970.

Lead From Where You Are

Lead From Where You Are
Melody Bianchetto Remarks
Exceptional Assistant Network Conference
August 11, 2014

I'm thrilled to be here today to talk about leadership.  I've long admired the Exceptional Assistance Network, and I'm honored to be here speaking to you.  I wanted to start by telling you about a vision for how we can change how we do business at UVA through three current projects...then we can talk about how you can help lead this change.

I hope that you have heard of organizational excellence....UVa's formal program to "To enhance organizational capacity across academic and administrative service areas, and thereby advance excellence in our core missions of education, research and scholarship and facilitate the realization of strategic priorities."  To me, this is much more than a committee and a set of specific projects.

It is a mindset, an ongoing expectation that we continuously look for opportunities to improve how we all work collaboratively to allow the University's emphasis to be on students and research, rather than on cost transfers, labor distribution adjustments, and coordinating meeting calendars.  It is a journey we can all go on to leave behind complacency, complicated processes, and unneeded steps… a journey where we do the necessary support work – buying, supporting, planning, scheduling, organizing, reconciling, facilitating – in the most effective way possible.  Participating in this program, by being here today, you are showing that you have a commitment towards this excellence.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

From Melody's Desk: August 14

Wow – I can’t believe that we are looking at the end of the summer.  I can feel the crowds already growing on the Corner as students make their way back to Charlottesville… and UVa soccer and football are just around the corner.  If you are a sports fan as I am, you should try to make it to the John Paul Jones’ Arena on Sunday, August 17th for Meet the Teams Day.  If you enjoyed the World Cup this summer, make sure you check out our #3 ranked women’s and men’s soccer teams.  And look out for Morgan Brian on the women’s team… who will likely be representing the US in the Women’s World Cup next summer.

This is a VERY busy season for everyone on the team.  The Comptroller’s Office is working on year-end and hosting a team from the Auditor of Public Accounts.  Student Financial Services are making financial aid awards, sending bills, and collecting tuition from students… as well as answering many inquiries by phone, email, in person, and over social media (did you know that you can follow SFS on Facebook and Twitter?).  The Office of Sponsored Programs finished up the fiscal year by signing the dotted line on a very slight increase in grants over last year (hurray!).  And the Managerial Reporting Project is working towards a September 30th deadline to deliver new reporting to support the University Financial Model.  THANKS to every one of you who are working towards these important deadlines!

I made my first trip to Seattle in July for the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).  What a great city (the Chihuly and EMP museums were fantastic) and conference.  There were three terrific keynote speakers:  Bill Gates (as reported by Inside Higher Ed), Alison Levine who has climbed the highest peak on every continent and hiked to the North and South Poles, and Zanny Minton Beddoes, an editor at The Economist who actually had me understanding the world economy after her very informative and engaging speech.  There were very good sessions on change management, tuition discounting, enterprise risk management, student financial literacy, making analytics matter, MOOCs, and many other business topics.

The Board of Visitors Finance Subcommittee continues to do work related to financing the University’s strategic plan and defining affordable excellence.  The materials and video from the July 25th sessions are available on line (materials, video).  The next meeting of the full Finance committee as well as the subcommittee will be on September 11th and/or 12th.

Be sure to check out the Quality CORE Network offerings from the Office of Organizational Excellence this fall.  Register by emailing to attend one of the following:

Change Management Thursday, August 21 from 9:00 – 10:00 am Tamara Sole, Center for Leadership Excellence Newcomb Hall Gallery Room Change is continual; yet how well do we understand its impact on individuals and organizations? This brief one-hour introductory workshop will position attendees to recognize, accept and serve as stewards of organizational change efforts.

“Coffee Chat with Pat (Hogan)” Thursday, September 4 from 9:00 – 10:00 am EVP/COO Byrd Room, Harrison Institute Come hear Pat Hogan’s views on organizational excellence, institutional direction, current initiatives and more AND share your thoughts about the opportunities and challenges that face the University.

Appreciative Inquiry September/October TBD Margaret Plews-Ogan, School of Medicine/Medical Center. The School of Medicine employs appreciative inquiry as a way to stimulate personal and organizational change. Appreciative inquiry utilizes positive questions that led to quality improvements through an amplification of existing strengths.

Communication Plans Wednesday, November 5 from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm Lee Baszczewski, Organizational Excellence Location TBD Communications are key to successful change. Learn how to plan cascading messages and use stakeholder analysis to create an effective communications plan.


New Staff Senate Representatives

Congratulations to our new Staff Senate area representatives:

Chris Doran for SFS and Financial Administration
Lynn Galasso (alternate) for SFS and Financial Administration
Mike Ludwick for the Office of Sponsored Programs
Kobby Hoffman (alternate) for the Office of Sponsored Programs

The existing Employee Councils are being merged into one new entity representing over 5,100 staff. The mission of the new Staff Senate is to be a representative and deliberative voice for staff in matters relating to the University. Please feel free to contact your area representative with questions or topics you'd like to bring to the senate's attention.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Melody Bianchetto: 2014 NACUBO Rising Star

Our own Melody Bianchetto was recently honored at the NACUBO Annual meeting in Seattle. Melody was one of two recipients of the 2014 Rising Star Award. Her husband Dennis, as well as several of Melody’s UVA friends and colleagues, were on hand to see Melody receive her award at a special NACUBO event. This prestigious honor brings national recognition to UVA, and to Melody’s accomplishments as a leader. Please congratulate Melody when you see her for this well-deserved award!

Read more from NACUBO.

Process Charts: Spaghetti Plot

At Managerial Reporting our orange data and process improvement teams have been hard at work analyzing the current environment of a number of financial areas/topics. Naturally, they’ve encountered a mountain of data and a variety of processes. Many of the teams chose to begin the journey of analysis by creating process charts reflective of their team’s area.

Process Charts have been used in the workplace as a method of documenting how one activity/person links to another since 1921. It caught on quickly in the business world and was adapted to present relationships between multiple players and activities. Now, over 90 years later, they are a ubiquitous part of professional life.

While many of you are familiar with a flow chart, the spaghetti diagram is another useful tool to plot the flow of activity throughout a process. They visualize data and map the path taken through the system, in order to reduce inefficiencies in the flow of information, material, and people. While it was initially used in factories, where diagrams like the one below were used to make the physical layout of the workspace more efficient, it has evolved and can be applied to business processes as well.

The diagram below portrays the movement of employees and folders within a single office.

We can even use this at UVa, by mapping the budget process for a university unit.

Can’t get enough process analysis? The American Society for Quality is a good place to learn more.

Panel weighs borrowing up to $100M to jumpstart AccessUVa

Patrick D. Hogan — the university’s executive vice president and chief operating officer — told members of the Board of Visitors’ finance subcommittee Friday that the administration is in talks with a bank on a loan that could help kick-start the AccessUVa endowment.

Read the full story from the Daily Progress.