Thursday, December 17, 2015

From Melody's Desk

Happy holidays! Are you ready for the holiday party this afternoon? I’m so appreciative to the Finance Social Team (Stacey Rittenhouse, Sarah Doran, Chris Doran, Kobby Hoffman, Trudy Robinson, Mike Holian, Connie Alexander, Rohan Patel, and Ana Lynch) for their work in planning a great party!

I am looking forward to the entire Finance team coming together on January 4th for us to work together to Discover, Dream, and Design our Destiny as a team. We will utilize an approach called Appreciative Inquiry (AI) to help us address our organization’s challenges by uncovering and building on strengths and generating innovation and creativity to confidently confront the future. AI is a genuine paradigm shift for organizational change, grounded in behavioral science. You can read more about it in this post

Finally, I also wanted to mention a recent email that you will have received from Susan Carkeek regarding the kick-off of the 2015 performance evaluation process. The first step is for each employee to complete a self-assessment. I believe that this is a critical step to begin a productive discussion about the past year. How can we expect our manager to take the time to consider our successes, our lessons learned, and future opportunities for improvement if we do not take the first step towards self-reflection over the past year? The self-assessment is a great way to remind your manager of all that you’ve accomplished this year; it is also a way to demonstrate how you may have grown and learned from a challenging situation. UHR has some good hintsfor completing a thoughtful self-assessment. You should complete your self-assessment in Lead@ no later than February 1, 2016.

Have a happy and safe holiday with your family and friends!

PS Please also remind any new colleagues to the Finance Division employees to subscribeto the email digest

Strategic Planning through Appreciative Inquiry

Consider the following questions: If we were truly at our best, what would that look like? Think to a time when you felt a sense of accomplishment in your work; what were the circumstances? As we think about planning for 2016, what is one thing you would do differently if you knew you could not fail?

In early January we will embark together on a journey of positive change that begins with developing our strategic plan.  Each member of UVAFinance will contribute his or her answers to these and other questions, and in so doing define our desired future state. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) will be the process we use to guide us in strategic planning.

AI addresses an organization’s challenges by uncovering and building on strengths and generating innovation and creativity to confidently confront the future. AI is a genuine paradigm shift for organizational change, grounded in behavioral science. Through AI, we will discover the values of our members and other stakeholders and create an aligned vision and mission based on those values. We will follow a process of Appreciating, Imagining and Realizing.

We begin with APPRECIATING our strengths and the circumstances that lead to our highest performance. We will discover the elements and experiences within our past that represent the forces that enable us to operate at our very best. Once we have connected to this positive core, we will move to IMAGINING and visualizing a shared, positive vision of the future that compels us to act. We will then move to REALIZING that vision, as we design and then implement the strategies, processes, management systems, organization structure, behaviors and culture necessary to support our future organization.

What AI is not: we will not be overlooking problems or areas where we need to improve. We won’t be pretending that everything is perfect and everyone happy. We won’t be squelching challenge, conflict or critique.  However, we will be making a choice to reframe our weaknesses and threats in the context of managing those by expanding our strengths and opportunities. We will be making a choice confirmed by modern neuroscience—focusing on our strengths broadens and builds our capability for individual and organizational high performance.

This has been a quick introduction to Appreciative Inquiry and a brief overview of how we are going to complete a strategic plan that taps into the collective wisdom, knowledge and passion of each of us. We will be learning a lot more over the next few months as we come together. I’m confident we will find this work energizing, exciting, and meaningful. Teams that have learn the processes of AI and focus on positive change make life enriching changes in the ways they work together.

Together, we will develop a plan to guide our future. We will set a course of action creating new approaches and opportunities for institutional growth and optimization while leveraging the uniqueness of our culture. When this process is completed, we will each see our ourselves, our roles, and our purpose in serving others that connects the mission of UVAFinance to the University’s Cornerstone Plan.

