Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Holidays from UVAFinance!

Congratulations to the Office of Sponsored Programs
on their winning gingerbread creation!
If the cookie creations submitted by each department to the Gingerbread Village competition are any indication, UVAFinance teams are not only collaborative, they’re creative.  

The gingerbread competition was just one part of a fun event that brought all of UVAFinance together on December 14.   Click here to see Mike Galvez’s wonderful pictures

Special thanks to the Party Planning Committee for all of their hard work getting prizes, securing a great venue and wonderful food, planning games and activities, setting up, cleaning up, and so much more:
Be sure and thank these folks and their fellow committee
members for a great holiday party!

Connie Alexander, PSDS
LaVerne Harris, FOC
Linda Leake, Office of the VP
Patty Marbury, FOC
Erika Priddy, FOC
Stacey Rittenhouse, Comptroller’s Office
Trudy Robinson, Office of Sponsored Programs
Nick Williams, Student Financial Services
Felicia Wilson, Managerial Reporting
Patrick Wood, Office of Sponsored Programs

               Thank you!

Don’t forget:  If you didn’t pick up your UVAFinance shirt at the party, you may do so in the VP Finance area after January 3– see Stacey or Linda and they will assist!

Calling all UVAFinance Team Members: Upcoming Lunch & Learn Session!

As you start to think about and work on your 2017 Performance Plan, you may be looking for professional development opportunities. Plan to join UVAFinance colleagues for our third “Lunch and Learn” session, Using Your Educational Benefits.
"The brighter you are, the more you have to learn." - Don Herold

 Greg Freshour, HR Service Team Lead with University Human Resources, will present changes in Educational Benefits that are beginning in 2017, ways to take advantage of this benefit for professional and career development and will answer questions you may have. Also, we’ll discuss How to Enroll in and Use Lynda.com for Online Training (which was originally scheduled for the December 8th Lunch).

This session will be held on January 19th, 12-1, in Carr-1 and 2.  

Not a UVAFinance Team member?  FOC offers lots of other training opportunities you can take advantage of:  Brown Bag Sessions, Integrated System Training, and so much more.  Visit the FOC website for a full listing.

Have ideas for future Lunch and Learn sessions?  Let us know in the comments, or email Finance Outreach and Compliance at foc-training@virginia.edu

UBI Training Opportunities from Managerial Reporting

UBI continues to move full steam ahead: Currently, there are 10 modules available, and almost 900 users have completed the "Intro to UBI" class. The Managerial Reporting team is working hard to roll out the next release, which is currently scheduled for late January.

Whether you need intro training, a refresher, or you're ready for an advanced look at UBI's capabilities, MRP has you covered. As you’re looking ahead to 2017, don’t forget to include the training you'll need for reporting on the calendar. The spring schedule for Intro to UBI, UBI Workshops, and Advanced UBI training sessions is now available. Sessions for January – March are listed; reserve your spot now!

Questions about UBI? Comment below!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Changes in Carruthers (Coffee and Conference Rooms)

The Front Lobby and Conference Rooms 1 & 2 will be closed for the storefront glass installation beginning next week (December 19 – January 3).  No access to the coffee break room will be availablePlease remember to use the north ITS door during this time.  Access to the north door will be removed when we return after the holidays.

Beginning in January, a payment box will be mounted in the coffee break room.  The price will be $1.00/per coffee and .50 cents/per tea.  When hosting a big meeting in Carr-1 & Carr-2, please provide your own coffee k-cups for your guests, or buy the next supply to replenish our stock.  I can provide the code to use when ordering from the Supply Room.  

Questions or concerns?  Email Stacey Rittenhouse or comment below!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Few Updates from Stacey

Parking and Meeting Spaces: Carruthers Updates


·       We now have parking passes for visitor parking in the Y1 lot for the designated visitor spaces (front row).  Please see Linda Leake or me (next to the coffee area) for a pass until the building receptionist is hired.

·     Concerning handicap parking, following is the latest information I received:

Once the rain has cleared and we can paint and post some signs, there will be 2 additional Handicap Spaces created in the Y1 Parking Lot.  As a reminder, there are Handicap spaces on the South Side of Carruthers near the entry door.  

If all Handicap Spaces are used, then a Valid Handicap license plate or placard can be used in the Y1 Lot for the day, while we get the additional 2 constructed.

·        Carr-1 and Carr-2 Conference Room -  If you find that you need the divider taken up or down, please ask me or Toni Hash.  She is located in the first office in ITS on the left of lobby.  We were trained and have the tool needed to do it.  We check the calendar each day to make the adjustments ahead of time if possible.

Please let me know if you have any questions, or post comments and questions below.  Again, I thank you for your patience during these renovations and changes.

Animated Video Series Highlights Financial Aid at UVA

“Your ability to attend one of the nation’s top universities is based solely on hard work, academic merit, and the desire to move this world forward.” 

