Thursday, October 27, 2016

From Melody's Desk

October 27, 2016

Dear Team,

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to attend the Multicultural Fluency class offered to all our team and it was simply terrific. The conversation was enlightening, sobering, thoughtful, and open.  I appreciated everyone’s observations and participation and hope that all have gained through this session. Tabitha Enoch and John Alexander are terrific in leading a conversation that can be uncomfortable in a way that is approachable.  We have another session scheduled on December 1 from 1:30 – 4:00 in Carruthers Hall (Carr-1). If you have not yet attended the session, we very strongly encourage your participation in this very important conversation.

During the class, we learned of a recent disturbing incident at Barracks Road where a racial slur was yelled from a passing car towards one of our UVAFinance team members. This is not the first such incident On Grounds this fall. I encourage everyone to watch out for our colleagues to help create a safe environment. If you witness such an incident, please try to snap a picture of the car or catch the license plate. Victims are generally shocked at the incident and aren’t able to get identifying information quickly. Then, report the incident via the UVA Just Report It system. This type of behavior can simply not be tolerated, and we must all take a role in ensuring all our colleagues and students are safe and not threatened.

I also wanted to provide an update on the ongoing search for a leader of our controller/financial administration team. The first search was unsuccessful, and I have thought long and hard about the type of person needed. After reflection, I have decided to revise my approach and am seeking an Assistant Vice President for Finance Operations (AVPFO); the scope of this position will include oversight of procurement, accounting and financial reporting, payroll, tax, internal controls, and accounts receivable. Most importantly, the AVPFO will envision and implement the transformation of core business practices at the University – to include those most critical steps of buying goods and services and paying people, among other finance and accounting activities. This search has begun and, if you know of great candidates and transformational leaders, I encourage them to apply at Jobs@ posting number 0619784.

Finally, I want to remind you to vote on November 8th. Our managers will be flexible to make sure you can vote without taking leave.



UVAFinance Vision: the valued and trusted financial partner that the University community turns to first.

Impeccable source of information * Service excellence * Innovative action * Collaborative partner * Valued, high-performing teams

OSP Pilots Mindfulness Sessions

Your Outlook calendar is booked (or double-booked) solid, deadlines are looming, and new projects keep rolling in.  You spend your workday bouncing from task to task, putting out fires and struggling to keep up.  How do you maintain your energy, productivity and focus?

Many experts say that the answer to navigating our stressful workdays more healthfully lies in mindfulness, or being fully present in the moment in which we find ourselves.   

Since summer 2016, employees in the Office of Sponsored Programs have been taking part in a six-month pilot program on mindfulness.  Every Thursday, team members can choose to participate in activities meant to provide calm and focus.  These guided activities rotate by week, and include yoga, meditation, mindfulness through art, and tea ceremonies. 

Kristy Hall, Director of Contracts in OSP and a longtime believer in the mind-body connection, says that she saw an opportunity for the practice of mindfulness to make a difference in the high-intensity, deadline driven environment of sponsored programs.   

“Mindfulness is accessible to everyone,” says Hall, “and it has great relevance in the workplace.”

With the full support of Elizabeth Adams, Assistant Vice President for Research Administration, and the help of Patrick Wood, Office Manager of OSP, the program has been a success with OSP staff.

 “We have learned stress management and emotional intelligence techniques that can be used in the workplace to better manage the effect stress has on the body, mind, and work product,” says Tonia Cable, Grants Administrator.

Taylor Hoelscher, an accountant in OSP, agrees that the mindfulness sessions have helped productivity, reducing fatigue of the body and mind:  “Mindfulness teaches that it is okay to take a minute for yourself.”

As a part of the pilot program, Wood tracks employee response after each session, and so far, the results have been very positive.  Participants enjoy the renewal of focus and energy that comes from mindfulness, as well as the opportunity to explore better ways to cope with stress.

“The mindfulness programs show a leadership investment in the OSP staff and their commitment to our well-being, which allows us to better serve the University and the research mission,” says Cable.

For more information on mindfulness in the workplace, check out (or ask a member of OSP to share what they’ve learned!).

How do you refresh and re-focus at work?  Taking a walk, going out for a breath of fresh air, reading an inspirational blog? Comment below -- You might just inspire someone else to improve their focus!

