Thursday, January 21, 2016

From Melody's Desk

Brrr, it’s cold outside. I’m writing this post on a chilly Monday, wondering if that snow storm will materialize this weekend. I guess winter is really here, isn’t it?

I hope everyone has been in touch with your DISCOVERY partner to find a time to get together to have open and meaningful conversations about what attracted you to UVA, your peak career experiences, our strengths and opportunities and aspirations, and the start of a collective vision of the future. All interviews should be completed by the end of the month. We are collecting interesting stories (with permission of the story-teller, of course!) – read these and submit your own.

I’ve heard reports that one conversation of an hour hasn’t been enough to complete the discussion. Please know that if both partners want to extend the interview that is great, but not necessary. Feel free to spend time on the questions where you have the most energy and pass on the other questions to balance the time to one hour.

Next up is DISCOVERY phase two of our strategic planning process. We will have smaller group sessions to debrief and find common themes from our early interviews. You and your partner should try to find a session to attend together – sign up now.

Two more reminders…

First, don’t forget to take a look back at the past year as part of your self-reflection… by completing your 2015 self-assessment for the performance review cycle by the end of the month.

Second, the president recently wrote to us about required training for "responsible employees" regarding Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence. The training needs to be completed by February 8th and is accessed through this link:

Have a great week!

Appreciative Inquiry: Discovery Phase 2

As partners across UVAFinance continue to share stories and complete their one-on-one interviews by January 29th, it is time to start considering our next step: Discovery Phase 2!

This phase consists of one 2-hour meeting, to be held in the Zehmer Hall Lounge (parking tags will be provided upon arrival). There are eight opportunities to attend this meeting during the period of February 9th-12th. Ideally, partners from the one-on-one interviews will attend the same group of 40 for a guided discussion of the compelling themes and memorable moments from their interviews. In this phase, we will capture the distinctive strengths and energy of the organization.

To register for one of the sessions, follow these steps:
  1. Discuss with your partner and decide which date/time works for the both of you.
  2. Click on the appropriate link below.
  3. Select “Sign Up” next to one empty slot
  4. Select the “Submit and Sign Up” button at the bottom of the page
    • The next step will ask for your name and email (If one person would like to sign up for both, just make sure you do one at a time and fill in your partner’s name and email at this step).


Session 1: Tuesday, February 9th from 9:00AM-11:00AM

Session 2: Tuesday, February 9th from 1:00PM-3:00PM

Session 3: Wednesday, February 10th from 10:00AM-12:00PM

Session 4: Wednesday, February 10th from 2:00PM-4:00PM

Session 5: Thursday, February 11th from 9:00AM-11:00AM

Session 6: Thursday, February 11th from 1:00PM-3:00PM

Session 7: Friday, February 12th from 10:00AM-12:00PM

Session 8: Friday, February 12th from 2:00PM-4:00PM

"Coffee with a Colleague" Success: Mike Ludwick

Mike Ludwick, Associate Director for Grants and Contracts in OSP, met with Katie Shevlin, Director of Foundation Relations in University Advancement, as part of the “Coffee with a Colleague” program.  Katie and Mike discussed ways to make faculty and administrators more aware of the importance of utilizing Foundation Relations to help them with proposals going to major foundations. As a result of the meeting, Mike was able to share information about proposals going to foundations of which Katie was not aware. Katie shared a list of the Top 50 Foundations that her office tracks and Mike sent out a notice to research administrators around grounds asking them to coordinate proposals being submitted to those foundations with Foundation Relations. They plan to continue to share information informally and meet quarterly.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

From Melody's Desk

Thanks to everyone for spending your Monday morning with the team. This DISCOVERY phase will be foundational for our planning a future for UVAFinance together. If you have not already done so, make sure you and your partner schedule a time to get together to reflect on the questions in the guide and to record your summary of the conversation. 

For those of you who were unable to attend or have questions, you can visit the strategic planning FAQ page or email We will also use the blog to provide more information regarding the DISCOVERY phase 2 meetings to take place in early February, as well as how to participate in the upcoming DREAM, DESIGN, and DESTINY work.