Bookmark This: Finance Outreach & Compliance

Finance Outreach and Compliance (FOC) was formed in January 2015 to enable the creation of a more seamless and comprehensive approach to compliance and training across the Finance area. The intervening months have been busy as I’ve worked with Melody, her other direct reports, and leaders from around the University to more clearly define the priorities and specific responsibilities for the office. I’ve also had the privilege of building what I think is a truly exemplary team to help me implement our mission which directly supports the pillars of The Cornerstone Plan. In particular, FOC is committed to enhancing university-wide infrastructure and services to encourage and support research, scholarship, creative arts and innovation by faculty and students (Pillar #2) and pursuit of optimal allocation of resources to align with institutional priorities (Pillar #5).

The FOC team is currently working with partners across Grounds to:
  • enhance training programs for the Integrated System and Student Information System finance modules
  • address the IT security needs of researchers required by federal sponsors
  • develop new finance processes. training programs, work aids and guidance documents to address needs identified by stakeholders
  • plan a Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology conference (UVA Forward on May 26, 2016) for University administrative professionals
  • add new functionality to the export control program and website
  • develop training for the new travel booking and expense reimbursement tools
  • update Finance policies
  • look for ways to simplify processes while providing greater assurance of our compliance with state and federal regulations as well as sponsor and donor requirements
  • and many other exciting projects.

To keep our momentum going forward and succeed in our mission, we need your help.  Please stay engaged with us, keep your suggestions coming, and stay tuned for new offerings!

- Kelly Hochstetler, Director

MRP: Agile Methodology & Naming the Future Reporting Environment

The Managerial Reporting Project is using Agile methodology principles to structure the team’s work. This approach breaks up deliverables into smaller “chunks,” and enables the team to adapt to shifting work priorities. Some of the team’s behind-the-scenes technology is quite innovative, but will remain transparent to most end-users. Informatica’s Power Center (an Extract, Transform, and Load platform), for example, allows the team to build and maintain robust and accurate data transformation processes, which incorporate validated business logic and allow for future growth. The system will translate and move data from source databases (Finance, HR, SIS, etc.) to the new staging database, and eventually to the reporting databases—which will feed the Qlik reporting environment.

Do you have an original or novel idea for what UVA should call the future Qlik reporting environment? Make your suggestion today!

Legislative Forum December 18

Legislative Forum
Friday, December 18, 2015
12 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Great Hall at Garrett Hall
Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

President Sullivan and the Office of State Governmental Relations will host the University’s annual Legislative Forum, featuring legislators from the Central Virginia region who will share their viewpoints about the issues facing the 2016 General Assembly Session, including those that affect the future of higher education, the health system, and other state and local community issues. Invited legislators include Senator Creigh Deeds, Senator Emmett Hanger, Senator Bryce Reeves, Delegate Rob Bell, Delegate Matt Fariss, Delegate Steve Landes, and Delegate David Toscano. Time will be reserved after comments by the legislators for questions and comments from the public.

For more information, contact Penny Cabaniss at 434-982-2674 or

Anatomy of a Great Meeting

Want to ensure your meetings are always effective and never a waste of time?

Using the poster below, answer a few basic questions to determine if you even need to convene. If you do, use these proven strategies to make your meeting more structured, efficient, and useful. (via EAB)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Procurement: What's Happening

The Travel & Expense team has been holding information sessions and demos around Grounds for the Travel Booking Tool pilot groups. The full University-wide rollout of the Tool will take place starting in January 2016, and the Expense Management solution will be implemented in early spring.

The Strategic Sourcing team has been working on the implementation of two new strategic contracts:

  • Inbound Freight, which directs select vendors to use the University’s negotiated shipping rates and is expected to save 35% in shipping costs annually, and 
  • Promotional Products, which aggregates spending with a single vendor – the University Bookstore – and is expected to save 5% annually in a very low-margin business while also supporting University initiatives through an internal service provider.

The UVA Spend Dashboard has been posted on the PSDS website. The Dashboard provides users the opportunity to view their spending behaviors in a visual way while gaining insights into how PSDS can be a partner in gaining savings. For the Dashboard Collab group featuring instructions and helpful tips, click here.

Terry Tigner from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering was December’s MVP – “Most Valuable Purchaser” – for supporting the strategic Office Supply contract with Supply Room!

PSDS and Finance Outreach and Compliance are partnering to develop marketing and online training materials for the travel management program.

