Friday, February 17, 2017

From Melody's Desk

February 17, 2017

Dear Team,

It feels like we just rang in the New Year, yet here it is, already February.  We’re more than a month in to 2017 and time is flying by:  the holidays are a distant memory, the semester is in full swing, and we are as busy at home as we are at work. 

Hopefully you are still on track for any new year’s resolutions you may have set personally.  Now is also the time to set our professional resolutions for 2017. As you work with your manager on that task, I thought I would share with you the 2017 UVAFinance priorities that I recently presented to Pat Hogan. You can find among these priorities, goals that apply to all of us: preparing and learning to be ready for the work of tomorrow; applying process re-design to your daily work; developing a clear and concise standard operating procedure to help others understand a work procedure. 

Use these as inspiration:

Many of us should also include a 2017 goal related to using UBI for our reporting and analytical need.  Your UBI adoption goal may be related to completing training, posting questions in the UBI User Community, converting your Discoverer reports to UBI, helping a co-worker learn how to use UBI.

Still stuck for goals? You can use our UVAFinance vision and core values as inspiration.  How can you become more of a valued and trusted financial partner to someone in a school or unit?  Where can you improve quality of your work to further become an impeccable source of information? How can you provide a clearer and quicker answer to provide excellent service?  Where will you develop an innovative approach that eliminates waste and non-value-added work? What problem can you collaborate with a colleague to resolve? And how can you be a part of a valued, high-performing teams?

I can’t wait to see all we accomplish in 2017!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tools for Success: Management Development Program for UVAFinance

Managing people is one of the most important roles in any organization, and also one of the most challenging.  Recognizing the tough role managers have, UVAFinance has begun an intense, year-long course for managers called the Management Development Program (MDP).

UVAFinance worked with the Center for Leadership Excellence to develop the structure of the MDP, which includes three facets:  360-degree feedback, a series of development sessions, and individual coaching.  Eighteen managers representing almost all of UVAFinance’s departments make up the inaugural class. 

On February 3, the group attended its first skills development session. During the session, the facilitators provided participants with an overview of their 360-degree feedback results to create awareness of common strengths and developmental opportunities. Participants had the opportunity to discuss challenges that they are facing and to help each other generate potential solutions.

The remainder of the session included content about leading teams through change using the framework from Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. The group explored the ways that our rational mind and emotional mind affect our ability to make lasting changes, both personally and professionally. The participants discussed the patterns that support successful change and began to create individual action plans for a change they plan to lead. The session provided a great opportunity for self-reflection, relationship building, and knowledge sharing across the various areas of UVAFinance.

In addition to the 360-degree feedback and the skills development sessions, participants in the program have the opportunity to take part in one-on-one leadership coaching. The one-on-one coaching began with sessions with the Center for Leadership Excellence, where participants were able to review the results of their 360-degree feedback, and discuss professional development opportunities. Participants are encouraged
to continue their leadership coaching throughout the program with Patty Marbury, who is a certified coach.

“Coaching involves a lot of self-study and individual development, and, because they decide what they want to work on after reviewing their 360, it’s led by the participant,” says Marbury.

“This program gives our managers the tools and resources they need to be successful at managing people,” she continues.  “We’re developing our managers and growing our leaders.”

Linda Mayo from Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services, currently a part of the MDP program, says she has found the program "immensely helpful."

"It gives you perspective on the commonalities between yourself and other managers," she says.

"And the coaching sessions have been very enlightening, because of the HR perspective Patty brings." 
The long-term goal of the program is that all those in UVAFinance who manage others will participate in the program.

Interested in being a part of a future class?  Contact Patty Marbury or Disha Venkatesan.

Win Prizes and See the New Expense Management System at the Travel & Expense Expo!

Tuesday, February 21 is the First Annual Travel UVA Travel and Expense Expo at Newcomb Hall.  