TravelUVA Prepares to Roll Out Expense

Testing starts in November for the Expense management software platform, Chrome River, with a go-live target date of March 20, 2017.   Training will take place on an as-needed basis through webinars, on-line training tools, schools and major budget unit subject matter experts, and hands on labs after go live. 

To ensure all users receive the support they need to transition to a new expensing process, all schools and major business units will assign subject matter experts to test the system and train with PSDS.  These individuals will become the first line of defense for users needing assistance in their areas after go-live.

Chrome River will use the Recon@ hierarchy for its basic workflow. This will greatly reduce the monthly Recon@ efforts as the work will be performed at the time of the transaction instead of during the monthly reconciliation period. Users should find that the new system streamlines and provides greater clarity on the overall expense management process by providing one method for expensing T&E card transactions and employee reimbursements. Chrome River will allow for individual or batch processing of expenses, electronic record keeping of receipts, and electronic approvals. This automation of our current paper-based approach will ensure consistency of the expense process across UVA, enhance audit functionality, and increase analysis capabilities.

If you have questions about Expense or anything related to TravelUVA, contact the Travel Team, or leave a comment below!

Nominate a Colleague for Spotlight on Excellence

Pause for a moment and think of the people with whom you work.  Think of those who give great customer service, who are problem-solvers, who are enthusiastic and creative.  Now, take a few more moments and nominate them for an Organizational Excellence Spotlight on Excellence Award!

Spotlight on Excellence is a monthly recognition program for people who “contribute to an overall culture of quality at UVA” in their daily work.  You can nominate an individual or a team to receive this recognition.   Wouldn’t it be great to see your coworkers recognized across Grounds?

If you’re not sure a colleague’s contributions qualify them for a nomination, check out the full award criteria on OE’s webpage, and view previous Spotlight honorees.  (Hint:  If you thought of that person when you started reading this article, they’re probably a great nominee!)

Winter is Coming . . . and so is GL!

The GL Cash Balance Summary, GL Details and GL Reference modules in UBI are scheduled for release next week.  Current Finance users will be able to access all of these modules from their Access Point.  New users will have the opportunity to complete the Intro to UBI training with a GL focus beginning November 10th.  

Visit the UBI Training page to register for classes.

UBI Workshops and Advanced UBI training are still available.  Take your UBI knowledge and skills to the next level by attending a UBI Workshop or Advanced class.  Learn more about using the existing reports and dashboards or about customizing the modules to meet your needs.

Meeting Spaces in Carruthers: New Places, New Names

Construction at Carruthers is wrapping up, and among our new and refreshed spaces are new meeting areas, as well as old spaces with new names.  We now use a simple number system to name our meeting rooms.  Internal signage will soon be in place to help everyone locate the correct space, and room names have already been changed in Outlook (with helpful notes on what the old room name was).  

Here’s a quick rundown of UVAFinance meeting areas, old and new (and newly named):

New Meeting Spaces in Carruthers Lobby Area

These two new rooms are just inside the Carruthers front lobby area on the 2nd floor. Currently, the rooms are combined; a divider for the two rooms will be available in January 2017.  Crestron panels will be installed outside of these rooms, which will allow employees to see at a glance if/when the room is available, and to reserve the room right then.

Carr-1: Right next to and can be combined with Carr-2.  Capacity is 32 people by itself and 64 people when combined with Carr-2.
Carr-2: Right next to and can be combined with Carr-1.  Capacity is 32 people by itself and 64 people when combined with Carr-1.

New Collaboration Rooms

Collaboration rooms are three rooms in a row in the middle of the second floor of Carruthers. They will be available November 21, 2016. Crestron panels will be installed outside of these rooms, which will allow employees to see at a glance if/when the room is available, and to reserve the room right then.

Carr-Collab-1:  The collaboration room closest to the front hallway.  Capacity is 6 people.
Carr-Collab-2: Located in the middle of the row of 3 collaboration rooms.  Capacity is 6 people.
Carr-Collab-3: The collaboration room closest to the back hallway.  Capacity is 6 people.

Meeting Spaces in the ITS Area

Whether entering through the front lobby or from the south entrance (under the blue awning), come through the building to just past the Finance Outreach & Compliance (FOC) suite; the ITS area is through the door right next to FOC.  Conference Rooms A & B are being converted into office space and are no longer available.