This inspiring thought comes from the video linked below, one of two so far in a series that is the result of the combined efforts of UVAFinance, University Communications and Admissions (see the first video below this post).

The video series describes UVA’s position and rankings around financial aid and value, as well as our financial aid philosophy, and will be used widely in a variety of communications channels during the recruitment season. 

Steve Kimata, Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Services, says he’s glad the videos showcase that access and affordability have always been a priority at UVA.   

“In 2004, then-President John Casteen and the Board of Visitors approved our new AccessUVA financial aid program with the aim of making a UVA education available to all students, regardless of their financial circumstances,” said Kimata.  

Through AccessUVA, UVA meets 100% of the demonstrated need of all undergraduate students; it is one of only two public universities to do so.  SFS also has a key role in supporting UVA’s Affordable Excellence model, approved by the Board of Visitors in 2015.

Kimata and Scott Miller, Director of Student Financial Aid, shared a few key guidelines for students and families considering UVA:

  •  Families must complete two applications every year:  The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the CSS Profile (for institutional and state aid).  This allows SFS to direct aid dollars to those who have the most need. The complete application process can be found here.  
  • Students should use My inTuition, a cost estimator unique to UVA, which provides a good estimate of the “net” price to the family, not the gross price.  Net price is the Cost of Attendance minus grants and scholarships.
  •  Families should not hesitate to contact SFS with questions – the sooner, the better!  SFS staff do a number of outreach sessions at area high schools, on Grounds for current students, and at high schools across the state in conjunction with the Admission staff.
  • There are some options students might not realize are available.  SFS created a scholarship page to provide information about all types of scholarships from around Grounds.  Additional options include Parent PLUS loans, installment payment plans, and 529 or Prepaid Tuition plans.  Information about these can be found at sfs.virginia.edu and specific information about the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 529 or Prepaid plans can be found at www.virginia.529.com

Learn more at financialaid.virginia.edu (and see the videos in action!)

From Melody's Desk

Dear Team,

I’m so glad to finally be writing you from my new office in Carruthers Hall!  There are still boxes to be unpacked, but already I feel at home.  Thank you to everyone who has come by to say hello and check out the new space.   I’m excited to be here with the UVAFinance team, working with you, advocating for you, helping you to solve problems, and identifying collaborative opportunities.

In the new suite, you’ll find (beginning nearest the front entrance of Carruthers) Stacey Rittenhouse, Linda Leake, myself, Nicole Ferretti, a space reserved for the Assistant Vice President for Finance Operations, Disha Venkatesan, Kelly Hochstetler, Greg Ball, and Brandi Van Ormer.

Please don’t be a stranger; this office welcomes visitors!

Other new second-floor spaces and places include the new vending area and sink (no more washing your utensils in the bathroom sink!) between the men’s and ladies’ room on the east side of the building and a new lactation room near those bathrooms. 

You’ll also be happy to know that our collaboration rooms in the middle of the second floor are now open and available for scheduling.  Did you know that all of our new and remodeled meeting spaces have Crestrons?  These handy digital pads outside of each room allow you to see if the room is available, and to reserve it right then and there.

The second-floor renovation of Carruthers is Phase Two of a three-phase plan.  Still to come are the upgrades to the first floor, which include addition of another large meeting area, upgrade of printer and copying spaces and the former CafĂ© Carruthers area, the external auditors’ room, and the IT support spaces.

There are also still a few loose ends we’re working on tying up for Phase Two, including full implementation of the A/V equipment in our meeting rooms and collaborative spaces, introduction of new, centrally-located announcement and collaboration boards, furnishing/establishing a receptionist area, and the installation of the glass front wall on conference rooms CARR-1 and CARR-2.

I know the renovation process has been less than convenient; thank you for your patience and flexibility. I hope you’re enjoying the new spaces (and the coffee!) already.   

See you around the building!

P.S.  Have you heard about UVA’s planned Memorial to Enslaved Laborers? There are several ways to get involved:

       Attend the next public meeting on the memorial to enslaved laborers Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. at the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center.
       Visit the website, which will be populated with information later this week.
       Take the survey to contribute ideas about the memorial here.
       Follow @uvamemorial on Instagram.
       Become a community ambassador to visit other local groups or send ideas to uvamemorial@gmail.com.

P.P.S.  Don’t forget to contribute to the Commonwealth of Virginia campaign!  The organization with the highest CVC participation rate wins a pizza lunch!

Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services Welcomes New Employee

Adeline Coe joined the Procurement and Supplier Diversity team as a Procurement Specialist in October 2016.  She comes with a background in finance and supply chain management within the educational travel industry, developing her career at WorldStrides in Charlottesville. At WorldStrides, she was involved with setting revenue goals, monitoring pricing, and ensuring financially accurate proposals.  Adeline enjoys traveling and seeking out new experiences; in addition to her financial knowledge, she also has extensive experience teaching English as a second language. 

Welcome, Adeline!  We’re glad to have you in UVAFinance! 