I hope that everyone has had an opportunity to enter through the front door to notice the brighter and more open entrance. Security enhancements and an improved south entrance, as well as new landscaping will be shaping up soon.  We are also exploring other potential changes to both the first and second floors in order to create updated conference rooms, to add innovation and collaborative spaces, and to consolidate more of the UVAFinance team.  More will be forthcoming on this idea. 

The first Quality CORE network session of 2016 has been scheduled for January 27, from 10:30-11:45 and will be on the topic of Facilitating Effective Meetings.  Some of you who have been here as long as I have will remember the facilitator, John Lord, from when he led training efforts at UVA. RSVP for the January 27th Quality CORE Network session. (Location details and more information online)

Lastly, a huge congratulations is due to the Procurement team for launching TravelUVA this week.  This will be an immense improvement in how employees manage travel.  More about that here.

Have a great week… and stay warm!

New Travel Management Program: TravelUVA

As of January 4, 2016, all University employees and guests of the University are able to make travel arrangements using Christopherson Business Travel through their online booking tool powered by Concur or with one of their University-dedicated agents. In addition to the new service provider, the University has also introduced simplified travel, meal, and entertainment policies.

TravelUVA will offer all travelers: 

  • 24/7 Customer service
  • A customized online tool that incorporates University policy and procedures -- keeps you on track while booking
  • No fees for online bookings
  • 2% discount on all Delta flights
  • An online profile that maintains traveler preferences, credit cards, and reward programs
  • The ability to accrue frequent flyer, hotel, and car rental reward program points for personal use
  • An automated means to track and apply unused tickets 
  • Real time flight and hotel availability 
  • 24/7 monitoring of world events with mobile alerts to travelers who may be affected
  • Automatic enrollment in United Healthcare Global Assistance travel insurance for faculty and staff
Throughout January, PSDS will be hosting Town Hall sessions to provide more details on the new policies and services the program will offer and drop-in labs to provide hands-on access to the online booking tool. 

Town Hall Meetings
Jan. 5
Newcomb Hall Theater
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Jan. 7
Newcomb Hall Theater
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Jan. 11
McKim Hall – Leonard Sandridge Auditorium
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Jan. 13
Darden Auditorium
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Jan. 15
McKim Hall – Leonard Sandridge Auditorium
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Jan. 26
Newcomb Hall Theater
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Jan. 27
Newcomb Hall Theater
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Drop-In Labs
Jan. 6
Michie Building North Training Room 219
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Jan. 8
Michie Building North Training Room 219
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Jan. 12
Michie Building North Training Room 220
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Jan. 14
Michie Building North Training Room 219
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Jan. 19
Michie Building North Training Room 219
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Jan. 20
Michie Building North Training Room 219
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Jan. 21
Michie Building North Training Room 219
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Jan. 22
Michie Building North Training Room 219
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Jan. 25
Michie Building North Training Room 219
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Jan. 28
Michie Building North Training Room 219
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Jan. 29
Michie Building North Training Room 219
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

For updates and more information, visit the Travel and Expense Management Redesign website. If you have any questions about the University's Travel Program or these events, please contact Dolores Hildebrand at or 434-924-4233 or Raegan Harouff at or 434-924-4354.  You may also email any travel and expense questions to

Get to Know the SFS Contact Center

Student Financial Services is the most active unit in the VPF area when it comes to one-on-one interaction with our parents and students.  Each year, we field and resolve about 250,000 contacts, including phone, email, walk-ins, school visits, Days on the Lawn meetings, FAFSA filing nights, mail, and fax. The middle of January marks one of the busiest times for this unit as the Spring semester begins. We’d like to introduce the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Customer Service Representatives and our Imaging Specialist who handle the lion’s share of those quarter million contacts each year.

Jenn Bari
Contact Center Supervisor

Hometown: Newton, NC
Alma mater: Virginia Commonwealth University
With SFS since: June 2011
Proudest accomplishment: The fact that I survived buying a house, throwing a wedding and completing 15 hours of coursework in M.Ed. program at the Curry School this year. And everyone I love is still talking to me.

Chris Brazelton
Tier I Customer Service Representative Team Lead

Hometown: Winchester, VA
Alma mater: UVA
With SFS since: October 2012
Nickname: I have had more than one group of friends (including my SFS colleagues) independently converge on the nickname “Braz.”  I like it!