Carr-3:  Formerly Conference Room C in ITS, on the 2nd floor.  Capacity is 6-8 people.
Carr-4: Formerly Conference Room M in ITS on the 2nd floor.  Capacity is 12.
Carr-5: Formerly Conference Room N in ITS on the 2nd floor.  Capacity is 12.
Carr-6:  Formerly Conference Room O in ITS on the 2nd floor.  Capacity is 12.

Meeting Spaces near Procurement

Carr-7: Formerly Conference Room F in the hallway near Procurement.  Both this room and Carr-8 are newly-renovated.  Capacity is 15.
Carr-8: Formerly Conference Room G in the hallway near Procurement.  Both this room and Carr-7 are newly-renovated.  Capacity is 15.

Meeting Spaces on the First Floor of Carruthers

Carr-9:  Formerly Conference Room L just inside the south entrance in the lobby of Student Financial Services.  Capacity is 10.

Note:  Carr-10, formerly Conference Room K, in the Registrar (UREG) area is for UREG use only. 

Questions about meeting spaces?  Contact Stacey Rittenhouse.

Celebrating New Spaces and Familiar Faces at 1st Annual UVAFinance Employee Breakfast

UVAFinance came together on October 20 to enjoy breakfast and celebrate the milestones and achievements of their colleagues during 2016, and to take a first look at the new Carruthers Hall conference room spaces and renovated lobby.

The inaugural UVAFinance Employee Breakfast was brought to you by the VP of Finance with support from the Employee Engagement Committee.  Thanks to them, and to Linda Leake, Stacey Rittenhouse, and Danielle Hancock, for helping make this fun event happen.

Didn’t get to check out the Milestones/Achievements Presentation featured at the breakfast?  Check out the recap below!

UVAFinance Employee Achievements and Milestones:  2016

Connie Alexander: Leonard Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award
Jenn Bari:  Master’s of Education Degree from UVA, Curry School
Isaiah Behnke:  Masters of Business Administration, Frostburg State University; Leadership Essentials Program, CLE, UVA
Jim Bowen:  Spotlight on Excellence Award
Ann Criser:  Fundamentals of Payroll Certification
Eric Denby:  Certified University Procurement Officer, Virginia Association of State College and University Purchasing Professionals Recertification
Linda Estepp:  Project Management Fundamentals Certification
John Gerding:  Strategic Procurement Institute II:  From Theory to Practice Certificate, National Association of Educational Procurement
Reagan Harouff:  Bachelor of Science, Management and Organizational Development, Eastern Mennonite University
Heather Hite:  Certified University Procurement Officer, Virginia Association of State College and University Purchasing Professionals Recertification
Jack Jensen:  Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, University of Georgia
Shenika Knox:  leadership Preparation Program, CLE/UVA
Carrie McGowan:  Certified University Procurement Officer, Accounts Payable Specialist and Manager Certifications from Institute of Finance Management
Judy Mallory:  Leadership Preparation Program, CLE/UVA
Patty Marbury: Executive Coaching Certification, Coaching Institute, MSBCoach, Inc.
Nikita Mokhariwale: Master’s Degree in Business Analytics, University of Cincinnati
Erika Priddy:  Spotlight on Excellence Award
Malika Ouenza:  NACUBO Business Officer Magazine Article
Lori Ponton:  Interior Design Certification, American Society of Interior Designers
Jessica Rafter:  Project Management Professional Certification
Judy Rowe:  Appreciation Award, Managerial Reporting
Lori Strother: Leadership Essentials Program, CLE/UVA
Shannon Wampler:  Certified University Procurement Officer, Virginia Association of State College and University Purchasing Professionals Recertification
Michael Warlick:  Appreciation Award, Managerial Reporting Strategic Negotiations
Office of the Comptroller, Dave Boling, Lynne Schwar, Stacey Rittenhouse, Randy Ellis, Elizabeth Adams, Nicole Ferretti, Steve Kimata, Isaiah Behnke, Dolores Hildebrand, Eric Denby, Danielle Hancock, Jack Jensen, Christine Carrizosa, Josh Breeden, Linda Leake, and Christine Maxwell:  Cornerstone Award, Collaboration with UVA Bookstore, ACC Fiscal Officers Meeting
Congratulations to the first Lean Cohort:  ChristopherDurrer, Jack Jensen, Lynne Schwar, Kevin Crabtree, Phillip Boyce, Kelly Hochstetler, Charles Kidd, Ana Lynch, Kristy Hall

