Thursday, September 29, 2016

Day of Caring 2016

UVAFinance employees showed up in full force to participate in various community projects as a part of the 25th Annual United Way Laurence E. Richardson Day of Caring. Combining efforts with University Human Resources, they tackled landscaping at Monticello and Stony Point Elementary School, worked on an outdoor painting project at Moss-Nuckols Elementary School, and helped conduct a carnival for individuals with disabilities, supported by WorkSource Enterprises.

Over half of the Day of Caring volunteer workforce was made up of UVA employees; UVAFinance was represented by a group of nearly 60 people. Together, all of UVA’s volunteers donated nearly 12,000 hours of service valued at $300,000.  For all the weeds you pulled, the prizes you gave, and the numbers you painted: we salute you, volunteers!

Click here to see UVAFinance in action at the WorkSource Carnival.

More great Day of Caring coverage here and here  (great quotes from Linda Estepp and Nicole Ferretti!)

If you have pictures from your Day of Caring activity that you’d like to share on UVAFinance’s Flickr page, please send them to 

MRP: Engaging the University Community

Community engagement is a core competency for the Managerial Reporting Project. In September, MRP participated in a dialogue about complex hiring challenges with other highly technical/IT areas across the institution. The team also met with stakeholders from around Grounds during the team’s annual MRP development day.

FOC: Priddy and UVAForward Committee Honored

As part of the UVAForward Organizing Committee, Finance Outreach and Compliance Training and Development Specialist Erika Priddy, has been selected to receive the Spotlight on Excellence recognition, presented by the UVA Office of Organizational Excellence (OE). The team is recognized for demonstrating specific actions in the planning and execution of this event that contribute to an institutional culture of quality.

The UVAForward team is recognized for demonstrating excellence in customer service and building productive partnerships in its design and delivery of a powerful internal professional development conference.  Nominators noted that the team’s collaboration was exemplary and the long-standing impact through the development of others was evident.  

Priddy and the UVA Forward Team, which includes Tom Kim, Kirby Armentrout, Keith Donnelly, and Elizabeth Allan, were recognized at the Quality CORE Network event on September 28.  

OSP: Welcome, John Rodgers!

The Office of Sponsored Programs welcomes John Rodgers to the OSP pre-award team as a Grants & Contracts Assistant.  On the job since Monday, September 26, John comes to UVA from Huntington, West Virginia, where he managed grant proposals to foundation and corporate sources for the YMCA, while at the same time serving as their Director of Information Technology.  John is a graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.   He is excited to join the OSP team as they make strides in research, and he looks forward to having a part in the success of innovation.  Outside of work, John enjoys biking, hiking, camping, and other outdoor pursuits, as well as music and exploring local activities.  With his solid grant writing training and technical background, John makes a great addition to the OSP team.  

Update on Parking at Carruthers

Parking changes are coming to Carruthers Hall this autumn, with the aim of improving pedestrian safety and better using parking spaces currently available.   Here’s what’s in store for the North Upper Lot, the North Lower Lot, and the South Lower Lot.

Changes in Visitor Parking
Results of a survey given to all managers in Carruthers and Michie showed a need to create half or full day spots in addition to the spots with a 2-hour parking limit in the South Lower Lot.  To address this, 15 spots will be created in the North Lower Lot that will be designated as Visitor Parking.  Signage will ask visitors to obtain parking tags from receptionists in Carruthers/Michie.

Improving Usage of the North Lower Lot
A review conducted with Parking and Transportation revealed that the North Lower Lot is under-utilized, while the North Upper Lot is over-utilized.  To address this, a Y3 lot with 15 spaces will be created in the South Lower Lot; this lot will have a premium parking rate of $59 per month.  In turn, parking rates for the North Lower Lot will be reduced to $47 per month.  There will be no change in fees to park in the North Upper Lot.  

Changes for Pedestrian Safety
Parking and Transportation used a consulting firm to do a safety survey of all the lots at Carruthers.  In the North Upper Lot, recommendations included clearer path marking, additional stop signs to reduce speeding, additional crosswalks, and new sidewalks/pathways for those who do not use the stairs.  For the South Lower Lot, the firm recommended new markings to clarify in/out, and more accessible parking spaces.  

Updates will be shared as this project develops!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

MRP: UBI Phased Release Plan

The Managerial Reporting Project updated the UBI Phased Release plan. This timeline highlights the timing for development of various subject areas.