Attendees can visit with travel vendors they work with frequently, see demonstrations of the new, online Expense Management System set to launch on April 17, and get a chance to win great prizes, including hotel stays, travel-related gift cards, dinner for two, brunch for two, airport lounge passes, gift baskets, an Amazon Echo, a Kindle, and more!

Travel Document Systems will also be on hand to process passports.  (Be sure and take a look at their portal for passport and visa services, which shows discounts for UVA employees and students)

Click here for full details on the Expo!  Don't miss it!

Upcoming Training

Events Open to All 

Finance Outreach and Compliance hopes you will take advantage of these 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 or by clicking on the links below.

Brown Bag Sessions

10  Easy Tips for Making Better Charts Presented by Shannon Wampler, Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services.  March 8, 12:00-2:00, Bavaro Hall, Room 116 (Holloway Hall Auditorium).  Complimentary tasting provided by The Catering Outfit

  Recharge/Service Centers: Everything you Need to Know   Presented by John Wallace-Smith, Financial Planning and Analysis.  March 22, 12:00-2:00.  Newcomb Hall, Room 389

Courses, Workshops, and Labs

    • February 28, 1:30-4:30
    • March 13, 1:30-4:30
    • March 28, 1:30-4:30
    • All sessions will be held in Carruthers Hall, Conference Room 2 
Mastering Account Reconciliations (7 seats left!)
March 9, 1:30–4:00, Carruthers Hall, Conference Room 2 

TravelUVA: Lab
March 14, 2:00-3:30, Michie North, room 219

·        Expense Lab for Ambassadors
o   Open to Expense Ambassadors only.
o   February 20-March 3 (excluding Feb 21)
o   Labs will be held 2 times each day, 9-11 and 1-3
o   Space is limited for each session, so please enroll in advance.

Review our inclement weather policy at

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

Events for UVAFinance Employees

SecureUVA: Best Practices to Protect and Secure your Personal Information and University Data (a required training).

Log into Employee Self-Service first and then click on a session below to enroll:

                Friday, February 17, 1:00-2:00 pm
                Friday, February 17, 2:00-3:00 pm
                Thursday, March 2, 3:00-4:00 pm
                Thursday, March 2, 4:00-5:00 pm
                Friday, March 3, 9:00-10:00 am

All sessions will be held in Carruthers Hall, Carr-1 and Carr-2. If you are unable to attend a session, please contact Patty Marbury by email.

Save the Date: 1st Annual Appreciative Inquiry Showcase

1st Annual Appreciative Inquiry Showcase and Chili Cook-Off/Pot Luck Event

Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 14th between 11:30 and 1:30 for a great event!  The Appreciative Inquiry Steering Committee is will host a VP Finance Pot Luck luncheon, including a Chili Cook-Off, to celebrate and showcase the work that has been done over the past year in all of the Appreciative Inquiry Committees. 

There will be poster presentations by each Committee to share the highlights of their accomplishments.  This will also be an opportunity for you to learn about the purpose of each AI committee.  We hope that everyone will consider signing up to participate on an AI committee for next year.  We want to rotate membership throughout VP Finance so that everyone who has an interest in participating gets a chance!

While you’re enjoying the posters, you can take part in a Pot Luck lunch and Chili Cook-Off. 

Those who like competition should get out their favorite Chili Recipe and compete in the 1st Annual VP Finance Chili Cook-Off.  There will be prizes for several chili categories (more later on the exact prizes and categories).

If you prefer to just share and not compete, please consider bringing a side or dessert.  Chicken and drinks will be provided, but we need more than that to make this a true pot luck event.  We have set up a sign-up Genius account so that you can indicate what you will bring. 

So get out your favorite recipes and prepare to dazzle your colleagues with your culinary expertise!

  Sign up through Sign Up Genius below. 

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on March 14th!