A Fresh Look at Accounts Receivable

Josh Breeden has had a busy first year as a Staff Accountant in UVAFinance.  A new graduate of James Madison University, Breeden started in October 2015, diving into his new role, learning the ropes, and adapting to the culture. 

It wasn’t long, however, that he started tackling process improvement.  

Josh and the King take a moment to contemplate the past year.
Breeden’s position in the Comptroller’s office had been vacant when he arrived.  Without shadowing a predecessor, he found himself free to formulate his own way of doing the job.

“During my first days on the job, I heard Pat Hogan encourage employees to ‘not be afraid to fail,’ and I took that as my mentality for my first year,” says Breeden.

Trial and error was a part of Breeden’s process, and the results have been successful indeed.

“Josh was a fresh set of eyes,” says Randy Ellis, Associate Comptroller for Financial Operations and Reporting.

“He’s streamlined numerous accounts receivable and collection processes, improved documentation of procedures, and launched training for all billing departments across grounds.”

One of the first things Breeden noticed was that there was a collections module within Oracle that wasn’t being utilized, which meant the process was being done by hand, based on reports run from Discoverer.   He quickly started working with ISDS
to implement the module.

“The collections process at UVA requires us to send 3 collection letters and 2 phone calls, per state guidelines,” says Breeden. “It can be a lot to keep up with if you’re doing it by hand.  The collections module makes it easy to store all of that information and keep track of everything. It’s all right there.”

Because of this improved efficiency, Breeden wasn’t devoting as much time to aging reports, and he found he could help out around the department where and when he was needed.

His improvement efforts weren’t contained solely within UVAFinance, either.  Later in the year, he facilitated a training on policies and procedures for all billing departments across Grounds. 

“During the training session, we bounced new ideas around to help improve the billing process across Grounds,” says Breeden.

Based on the questions raised in these sessions, Breeden plans to meet with attendees one on one to further smooth out the billing process across the University.

Although his efforts have certainly improved processes within UVAFinance and provided great service to financial partners across Grounds, Breeden says he can’t take all the credit.

“We have great teamwork,” he says.  “Laverne Beasley has been here close to 20 years, and her historical knowledge was the perfect match for my fresh set of eyes.”

He adds that his leadership team was also receptive to new ideas, lending their expertise to his ideas and helping him move forward.

“I bounced ideas off of a lot of people,” he says.  “That’s how you find better ways of doing things; that and being open-minded to change, and not stopping at ‘this is how we’ve always done it.’”

Now that he’s been here a year and has several successes under his belt, you might wonder what’s next for Breeden.

“I don’t have any plans at the moment,” he laughs.  “But we’ll see what happens in the New Year.”

Don't forget UVA Discounts During the Holiday Season!

Whether you still have some holiday shopping to finish, or you need to start, don’t forget that as a UVA employee, you can take advantage of lots of great discounts both through the UVA Discount Program and the UVA Bookstore. 

The UVA Bookstore is holding a Faculty & Staff Holiday Appreciation Sale for in-store purchases through December 16.

For a full listing of discounts and special offers available to UVA employees through the UVA Discount Program, click here. From fitness classes to symphony tickets, there are some great ideas here for the hard-to-shop-for person on your list. (Or for you!)

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Carruthers Construction Update: A/V Installation and Parking

It’s an exciting time in Carruthers as we wrap up with construction:  people are moving into new office spaces, and new collaborative spaces are becoming available.  The patience you have had with the entire process is much appreciated.  Below, see two updates on A/V and parking.  
As we wrap up the final details of this long process, I have to ask everyone for their continued patience.  Currently, the Audio/Visual equipment in Carr-1 & 2, Carr-7 & 8, and Carr-Collab 1-3  is installed but not fully functional.  This delay is frustrating for everyone, but our vendor is working to resolve the issues.

Our plan is for the vendor to have all LSPs trained on the new A/V systems and to provide easy-to-follow wireless access instructions available to all users by the end of January. 

All Carruthers conference rooms, meeting rooms, and collaborative rooms are open for scheduling despite the limited A/V functionality.   Please go ahead and utilize these spaces;  if you need A/V, the current best option is to connect your laptop via HDMI cable.   As these are new spaces that are in transition, consider checking the A/V connections ahead of time with your LSP.

The renovation process may seem as though it’s never-ending, but I promise:  we’re getting there, and we’re getting there together, by and working around these inconveniences and helping one another out.

Thank you once more for being patient and flexible.

Those of you who read the blog have no doubt been interested in the changing parking situation around Carruthers Hall.   These changes will allow us to better utilize the parking spaces that we have.

The new long-term visitor parking in Y1 (lower north) will be in place by the end of December.  Creation of Y3 spaces in the south lot has put a crunch on the number of short-term visitor spaces available in that lot. 

All Carruthers employees and visitors with UVA parking permits (for any lot) are strongly encouraged to use the upper north blue lot so that visitors, such as students and families, will have ample parking in the south lot.

Questions or concerns on either item?  Please post a comment below!