Excel Tips & Tricks: Conditional Formatting

When you use data tables, you’re often looking for data that stands out in some way, based on certain conditions. Excel’s Conditional Formatting is a quick tool that can help you see patterns and trends in your data, by applying automatic formatting such as colors, icons, and data bars to cells. Learn how Excel helps create rules that can be based on many kinds of conditions.

"Experience QlikView" Class

"Experience QlikView" provides an introduction to the QlikView reporting tool and an opportunity to get hands-on experience with and provide feedback on a proof of concept “BBA*/Expenditure Detail” reporting dashboard developed by the Managerial Reporting team. One-hour classes will be taught at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on December 3, 10, and 17. Sign up in SSTL>employee self-service>learner home. Or use this link in Internet Explorer.

Comptroller's Office: Staffing Update

Joshua Breeden joined the Office of the Comptroller’s in October as an accountant in the Central Accounts Receivable department. Josh grew up right outside of Charlottesville, in Fluvanna County, before heading off to college at James Madison University. At JMU, Josh was involved in a community service organization and volunteered at the Harrisonburg Salvation Army, then graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an Accounting focus in May 2015. As a long-time UVA fan, Josh is looking forward to delving into all that the University has to offer!

What to Do with Your Hands During a Presentation

"The most-watched TED talks, with an average of 7.4 million views, include an average of 465 hand gestures. In contrast, the least-watched videos (with just 124,000 average views) averaged only 272 hand gestures.

'When really charismatic leaders use hand gestures, the brain is super happy,' says Vanessa Van Edwards, a consultant who studied the TED talks. 'Because it's getting two explanations in one, and the brain loves that.'"

Read the full story in the EAB Daily Briefing.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Welcome to UVAFinance! Drop-In Bagels and Coffee Friday from 10:30-12:00

Good morning!  I’m excited to announce the re-launch of our blog, UVAFinance. And, to make sure we have a clear way to communicate easily and quickly, we will add the entire UVAFinance team to the bi-weekly blog subscription. There is so much information jam-packed in every issue that I know you will all want to see the new content. Of course, you can visit the UVAFinance blog at any time to review the past posts, particularly those Technology Tips and Tricks!

I’m happy to welcome the University Budget Office and Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services to the UVAFinance team. I am very excited at the opportunity that we will have to share strengths and ideas, to collaborate closely on important tasks, and to create innovative solutions. You will hear more about this over the next several months as we begin work to develop a central mission and core values for the entire UVAFinance organization.

I invite all of you to join me in a drop-in coffee and bagels tomorrow morning (Friday, Nov 20) in Conference Room E, from 10:30-12. Come by, say hello, grab some breakfast, and ask me any questions you may have about the impact this re-organization may have on you.

I’ll close with a few words about the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner last week.  It was terrific to see Dr. Marcus Martin, Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity, receive the 2015 McIntire Citizenship Award recipient, which recognizes outstanding citizen contributions. UVA Baseball Coach Brian O’Connor provided the keynote address and spoke about creating a championship culture. His words resonated with me, as we strive together to create a cohesive and successful UVAFinance team. Coach O’Connor spoke of these key characteristics of a championship culture:

  • Be accountable to one another to perform at our best
  • Be an energy-giver, not an energy-taker
  • Learn lessons through failure
  • Be unselfish, putting the team first
  • Always show consideration, respect, and loyalty
  • Surround yourself with the right people, then empower them to succeed

I look forward to working with you to create a championship culture!

See you for drop-in bagels and coffee tomorrow,


Bookmark This: Export Controls

The Office of Export Controls is committed to identifying research and educational activities, projects, and programs that are subject to export control restrictions and ensuring that they are conducted in compliance with applicable requirements. Their new website ( provides information about regulations, procedures, training, and more.

Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign Update

Thanks to everyone who has participated so far in the 2016 Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) through donation, participation in the first annual Carruthers/Michie Cornhole Tournament (congratulations to runners-up Dave Boling and Stacey Rittenhouse) and purchases at the Carruthers Bake/Craft Sale. In particular, thank you to Stacey for the time and effort she spends in coordinating this effort for the finance division.