New Faces in Sponsored Programs

Welcome, Marie "Dette" LaRobardier, Contracts Administrator

Dette joins the Contracts Team with over 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries. Her expertise includes project management and process improvement. Her most significant project was as Director of Operations for Viacord, Inc., where she played a key role in the launch of a nationwide service for cord blood stem cell collection, preservation and transplantation. Immediately prior to joining OSP Contracts, she managed over 500 accounts at a local country club in addition to reinventing their publications and marketing materials. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management from Columbia University. Dette enjoys any design/build project (ask her about the purchase/renovation of her “as is” home!), volunteering and vegetable gardening. She loves spending time with her fiancĂ© and their rescued Labrador, Jackson.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bicentennial Scholars Fund Affirms UVA Commitment to Need-based Financial Aid

The recent announcement of the establishment of a permanent endowment that supports student scholarships at UVA has caused a ripple of excitement through the Student Financial Services (SFS) team at UVAFinance. 

The endowment, called the Bicentennial Scholars Fund, is a combination of philanthropic contributions and matching donations from the University’s Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). 

According to Scott Miller, Director of Student Financial Aid, the endowment is a strong affirmation of AccessUVA, the University’s commitment to making education at UVA accessible.

“If a student is admitted to UVA, and they have need, then we’re going to meet that need 100%,” says Miller. 

The endowment also represents a "tremendous amount of cooperation between Melody Bianchetto and UVAFinance and the office of University Advancement," says Mark Luellen, Vice President for Advancement.

Luellen says developing the initiative took a lot of work from many parties to “provide a way for donors to engage with the University’s number one priority, students.”

“The matching donations from the SIF mean we’re putting some skin in the game,” says Luellen, adding that SFS’s partnership in stewardship is vital.

In the flurry of activity that greets each new semester, Miller says he has enjoyed seeing scholarship agreements coming through for students.  He points out that while the Bicentennial Scholars Fund doesn’t necessarily change what the students see on their end of the transaction, it does change where the funds come from, and he tries to help students understand what it means when their scholarship comes from an endowed source.

“I try to point out to students that part of your scholarship is funded by an endowed source, and that usually means someone who wants to pay it forward and give back to their alma mater,” he says.

Miller says that students respond positively to this idea, and he hopes it plants a seed in their minds for their own future giving. 

The new endowment means the SFS team will be processing an increasing number of smaller gifts, and partnering with the Office of Advancement to follow the intent of donors, report back on recipients, and assist with student thank you cards, so that both donors and students experience a personal touch.

The cooperation with Advancement is just one example of how SFS works with other UVA departments and units to make sure students receive needed financial support.  The tight-knit relationships SFS has developed with areas such as housing and student affairs means that there’s a network watching out for students, who will refer students to SFS when unusual situations occur that might require tapping emergency funds.

Beyond walking students through the financial aid process, Miller says he and the SFS staff have also learned what to watch for with students, and what questions to ask, to make sure they’re well. 

“We actively look for ways to help,” says Miller.  

He says he’s run into a few instances of students without a home, and students who bounce between events on Grounds for the free food. 

“It’s not just about the bill,” he says.  “There are needs outside the bill, and we have to encourage the student to be up front about those needs.  That’s when we can figure out ways to help them out.”

Miller says he and the SFS team are heartened to have a strong collection of resources from which to draw in order to help students, and they are pleased, with the establishment of the Bicentennial Scholars Fund, to see continued strong commitment from UVA to providing need-based aid.

“We have great resources,” he says, “and a great school, and great students.  We’re glad to play a role in matching all of those up.”

Sponsored Programs is growing to meet the needs of the UVA Research Enterprise

OSP is adding talented individuals to its dedicated team.  We are pleased to welcome Wendy, Bill and Karin to the UVAFinance team. 

Wendy Charlton, Grants and Contracts Assistant
Wendy Charlton

Wendy has a diverse background, including work in research and analysis, policy development, capital analysis and budgeting, and more.  Most recently, she spent ten years as a special education teacher at Fluvanna and Louisa County High Schools. She has two degrees from UVA (a B.A. in English and an M.T. in Special Education) and an MBA in finance and nonprofit administration from the University of Chicago.  A lover of travelling, Wendy also enjoys weaving tapestries and spending time with her family. She’s excited to learn as much as she can about the world of sponsored programs.