Brazelton, Meredith Dixon, Shannon Wampler, Carrie McGowan, Disha Venkatesan, Elizabeth Adams, Brigette Pfister, Christine Carrizosa, Daniel Ralston, Vonda

5 Years of Service:  Kelly Hochstetler, Jenn Bari, Marissa Waddell, Matthew Ford, Robert Barrett, Daniel Ralston
10 Years of Service:  Mavis Dickerson, Malika Ouenza, Sabrina Whitcomb, Alpana Gautam, Michael Warlick, Mike Holian, Wendy West
15 Years of Service:  Tina Brice, Tesha Westbrook, Bill Define
20 Years of Service:  John McHugh
25 Years of Service:  Imelda Carter, Judy Mallory
30 Years of Service:  Wanda Breeden, Sarah Doran
35 Years of Service:  Judy Rowe, Rita Pleasants
55 years of Service:  Joyce Dunn

Thursday, October 13, 2016

PSDS Wins Organizational Excellence’s “Jargon Buster” Award

PSDS was the winner of the Organizational Excellence Project Alliance’s “Jargon Buster” contest. This contest tested each participant’s knowledge of its own use of jargon -- terms or acronyms that are specific to one’s own group or industry. Jargon can be helpful to use when communicating with group members but can  be very confusing for external audiences, so the Organizational Excellence group sought to increase each project’s awareness of its existing use of jargon in order to reduce usage in external communication. Congratulations, PSDS!  

TravelUVA Presents at National Travel Conference

 Raegan Harouff from TravelUVA recently presented UVA’s travel innovation at the Society for Collegiate Travel and Expense Management’s National Conference in San Diego, California. Her presentation was about TravelUVA finding a “Duty of Care” solution for UVA.  “Duty of care” refers to how the University keeps track of its students, faculty and staff travelers in case trouble arises, and how both the University and travelers are notified during emergencies. To provide a solution, TravelUVA contracted with a Travel Management Company who offers a Duty of Care program; additionally, they noticed that the University had an under-utilized employee benefit - United Healthcare Global Travel Assistance Program (UHCG) - and a need for care for our travelers while they were traveling.

As a result of the TravelUVA team’s work, all travelers who use the TravelUVA Booking Tool are auto-enrolled in the UHCG Program, ensuring that our travelers are covered and are utilizing an employee benefit of which many were unaware!

FOC: What can the training team do for you?

The training team in Finance Outreach and Compliance is responsible for developing, delivering, and continuously improving a comprehensive training program for all finance and business professionals at UVA. We want to help these professionals develop the skills they need to do their jobs accurately and efficiently, as well as to help them grow in their careers.
What do we do in our day-to-day work to meet these responsibilities?
·        We develop and provide training in foundational business and finance skills through courses like “Finance Fundamentals” and various Brown Bag sessions
·        For all University-wide finance and research administration systems and processes, we:
o   design training plans
o   document technical processes
o   provide instructional design services for online and instructor-led training
o   develop online learning
o   coordinate and help facilitate instructor-led sessions, including classroom training, computer labs, workshops, and webinars.
Our training projects include the finance modules of the Integrated System and the Student Information System, TravelUVA, Expense, ResearchUVA, Effort Reporting, Account Reconciliation, and many more.
·        We support all training initiatives needs for UVAFinance employees including Respect@Uva, Multicultural Fluency, Lunch and Learn sessions, and the new Manager Development Program.
·        We provide guidance for individual professional development needs for finance and business professionals across UVA and for colleagues within UVAFinance.

MRP: More UBI Training Sessions Scheduled

Intuitive.  Easy to use.  Faster.  More detailed.  Users all around Grounds have high praise for the functionality provided by University Business Intelligence (UBI).   If you haven’t already taken the UBI plunge, or if you’re ready to take a deeper dive, MRP is ready to help!

Additional training opportunities are now available for UBI users:

UBI Workshops - focus on using UBI standard reports in day-to-day work. 
Advanced UBI – creating customized reports using MySheet and UBI tips and tricks.

Available sessions are listed on the UBI website Training page.

1st Annual UVAFinance Employee Appreciation Breakfast is Coming Up!

Make sure you have Thursday, October 20th marked on your calendar: it’s the 1st Annual UVAFinance Employee Appreciation Breakfast!