PSDS: GovSmart and Travel Updates

PSDS is pleased to announce that GovSmart, a SWaM certified minority local business, has been awarded a contract for Microsoft Surface Pro devices. VHEPC estimates an average savings of 9% by purchasing Surface Pro devices via GovSmart compared to other contract vendors.  Please note that GovSmart can be used to procure other information technology (IT) hardware, software, and services as well. Visit PSDS' website for contract information on GovSmart's entire line of IT products and services.  For additional questions, please contact Michael Warlick at or 924-8918.

New and Improved Travel Reimbursement Workbook
Changes include:

  1. Requirement added to enter number of travel days to calculate reduction in daily meal per diem on travel days.
  2. Fund type/source must be selected.  This helps streamline the review process which speeds up reimbursements.
  3. Reminder added to obtain supervisor's manager/designee's approval if employee's signature date is greater than 30 days after the travel return date.
  4. When the workbook is downloaded, there will be an expiration date of January 1, 2017, on the workbook.  This expiration date has been included to ensure that departments are using the most current workbook. 

When reimbursing guests, the meals per diem sheet will no longer be available.  Per IRS rules, guests can only be reimbursed for actual meals with itemized receipts.

SFS at the Start of Term

Student Financial Services has successfully navigated another extremely busy start of fall term. For two weeks each August, it's "All Hands on Deck!" as each member of the team shares in the work of helping students arrange their payments and financial aid at the start of the academic year.

To give you a scope of the work we've been engaged in, here are some statistics from just our 10 busiest business days (August 15-26):
  • 4,638 phone calls taken
  • 1,867 emails handled
  • 1,064 walk-in counseling sessions
Great work, SFS!

New Faces in Outreach & Compliance, Sponsored Programs

Brandi Van Ormer
UVAFinance Communications Manager
Brandi will be working across UVAFinance to develop, coordinate and deliver communication programs and materials to support our shared mission, vision and values. Brandi has been a communicator for nearly 15 years in a variety of roles, which include internal communications, marketing and public relations, alumni affairs, and development. Most of her work has been in healthcare and higher education, outside of her first communications role marketing crickets and worms for a live pet food grower. She has also taught composition and analytical writing in an adjunct capacity for a variety of institutions. Prior to moving to Virginia, Brandi worked in Mississippi, at both Mississippi State and Ole Miss.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a Master’s degree in English Literature from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Brian Strickler
Process Improvement Lead
Brian has developed a career in operations strategy and process improvement across multiple industries, including education, healthcare, and defense. Prior to joining the Finance Outreach and Compliance team, he served as an Intelligence Officer in the Navy and earned an MBA from the University of Virginia. His primary goal is to develop strategies for performance improvement and support the implementation of positive change at UVA.

Malcolm Strickland
Grants & Contracts Assistant
Malcolm has joined the OSP pre-award team on a permanent basis. He has previously worked as a temp in OSP, where he learned much about the operations of the office, and was trained on the account create processes. He will continue to focus on account create in his new role, but he will also be learning the basics of research administration in order to assist with other pre-award actions. Malcolm is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. He has already proven himself as an asset to the team and the office, and we are very pleased to have him on board! 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

UBI Major Release: September 2016

In September, Managerial Reporting will deliver a major UBI release—the first since the June 2016 go-live. MRP’s Agile approach to UBI development gives stakeholders ongoing opportunities to provide improvement requests—which are an important part of this first release. Read about the three new modules in this release, and more.

Christina Bousquet, from the School of Medicine, is one of many new UBI users. “UBI has definitely streamlined the process to view and modify GA reports,” she said. “Not only am I able to get needed information almost instantaneously, but reports are easily customizable. I can bookmark and save templates for future use. Everything you could want for GA data is essentially there.”

New Staff in OSP

The Office of Sponsored Programs is pleased to announce several key positions that have recently been filled:

The OSP leadership team welcomes Urmila Bajaj as the new Director of Accounting and Award Management. In her new role, Urmila will provide leadership and management of the financial postaward functions of OSP. Urmila has a unique depth and breadth to her experience in postaward research administration from which UVA will greatly benefit.

Urmila is presently the Director of Research Finance at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, a private, not-for-profit clinical research center, hospital and graduate medical school located in Duarte, California. At City of Hope, Urmila is responsible for managing financial research operations of basic and clinical research, including the oversight of postaward financial management of clinical trials. She additionally oversees shared resource operations, including 26 core laboratories. Before her work at City of Hope, Urmila was the Associate Director of Post Award Administration at the California Institute of Technology. At Caltech, Urmila strengthened internal controls and reduced audit risks by implementing new systems and reports to monitor federal compliance requirements, including those related to cost sharing, cost transfers and effort/payroll distribution confirmation. Earlier in her career, Urmila worked in research administration and management at the unit level at the University of Southern California as well as in the central sponsored programs office at the University of California, Los Angeles. Urmila has additionally served as an NCURA Peer Reviewer, workshop faculty and presenter. Urmila received her undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. Urmila will begin her position at UVA on October 17, 2016. She is currently planning for her move to Charlottesville with her husband, Sunil Bajaj. Please join me in welcoming her.