Amy De La Cerda
Tier I Customer Service Representative

Hometown: Windsor, CT
Alma mater: UVA & University of Connecticut
With SFS since: December 2015
Dinner guest of choice: The composer Hans Zimmer.

J'anet LaPointe
Imaging Specialist

Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Alma mater: Mohawk Valley Community College & CAD Institute (Phoenix, AZ)
With SFS since: 1999
Interesting past job: Packing beets in a factory in Salem, Oregon for a summer.

Irene Paschall
Tier II Customer Service Representative

Hometown: Charlottesville, VA
Alma mater: James Madison University
With SFS since: July 2015
Recharges by: Working out, doing yoga and hanging out with my hubby and Petey, our bulldog.

JT Peifer
Tier II Customer Service Representative

Hometown: Kijabe, Kenya
Alma mater: Wake Forest University
With SFS since: July 2013
Recharges by: Playing "Magic: the Gathering"

Dot Rosenblatt
Tier II Customer Service Representative

Hometown: Madison, VA
Alma mater: Frostburg State College
With SFS since: December 2012
Proudest accomplishment: Raising my three children.

Victoria Salyers

Tier I Customer Service Representative

Hometown: Front Royal, VA
Alma mater: James Madison University
With SFS since: January 2016
Favorite meal: Ham, stuffing, and ice cream (chocolate)!

Nick Williams
Tier II Customer Service Representative

Hometown: Washington, DC
Alma mater: UVA (double 'Hoo!)
With SFS since: October 2015
Hero: Abe Lincoln and Nelson Mandela. Both to me are tactical renegades who carried a vision of the world they desired and through a definiteness of purpose pursued this vision, no matter what opposition that they faced.

PSDS Wins Supply Chain Management Award

The Virginia Department of General Services’ Division of Purchases and Supply awarded UVA Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services (PSDS) with a 2015 Procurement Xcelerator Award at the November Public Procurement Forum in Virginia Beach. The award, for PSDS’ Vendor Scorecard, was in the Supply Chain Management category and “recognizes the organization that has implemented an initiative or practice that has positively impacted the performance of the organization’s supply chain.”

The Vendor Scorecard is used by PSDS buyers to ensure excellent performance and service from a vendor after the award of a strategically-sourced contract. Each scorecard is developed with the vendor using mutually established goals and objective metrics, and is scored on a regular basis in order to drive continuous improvement. Scorecards are scored in a database, and results are tracked and trended over time. To view the most recent scorecard for the strategic office supply contract, please visit the contract summary sheet.

Excel Tips & Tricks: Data Validation

Excel's Data Validation tool is a great way to maintain data consistency and accuracy in a spreadsheet. As an example, with online ordering, you typically enter an address in a free-form box, but then select a state from a dropdown list of values. Capturing data based on prescribed options helps eliminate erroneous entries (MA vs Mass., Massachusetts, Massachusetts, MS, etc).

January Brown Bag Training Sessions

We are excited to kick-off 2016 by sharing information about our “Brown Bag Sessions” for the first half of the year. For those of you who are new or may have never attended a Brown Bag Session, these are lunch-time training offerings led by subject matter experts on various topics of interest. The sessions are held bi-weekly on Wednesdays, 12-2 p.m. We hope that you will find these sessions useful and that they provide you with new knowledge, tips and information that will help you in your work and career!

January Brown Bag Sessions:

January 13: How do I Get Help? Resources for Users of the Integrated System
Patty Marbury/Sue Simpkins
2400 Old Ivy Rd., Room 189

January 27: What’s Coming Up in 2016 for Finance Training?
Patty Marbury and FOC Trainers
2400 Old Ivy Rd., Room 189

In other sessions, we will cover topics such as Expense Management at UVA, Recharge Centers, Effort Reporting, Record Retention, Purchasing–Preparing for Year-End, Export Controls, and Preparing for an Audit, Emergency Preparedness and more. If you have questions or suggestions, please let us know at

Visit our new Finance Outreach and Compliance website at for further information.  Registration for Brown Bag sessions is not required, but is available in Employee Self-Service. A link to register is also available from the “Events” section on our website.

New ‘Experience QlikView’ Classes

The MRP team is delivering more ‘Experience QlikView’ classes in 2016. January and February classes start next week! Learn more and sign up today!