So far this year, 19 Finance* team members have contributed $4,203 (not yet including donations from Procurement and Budget). Across the University, 1,452 employees have pledged $412,331 to the campaign. Contributions to the CVC help 1,200 charities across Virginia and the nation that serve persons in need throughout our community, our state, our country, and the world. For those who have not yet made a contribution, please take a moment here before Thanksgiving to consider a gift, regardless of the amount, to the Campaign.

Last year’s total was 30 donors contributing $8,366 – so we have some ground to make up before the campaign closes on December 31, 2015. Remember, it is not how much you give but that you give that makes a difference! You can pick up a red envelope from Stacey or utilize the online form through the CVC website. Click “Pledge Online,” log-in in via netbadge, and complete the instructions. Thank you for your generosity!

* Neither current year nor prior year numbers include Budget and Procurement contributions (yet).

SFS at College Board Meetings


(A)   envious : fortunate
(B)   benevolent : kind
(C)   adamant : rigid
(D)   graceful : clumsy
(E)   defiant : autocratic

If you’ve taken the SAT longer than 10 years ago, this question might look familiar. So what does the SAT have to do with financial aid?

The SAT is administered by The College Board, a not for profit organization created to expand access to higher education. The College Board also manages the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, an application that collects information used by some colleges to award institutional financial aid. UVA is one of five institutions in Virginia who use the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.

The College Board sponsored two meetings in October, in which participants were invited to hear about changes to the application for the upcoming year, receive in-depth and hands-on training on its functionality, and comment on how to achieve vertical and horizontal equity in the need analysis methodology. SFS staff working in financial aid attended one or both of these meetings. Two important discussion topics included:
  • Prior Prior Year (PPY) – The President recently approved the use of Prior Prior Year income on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the application used to determine eligibility for federal student aid. Participants discussed the benefits and challenges of this change, its potential impact to their respective campuses and how it may affect institutional need analysis. UVA has announced its support for and use of PPY income in its need analysis and in determining eligibility for institutional financial aid, aligning institutional policy with federal policy. The use of PPY will begin on October 1, 2016 for the 2017-2018 academic year, three months earlier than when the current FAFSA is available.
  • Reimagined PROFILE – Work is continuing on an improved CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE that utilizes OCR technology and interview style questions to simplify and streamline the application process for families and to provide more accurate data to schools. The new CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is expected to be available October 1, 2016 for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Beginning with the 2016-2017 academic year, undergraduate students who wish to be considered for institutional financial aid will be required to submit the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. The information and training received at these meetings will allow the financial aid staff to better counsel families on the application process and to guide the establishment of institutional policies that move towards vertical and horizontal equity.

And just in case you were curious, the answer to the SAT question is D.

SCPS Employee & Community Open House

The School of Continuing and Professional Studies is hosting an open house on Tuesday, December 8 from 4-6pm at Zehmer Hall. UVA employees & community members will learn more about earning a degree, completing a certificate or just enrolling in a course and how to use their UVa education benefit to pay for their education.

SCPS program directors and faculty will be on hand to answer questions. Registration and admission staff will be available to walk through the steps to register and/or apply online.  Assistance will be provided to show employees how to access their education benefits. Refreshments will be served and a raffle will be held.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

2015 Holiday Leave Planning

As a reminder with the holidays right around the corner, if you wish to take additional leave or use your comp time, you will need to have approval in advance from your supervisor. Supervisors are encouraged to be as flexible as possible in granting leave requests, especially during the holidays. Even with careful scheduling, on certain University holidays some departments need to be open and should arrange at least limited coverage to provide essential services.

With the end of the year approaching, please review your leave balances in your SSTL to see the amount of leave that you can carry forward to the next year. Please see the Leave Policies and Procedures if you'd like more information.

2015 Remaining Holidays:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Day Before Thanksgiving (FULL DAY)
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Friday, November 27, 2015
Day After Thanksgiving
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Additional Holiday Time
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Christmas Eve
Friday, December 25, 2015
Christmas Day
Thursday, December 31, 2015
New Year’s Eve

From Ashley Feero in UHR.

Outreach & Compliance: New Team Members

Jack Jensen joined the Finance Outreach & Compliance team as a Training and Development Specialist.  Jack has spent the past 14 years in Secondary Education, teaching math at Fork Union Military Academy and Monticello High School, and serving as the Distance Education teacher for Fluvanna County.  Prior to moving to Virginia and entering Education, Jack worked in the Chicago area.  He served as a Lab Manager for Sun Chemical Corporation and a New Products Development Specialist for Viskase Corporation.  Jack has a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from North Park University.