The OSP Information Team is excited to welcome Nikita Mokhariwale as the newest Senior Data Analyst!  Nikita received her Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in Business Analytics.  She brings experience in institutionalized Tableau reporting and has been developing creative visualizations of customer data, which we look forward to her sharing with us. She has worked with various large and small retail clients through 2 multi-national companies and a start-up venture. She has experience with gathering business requirements and creating data-driven planning platforms. Nikita is comfortable managing large volumes of data and modeling solutions which will serve OSP well as we move to a data driven/data enabled organization.  We are looking forward to the energy, enthusiasm and knowledge Nikita brings to OSP.  Please give her a warm welcome when you see her.

The OSP Contracts Team is excited to welcome Asa Lopatin as the newest Senior Contract Negotiator! Asa’s previous experience includes working through disputes in state and federal courts relating to intellectual property, licensing and contracts. He also served as a Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution Services at the American Arbitration Association, managing client contact and case administration for large complex commercial cases in DC, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Asa’s legal experience also includes internships with the DC Office of the Attorney General, the DC Superior Court, the US House of Representatives, and the Washington Nationals. He has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from George Washington University. Asa and his family recently moved to Charlottesville from the DC Area.

The Pre-Award team is pleased to announce that Courtney Polk recently started in the newly-established role of Research Administrator in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), a centrally-reporting and funded position providing unit-level research administration supporting the School of Architecture (AR) and the Data Science Institute (DSI). In this role, Courtney will identify funding opportunities, manage administrative proposal development/submission and oversee post-award nonfinancial and financial matters as needed. Courtney will additionally be available to assist with large-scale, complex/interdisciplinary proposals across Grounds.

This new position plays an important role in ResearchNET, an initiative of the office of the Vice President for Research, the schools, the office of the Provost and OSP to enhance significantly research development efforts across Grounds. The position also supports the Cornerstone Plan’s ambitious goals for growth in scholarly collaboration and interdisciplinary research at UVA.
Courtney brings depth of experience in both grant writing and grant management; she helped win multi-million dollar grants from NASA for the Universities Space Research Association, and more recently did similar work for the Building Goodness Foundation here in Charlottesville. She has worked with a diverse set of sponsors, including federal agencies and private foundations. And, importantly, she has an amazing can-do attitude and keen professional focus. She will be a great addition to the team.

Upcoming Finance Trainings

Listed below are upcoming course, workshops, labs, and Brown Bag Sessions. We hope you will take advantage of these many professional development opportunities for finance professionals. Descriptions of the classes, as well as links to enroll via Employee Self-Service are available from the Events section on the Finance Outreach and Compliance website at

Courses, Workshops, and Labs

Finance Fundamentals
Sept 13 (only 3 seats left!) and Sept 27
All sessions are 1:30–4:30 and will be held in Carruthers Hall, Conference Room E

Mastering Account Reconciliations (6 seats left!)
Sept 8, 1:30–4:00
Carruthers Hall, Conference Room E

Managing Salaries/Wages Charge to Sponsored Activities
Sept 29, 1:00-4:00
Michie North, Room 223

TravelUVA: Lab
Sept 14, 9:00–10:30
Miche North, Room 219

Pre-Award 101 Workshop
Oct 4, 8:30-5:00
Bavaro Hall, Room 116 (Holloway Hall Auditorium)

Brown Bag Sessions

Paperless Procurement
Sept 7, 12:00–2:00
Newcomb Hall, Commonwealth Room
Complimentary tasting offered by Virginia Catering Company

Working with the Expenditure Dashboard
Sept 14, 12:00–2:00
Bavaro Hall, Room 116 (Holloway Hall Auditorium)
Complimentary tasting offered by Pearl Island Catering

Using America To Go
Oct 5, 12:00-2:00
Bavaro Hall, Room 116 (Holloway Hall Auditorium)
Complimentary tasting offered by Alex Montiel Catering and Events

Being Prepared for Emergencies
Newcomb Hall, Room 389
Complimentary tasting offered by Panera Bread

Future Brown Bag sessions include:

Understanding Export Controls
Nov 2, Newcomb Hall, Room 177

SecureUVA: Ways to Avoid Hacking and Phishing
Nov 16, Bavaro Hall (Holloway Hall Auditorium)

Recharge/Service Centers: Everything You Need to Know
Dec 7, 2400 Old Ivy Road, Room 189

As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, or need to discuss training needs, please email