You’re invited to join your colleagues in a special celebration of all UVAFinance employees.  We’ll recognize employees for their years of service and accomplishments and give special recognition to those who are service award recipients this year, as well as employees who have received any other University-wide awards or recognition, and/or educational achievements such as degrees or certifications.  The event will be held in our new Carruthers Hall conference room space, Carr-1 and Carr-2!

Hope to see you all next Thursday, October 20! Drop by anytime between 8:30-10:00.

Procurement R&D Program: Reducing the need for sole sourcing

As a part of the Strategic Sourcing initiative, Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services (PSDS) is making it easier for researchers to get the goods, equipment and services they need and reducing the need for sole source justification. 

PSDS has greatly increased the number of research supply vendors under contract (over 70 so far).  Orders with contract vendors satisfy competitive requirements and automatically create purchase orders without PSDS intervention.  Researchers can take advantage of initial discounts negotiated with contract vendors, based on spend totals from the Virginia Association of State College and University Purchasing Professionals.  

New vendors may submit proposals during the open enrollment period of January through March. 

Researchers can check on the contract status of vendors they use by visiting the PSDS Contracts page (contract vendors are designated by the “Contract C” in the Marketplace).  If they work with a preferred vendor who is not already a contract vendor, they may submit a request or email Kristin Floyd in Procurement; she will contact the vendor to solicit a request for proposal during the open enrollment period.

All current requests for proposal are available on the public postings page

New Rules for Student Financial Aid

The availability of the 2017-2018 financial aid applications marked a shift in the methodology for evaluating student aid. The changes are generally positively regarded, but have many implications for Student Financial Services’ awarding policies and processes, particularly in the first year of implementation.

SFS uses two applications to evaluate undergraduates’ eligibility for aid: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for federal aid, and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (Profile) for institutional aid. Until now, both forms required parent and student income and asset information from the prior tax year. Beginning with the 2017-2018 aid year, both forms require information from the “prior-prior” tax year. The forms are also now be available from October 1 of the previous year, rather than from January 1 of the current year.

For many of our returning students, the change to prior-prior year means that information from a single tax year (2015) will be used to evaluate aid eligibility for two aid years (2016-2017 and 2017-2018). For families whose financial circumstances remain basically steady from year to year, the change simply allows more time to complete their with actual tax data. For families whose financial circumstances were substantially different in 2015, SFS administrators are working to create rules so they are not doubly penalized.

SFS will also be able to reuse thousands of 2015 tax documents already collected during the 2016-2017 application cycle. SFS-ITS is working to make this happen within the ImageNow system, which will save many hours of effort for both students and the staff who process incoming documents.

SFS is actively working on these and many other changes behind the scenes, hoping for the smoothest possible transition for both students and staff.

ResearchUVA: New Features on the Horizon

When the Board of Visitors convened this September to choose the initial group of projects for funding by the Strategic Investment Fund, they selected initiatives that had the most potential to significantly transform a critical area or knowledge or function and to enhance the academic, research or clinical standing of UVA.  Among the 13 chosen projects is ResearchUVA, a software platform currently being developed by the Office of Sponsored Programs to manage the research administration process.

Since its launch in May of 2015, ResearchUVA has been in continuous development as an institutional resource for reducing administrative burden associated with pursuing and conducting research. The overarching goal over the last year has been to replace manual, siloed and paper-intensive processes with a one-stop electronic portal providing investigators and administrators around-the-clock access to the range of information they need to manage sponsored programs, from any device —from account balance information to award documentation to agreement status information. 

Already, researchers have benefitted from ResearchUVA’s functionality.  All research documents are housed electronically within the system, and faculty can easily track the progress of their documents within the process queue, as well as search the system for opportunities to collaborate.  Additionally, proposals can be submitted electronically.

SIF Funding will enable ResearchUVA to make major advances in supporting the research mission at UVA. 

Coming in FY 2017: 
·        Availability of reporting on the number and dollar value of proposals submitted per month and per year at UVA
·        Enhanced reporting on proposals representing collaborative and interdisciplinary research
·        Capability to track non-funded or zero-dollar value agreements critical to research programs such as: materials transfer agreements (MTAs), non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), data use agreements (DUAs), and memoranda of understanding (MOUs)
·        Enhanced keyword search capability across documents within the system
·        Rollout of data visualization and user/community engagement platforms