Danielle Hancock joined the Finance Outreach & Compliance team as a Training & Development Specialist in September.  Danielle is one of many Super Temp success stories. After completing the Super Temp training, Danielle spent the last year as the Fiscal Administrator for the Astronomy Department.  The knowledge that she gained from her work in the Integrated System will prove helpful as she takes over the Grants Accounting training among other responsibilities.   Prior to becoming a staff member at UVA, Danielle was a graduate student, earning an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the Curry School of Education.  Danielle also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Literacy from Wilkes University. 

Erika Priddy joined our Finance Outreach & Compliance team in September as a Training and Development Specialist. Erika’s service in the US Air Force set her trajectory toward training and education.  After three years of ICBM Operations, she became an instructor and developer and ultimately served as the Chief of Weapons and Tactics Training.  But the upheaval of a military career was not for her.  Deciding to put down roots in Charlottesville, Erika spent three years as a contractor at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School (on North Grounds, across from the Law School) providing instructional design and technological support for the Army Paralegal Program of Instruction.  Erika is specifically interested in eLearning development and blended learning facilitation.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Miami University and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University.     

LaVerne Harris joined the Finance Outreach & Compliance team as an Export Analyst in September.  Her background includes over 25 years of export/import licensing and compliance experience within the defense electronic divisions of both Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Company.  In addition, LaVerne is a proud US Air Force veteran.  LaVerne’s export/import compliance experience will afford the Office of Export Controls the ability to increase export compliance assessments and training activities to both staff and faculty in support of various international activities. The Office of Export Compliance is located centrally within the Finance Outreach and Compliance office at Caruthers Hall. 

For additional information on Export Compliance at UVA, please visit the website at

OE Project Alliance: SHOWCASE

On December 3rd at 1:30pm, a SHOWCASE of OE projects will give you the chance to learn more and ask questions about OE initiatives, network with project leaders, and also provide your feedback. This special JPJ event will feature a UVA Men’s Basketball coach, who will greet attendees and share about the team’s culture and commitment to excellence. Don’t miss this exciting event. RSVP Today!

OE Projects and Initiatives at the SHOWCASE:

HR Strategic Design Initiative
Research UVA
Travel and Expense Management
IT Projects (Email Consolidation, Data Center Centralization)         
Managerial Reporting Project
Gift Processing
Center for Leadership Excellence
Strategic Sourcing
Cornerstone Strategic Plan

Tech Tips: Quick Hyperlinks and PDF/Picture to Text

Here is the fastest way to add a hyperlink to your text in Outlook emails, Word, etc.:

  1. Select the URL you want to point to (ex:
  2. Copy: Keyboard shortcut = “Ctrl + C” 
  3. Select the text to hyperlink in your document (ex: “Do you know about the MRP Town Hall?”)
  4. Add URL
  • Keyboard Shortcut = “Ctrl + K” (select the “Existing File or Web Page” option)
  • Keyboard Shortcut = “Ctrl + V” (to paste the copied URL)
  • Click “OK”
.....5. “Do you know about the MRP Town Hall?”
  • It is that simple!
  • Link an email address just as easily—“ctrl K” and select the “E-mail Address” option

Have you ever wanted to copy and modify text from a picture or pdf file?

You can insert the file into Microsoft One Note, right-click to select “Copy Text from Picture”, then paste into OneNote or a Word document.  It’s unbelievably simple!

Have a tech trick that could help your colleagues work smarter? Share it!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

From Melody's Desk: October 15

October 15, 2015

I just returned from the EACUBO annual meeting in Philadelphia where I heard great presentations, met interesting colleagues, became inspired and re-energized, and explored the Reading Terminal Market (the fresh squeezed lemonade and cinnamon sugar pretzel from Miller’s Twist were excellent).

I wanted to share with you a few take-away ideas from a session by Jeff Hoffman, a very successful entrepreneur (heard of and motivational speaker. Mr. Hoffman spoke about innovation, specifically five actions that we can take to be more innovative. I’ll give you a quick summary and suggest that you watch his TED talk for more. His five suggested actions that we can all take:

1.      Don't get used to your surroundings. Be sure to stop and see everything like it was your first time. Watch the TED talk to hear about the “why?” game.

