Long days, colorful flowers, fresh produce, empty stores on the Corner, kids on bikes and in pools, sweltering humidity… yep, summer is here! I hope that you all have time planned away from the office to rest, relax, explore, be with family, and catch your breath.
Jumping ahead to September, please mark your calendar for the United Way Laurence E. Richardson Day of Caring on Wednesday, September 16. For the first time, we will look to have a division-wide Day of Caring project. Last year we had two groups volunteering at the SPCA and Scottsville Elementary School. Stacey Rittenhouse and Kobby Hoffman have agreed to be project leads for our group. Please email Stacey and Kobby to let them know that you will participate. We will need to have a headcount in order to make sure we select the right size project. As you may know, participants tackle diverse projects including office work, painting, landscaping, construction, arts and crafts, tutoring and more! Last year, more than 1,000 UVa employees volunteered and completed over 100 projects.
We are midway through the year and we have accomplished so much! Now is a great time to take a look at our goals for the year. See below for how much you have accomplished!
AVP Finance Team
2015 Goals, June Update
1. Support University priorities, including:
a. participate in the implementation of a tuition pricing and financial aid model that provides a sustainable multi-year financial model for academic excellence and preserves affordable access. Affordable Excellence approved by the Board of Visitors in April 2015, including Guaranteed Tuition Program, reduction in loan debt and two step tuition increases.
b. continue process of selecting, configuring, and deploying robust and usable decision support tools and modules, including but not limited to Research UVa, a data repository, a reporting tool (Discoverer replacement+), financial planning/modeling, SIS Collections. ResearchUVa, phase 1, was deployed May 4 with high satisfaction being reported. As of 6/15 there are 337 users, 208 of them are faculty. Vendor Demos for Business Intelligence tool procurement were held May 19-21.
c. participate in the organizational excellence initiatives, including implementation of recommendations related to research processes, intercompany transactions, and the role of the manager. We have held research forums with faculty groups; participated in the Bacharach Leadership Group’s Leading a Legacy program and in the Jennifer Garvey Berger workshops on Simple Habits for Complex Times and Supporting, Motivating, & Managing Others; and initiated discussions with George Mason University and federal reps about replacing Effort@UVa with a much simpler approach.
d. submit an updated Federal Disclosure Statement (DS-2) and a Facilities & Administrative Cost Recovery rate proposal and prepare to negotiate this rate with our cognizant agency. Will submit June 26, 2015.
2. Upgrade business processes to improve service, reduce inefficiency, and provide the high quality work product, including:
a. establish a process that rewards and recognizes finance team members who identify ineffective practices, propose solutions, and help implement new approaches that will eliminate re-work, clarify reporting, and minimize time on follow-up. Project Collaboration Tool in discussion; Coffee with a Colleague initiative implemented; Plan to implement new rewards and recognition program geared toward this idea.
b. continue phase two of Orange Team work to develop and implement solutions to identified issues. Continue to identify improvements with cost transfers; develop proposal to create a GA transfers expenditure type.
c. collaborate with key stakeholders to develop a robust data governance approach. Data governance framework developed and initiated a pilot test of the approach related to expenditure type. Data Strategy Committee formed.
d. evaluate cost transfer and LD review processes in Accounting Services and OSP to determine effective way to streamline work and appropriately manage risk. Beginning July 1, OSP/FOC will begin to limit reviews to costs moving on to a G/Z award or between G/Z awards. We will no longer review transfers between projects on the same G/Z award or charges that are moving off G/Z awards to non-G/Z awards.
e. evaluate financial statements, including a consideration of how to develop individual school financial statements and including all foundations as component units. Working with SOM as a pilot; added College Foundation as a component unit. Exploring the development of online Financial Report and a plain language guide to the financial statements
f. develop a streamlined tuition process from proposal stage through approval to applying to student bills. Project in process, led by AVPF office and including SFS, ITS, Budget, Provost, and school reps
g. Other: The Student Aid Funding Model’s (SAFM) integration phase was implemented in May. Peer Transfer implementation started in April for incoming foreign payments. Comptroller’s Office to review Equipment Trust Fund process as well as Recon@ potential enhancements.
3. Improve communication and transparency with internal and external stakeholders, including:
a. increase internal office communications and division-wide events. Formalized blog process. Incorporated Staff Senate updates for entire division. Created an events committee to plan a summer division-wide event and a division-wide effort for Day of Caring. Formalized the Managerial Reporting Project communication plan and have deployed a periodic e-newsletter, presented to 2+ constituent groups each month, and held a Town Hall meeting that reached over ~125 people.
b. create a finance, research, and student dashboard displaying key performance metrics;
c. consider communications with students and parents on student financial matters, especially incorporating recommendations from Strategic Communications; SFS partnered with Admission and Curry faculty on a texting pilot for low income students. Continued involvement with University Communications on their branding results, enhancements related to Blue Ridge Scholar materials and detailed creation of micro-sites for targeted customer information.
d. deepen collaborations and partnerships with:
i. central service units such as Procurement, UHR, ITS, Budget, Treasury and others. Collaborating with UHR and Center for Leadership Excellence on employee development/training. Collaborating with Procurement and OE to improve insight into and compliance associated with international travel. Collaborating with ITS on IT Security Initiative. Sponsored Finance Forward – attended by 175 professionals across the Academic Division. Collaborated with Audit on employee development. Initiated Coffee with a Colleague. Continued to sponsor Business Officers Council.
ii. schools and academic units Worked with Curry to address challenges with on-/off-grounds rates and payment of rent on sponsored programs. Began implementation of the Scholarship Management System, which includes participation from other central offices such as University Advancement and all of the schools. Sponsored Finance Forward – attended by 175 professionals across the Academic Division. Initiated Coffee with a Colleague. Continued to sponsor Business Officers Council.
iii. related organizations such as Medical Center, UVIMCO, and others. Met with Medical Center and UPG to discuss connections with the Managerial Reporting Project. Invited Rick Skinner and Sean Jackson to join the Managerial Reporting Executive Committee.
iv. state agencies such as SCHEV, DOA, DPB, and others. Participated in FOCUS Conference. Co-sponsored the 2015 Impact of Export Controls on Higher Education & Scientific Institutions with VT and GMU. Assumed leadership role in VASFAA (Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators).
e. develop a comprehensive finance training and outreach plan. Hired Patty Marbury as Training Manager. Deployed first Advancing with Excel class, initiated needs assessment process, and began conversations with other training providers, such as CLE and SCPS.
4. Maximize organizational effectiveness of the overall finance team, including:
a. evaluate impact of planned retirement (including succession) of AVP Research Administration, Associate Comptroller, and other key positions. Transition for AVP Research Admin and Associate Controller retirements in place. Working to consider the impact of ERIP retirements.
b. participate in the development of service level agreements to articulate what we do for units and how well we will do it. SLA drafts are in process.
c. consider finance team organization and ways to break down silos, share services internally, and appropriately address the role of managers (with Center for Leadership Excellence); Consolidated training and compliance efforts into the Finance Outreach and Compliance Office.
d. create a development plan for each employee including internal and external training offerings, the role of the manager (with Center for Leadership Excellence), and appropriate compensation. Goals/development plans are in progress. Upcoming salary process to address market ranges and compensation needs.
e. document finance team-specific HR practices and guidelines. SFS updating its rewards and recognition process through a manager-level team.
Congratulations!! And have a great summer.