Bill Schoelwer, Contract Negotiator

Bill Schoelwer
Bill has many years of business and legal experience that will serve him well as he takes on the work of negotiating contracts between UVA and other entities to facilitate research activities primarily within the School of Engineering and Applied Science.  Joining OSP by way of Indianapolis, Indiana, where he recently completed law school at Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law, Bill has worked in both New York and Chicago as a project manager for FactSect Research Systems.  His background also involves work with federal energy regulations, complex cases involving state governments, and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.  Bill enjoys hiking with his wife, Melissa, watching the occasional sporting event, and chasing around his nearly-two-year-old daughter, Vivian.

Karin Smith, Grants and Contracts Assistant

Karin Smith
Karin has a wealth of hands-on experience in data management and process development that spans various roles and industries.  She also has experience with procurement, development gift processing, and general office administration.  Her most recent experience was as the Human Resources “department of one” for a growing engineering and manufacturing federal contractor in Charlottesville.  As a member of the pre-award team, she will work to set up or extend the PTAOs for all grant and contract awards received by UVA, a process she finds gratifying and exciting.  Karin enjoys traveling to visit family, reading, and communing with her cats. 

You're Invited to the First Annual Travel and Expense Expo!

Click here to see the flyer!

Win prizes!  

Visit area travel vendors!

See the new Expense Management System in action!

Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services will host the first annual Travel and Expense Expo at Newcomb Hall Ballroom on Tuesday, February 21, from 10 am – 2pm.  

This event is geared toward both travelers and travel planners, and is a great way for them to learn more about the vendors who provide services at UVA, as well as travel and expense services within Procurement. 

 Over 25 vendors will be on hand with information, helpful tips, giveaways and prizes (free airline tickets, free hotel stays, and more!).  There will also be demonstrations of the Chrome River Expense Management System at 10 am and 1pm, and Travel Documents Systems will be available to process passports.  

Event sponsored by Bank of America, Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, Christopherson Business Travel, Chrome River, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.  

Light refreshments will be available; register at the door. Contact the Travel and Expense Team with questions.

Carruthers Hall Winter Blood Drive

The next Carruthers Hall Blood Drive will be held Friday, February 24, from 10 am - 2:30 pm.  To sign up, please contact Stacey Rittenhouse at 4-4294, or, go online to and sign up, using sponsor code "Carruthers Hall".  Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.  All donors must present a valid ID or Virginia Blood Services donor card at registration.  For a list of accepted IDs visit or call 1-800-989-4438.

Clarus boards for UVAFinance Announcements and Collaborative Space are ready for use!

Have those blank spaces in the main hall of the second floor given you itchy fingers yet?  It’s finally time to take advantage of them! 

Markers and erasers have been provided for your use.  The magnetic surfaces will be ready soon; in the meantime, feel free to tape materials to the surfaces.

The idea is that we use these spaces as additional channels of communication: sharing ideas, opportunities, and questions.  Please take a moment and read through these general guidelines before you use the boards.   

UVAFinance Announcements

What goes here?

  • UVAFinance events, classes, happenings, dates to remember
  • UVA events, classes, happenings
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Community events of educational interest
  • All items should have a clear contact number/email for questions/further info

What doesn’t go here:

  • Personal for sale or free or personal help wanted
  • No professional ads / business cards 

Remember:  We have a space by the back stairs for personal/for sale notices

UVAFinance Collaborative Space

What goes here? 

  • Recognition of colleagues / teams (use the Jeffersonian “You Rock” notes, or write your own!)
  • Requests for help with current projects (i.e., if you need to connect with someone with InDesign skills, or you need someone who knows American Sign Language, etc.)
  • Ideas for collaboration across UVAFinance departments
  • What ifs, great ideas, etc. 

If there is any confusion about where your item should go, contact Brandi Van Ormer    Boards will be routinely checked for out-of-date materials and supply refill; however, if you notice something that requires attention or about which you have questions, let Brandi  know.