2.      Be an “info-sponge” by constantly scanning the rest of the world, especially the world beyond our homes, our offices, and even higher education. Take 10 minutes every day to read or watch or observe something new.

3.      Hold “blue sky sessions” with co-workers, colleagues, and key stakeholders where we ask the question “if we could start all over, what could we do better?” Don’t worry about the reasonableness of the responses… 99 of the ideas might not be implementable, then the 100th may be the best idea ever.

4.      Deepen our understanding of our primary stakeholders - students, parents, researchers, business administrators. Do this by meeting them in their comfort zone, dressed similarly to them, and without an agenda – just “hang out,” listen, and learn.

5.      Re-think of our workplace with a culture of experimentation. Do small things differently on a regular basis and see if we stumble on a better way. If the experiment isn’t better, it is not a big deal to go back to the old way or to try a new way.

One idea from Mr. Hoffman’s presentation really made me stop and think:  he advocated for each of us to be unreasonable at times. Doesn’t that sound odd? I’ve always tried to be reasonable and practical. And I think that approach has served me well in many situations.  But, I’ll leave you with one last quote from George Bernard Shaw on reasonableness and ask you to think about what this means to you.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends upon the unreasonable man."

Have a great weekend and hope to see you at the CVC Cornhole tournament tomorrow!


Using Your Volunteer Leave

All University Staff are allotted 16 hours of School Assistance and Volunteer Service Leave. Have you used yours? The guidelines for using this leave are broad (contact UHR to determine a specific opportunity's eligibility). Many people have put their leave to good use in local schools and other community service efforts. Here are some examples:

Mark Anderson spends an hour each week working one-on-one with a participant at Computers4Kids to tackle computer projects. At the end of 36 sessions, the participant takes home their very own computer.

For two years in a row, Andrew Bedotto travelled to Massachusetts to assist The Institute for Natural Learning in facilitating a weekend outdoor mentoring program for adolescent boys.

Randy Ellis and his fellow coaches at Western Albemarle spend time with kids at the YMCA to talk about coaching and mentoring.

For several years, Lynn Galasso used school/volunteer leave hours to support her son in the High School Regional & State Academic Quiz Tournament competitions in Richmond and Northern Virginia.

Alpana Gautam uses her leave to volunteer at her daughter’s elementary school. Recently she helped make the salt dough maps that students will be using for a geography project.

Kobby Hoffman speaks to middle schools students in Albemarle County regarding leadership, involvement in community service and personal finance.

Lisa Layne volunteered at Caring for Creatures in Fluvanna, helping with the cats and dogs.

For the past three years, Mike Ludwick has used his service leave (and some annual leave) to go on week-long trips to West Virginia with the high school youth group from his church to help improve housing conditions for those in need.

Patty Marbury spent a week in Darlington County, South Carolina with Habitat for Humanity doing a “blitz build”--a team of about 50 people built an entire house from foundation to roof in 6 days!

Lynne Schwar knits shawls for Caring Embrace, a volunteer group at Martha Jefferson Hospital, who provide shawls for patients and often family members who could use a little comforting after a tough diagnosis or death of a loved one. She has also volunteered at Hope's Legacy Equine Rescue in Afton, feeding the horses and doing barn chores.

Marissa Waddell volunteered as a docent at the Charlottesville Design House for the Shelter for Help in Emergency, which provides services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Managerial Reporting Project Fall Town Hall

After our successful March Town Hall, 90% of our MRP stakeholders asked us to hold other similar events in the future. We heard you, and on Thursday, November 5th, the MRP team will present an update on project accomplishments and statuses. Come to the Managerial Reporting Project Fall Town Hall and together, let's write the story of how our project outcomes will reach the broader University.

Bookmark This: GMS Interface Codes & Contact Info

If you are preparing or approving a monthly reconciliation, you may have asked “What are these transactions that begin with GMSA-?” The prefix GMSA- tells us that the transaction was uploaded to the Integrated System from a file generated by a school or department. Check out the GMS Interface Contact Information sheet to crack the code found in the transaction number that tells which area created the batch. To navigate to this document from the Comptroller's home page, click "Important Links," then "ISP Contact Information."

Thursday, October 1, 2015

SFS Launches MyIntuition Quick College Cost Estimator

In September, SFS launched MyIntuition, a new tool for estimating the amounts of financial aid and family contribution a student can expect for one academic year. With just 9 questions, it is much simpler and faster than the Federally mandated Net Price Calculator, but maintains a very high level of accuracy.

U.Va.'s use of this new tool was highlighted by The New York Times and EAB. The articles quote President Sullivan, who said she hopes this tool will help “avoid the possibility of losing prospective students due to misperceptions about cost.”

You can try the MyIntuition calculator at

MRP New Team Members

Navya, Steve and Katie

Navya Kommalapati is also a new ETL Developer on the MRP team. She is originally from Hyderabad, India, and came to the United States to attend graduate school in Alabama. Navya was an ETL consultant for five years, so like Steve, she brings valuable business and data experience—but from the telecom, retail and healthcare sectors. Navya is excited to learn and use the many new MRP tools and applications, and is eager to get involved in other project tasks in addition to her ETL work.

Navya enjoys outdoor activities, and is even teaching herself how to swim! She recently spent an entire weekend cooking an authentic Indian feast, so the MRP team hopes Navya will bring one or two delicacies to Fontaine someday.

Steve Patterson joined the Managerial Reporting Project as an ETL Developer. That is extract, transform and load—tech jargon for transforming data from our various source systems, and bringing it into the new data warehouse. ETL is a critical step for the project to deliver the future reporting environments. Steve has more than 15 years of business intelligence, technical and leadership experience in the financial services, publishing and not-for-profit sectors.  He also adds valuable Agile methodology experience to the team—he is a Certified Scrum Master, and will help advise the team on Agile/Scrum best practices. 

Outside of work, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife, Jen, and their four children (ages 8,10,13 and 15), as well as reading and long distance running. He has run the Charlottesville Marathon, and three half marathons, and enjoys running the Rivanna trail right outside his Fontaine office.

Katie Lake is the new Office Manager for the Managerial Reporting Project. She is a recent UVA graduate, with a degree in linguistics. While in school, Katie was a research assistant for a study on the Mopan Mayan language. As an alumna, Katie is excited to kick off her career at UVA, and is thrilled that the Managerial Reporting Project will provide an opportunity to work with many new people around the University. The rest of the project team is also excited to welcome Katie and her enthusiasm for UVA.

As a linguist, it is no surprise Katie admits to “nerding-out” about languages. She also loves Battlestar Galactica and classical music—and even plays the guitar, drums and piano! Like many other newly-employed recent college graduates, Katie joined her first fantasy football league. She says it is “not going too well.”

Comptroller's Office: Updates on Audit and Cardinal

The audit is in its final two weeks and going smoothly. The APA is frantically trying to wrap up their audit. The University submitted its consolidated financial information to the State on 9/23 (as required) for the State’s CAFR.

Cardinal implementation is entering its training phase where several UVA folks will be attending both on-line and in-person classes with the Cardinal training team. This will continue until the end of October. We have already done testing on “Mock” data, comparing CARRS reports to Cardinal reports and noted NO exceptions. February 1st is till the “Go Live” date for Cardinal.

2015 Day of Caring

This September, 36 volunteers from the Associate VP for Finance area completed three projects at area schools for the annual United Way Day of Caring:

 A group of 8 went to Walker Elementary School, where they attended 4 different lunch periods with 5th and 6th grade students who were asked to sit at tables where they didn’t know everyone. They played Bingo, which required that they interact with those other students who they might not know. Math seemed to be the favorite subject of most of the students-- Sarah Doran said, "I told them if they keep up the good work, they could come work for us some day!"

A group of 11 went to Western Albemarle High School, where they had a great day landscaping and assembling two picnic tables.

A group of 17 went to Nathanael Greene Primary School, where they created two 10 x 10 number grids on the playgrounds--a great project for a bunch of accountants and project managers! It was a total team effort, the group NEEDED and utilized all of the planning, analytical, and project management skills its members had to offer.