Thursday, May 18, 2017

Batten School Proud of Early Adoption of UBI, Hopes Others Soon Follow Their Lead

The Batten School is among those leading the way in UBI adoption.
Known for producing innovative and forward-thinking leaders into the world, the Frank Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy now adds another first to their list as UVA forerunners: the early adoption of UBI, or University Business Intelligence, as an institutional data reporting environment.

Joining the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Batten School is the University of Virginia’s earliest adopting institution of UBI for GA and GL reporting. Charles Rush, Director of Budget and Finance at the Batten School, recalled the strategic vision for planning future progress laid out by the Batten School’s leader.

“The Dean [Allan Stam] had a strategic vision of moving toward more of an analytical role," Rush said. 

Rush, along with Katie Winters, Assistant Director for Budget and Finance, and Cindy Moore, Business Services Coordinator, are the Batten School’s early champions of the new reporting tool. 

He added the timing of adopting the UBI early in the transition window felt necessary for the Batten School “and very much so critical because a lot of the work that we were doing that is related to analysis was obviously done outside of Discoverer.”

Once Rush spent time settling into UBI, seeing the strength of the reporting first hand and the wealth of data that could be presented within the modules, he quickly realized the invaluable benefit the tool offered for achieving the school’s reporting goals. Rush stated he uses the environment for budgetary information, such as cash balances, budget summaries, as well as details. Looking back at the process, he laughed about the realization once UBI was in place. “Where has this been? Why did it take so long for us to get to this point?" 

When overcoming challenges she and other users faced in the previous reporting environment, Winters praised the functionality of the UBI environment in achieving the school’s reporting goals. 

Winters admitted she uses UBI on a daily basis for traditional reporting and for answering questions that are upcoming in her role, such as tracking budget, payroll, and human resources-related information.

“I think it goes back to not having standard questions that I'm answering all the time,” Winters said. 

“Whatever someone wants me to find, as long as I know what fields to click, I can get an answer for them. 

“Maybe it's because of the culture at Batten, but we aren't just looking at the same reports month after month. We're asking it questions all the time and trying to find the different ways that the data are interacting. UBI is just so much a better tool for doing that.”

Rush and Waters both praised UBI for its ability to produce dynamic reports quickly and accurately, from traditional data reporting to ad-hoc, or custom, in design. As the Batten School uses UBI daily, Rush is working with Mark Anderson and the MRP (Managerial Reporting Project) team on expanding the school’s reporting goals.

“[The transition process has] been great. We've had the opportunity to work with Mark, and we're continuing down that path of being able to address and answering some of those questions through some customization of the tool.”

The Batten School is among the first institutions at leading the transition of users into early-adopting UBI (University Business Intelligence), UVA’s new enterprise reporting environment, for reporting financial and non-financial data as well as data stewardship and governance. The Batten School set a goal of February 28, 2017 for its UBI adoption – and for ceasing usage of Discoverer, the University’s previous financial reporting tool. Discoverer will reach its sunset – or ending – period by August 2017.

The transition posed some early obstacles for Rush. While he was excited at the prospect of using UBI for reporting, he’d formed a routine using Discoverer exclusively for the previous 15 years. “[The transition] just took a long time for me to adjust,” Rush said. “I could see what [UBI] could do, so that wasn't the issue. It was just more trying to make that leap in your mind.

“You have to have a different mindset when you're dealing with this tool, because you got used to operating this way for so long; downloading, uploading, doing your own thing - being in control - and now you have something that can actually do that for you.”

Winters admitted her experience creating numerous reports in her previous administrative roles at UVA made her aware of the limitations of the previous reporting tool, and was a likely factor in making an easier switch to UBI. “I found Discoverer very challenging to use to answer ad hoc questions. So when UBI came, I was able to tell it ‘this is the type of information I want.’ I found that much easier.”

“We are happy that this tool is in place now, but there is more that we want it to do,” added Rush.

And words of wisdom for those who may be reluctant of transitioning into the new reporting environment?

Waters offered support for new converts and those who have not yet made the transition to UBI.

 “The resistance that I have heard from people has mainly been focused around ‘this doesn't look the way I expect it to. I can't find the columns in the place that I want them to be,’” she explained. “It's just getting over that initial [learning curve]. You can make it look however you want, you just need to spend the time to figure out how to do it.

“Once you get [reports] into that format, it's pretty simple,” Walters concluded. “And then, don't stop there - just have fun with it and see what information you can get out of it. It's hard to find the time just to dedicate just playing around in the system. So when you do have the time, make time to do it because it's worthwhile. You are going to find new things you haven't been able to understand before.”

What do you want to see on the Lunch and Learn Menu?

For the past nine months, the UVAFinance employee Engagement Committee, in partnership with Finance Outreach and Compliance, has offered Lunch and Learn sessions for UVAFinance team members. Presentations have included topics meant to broaden your professional horizons, add to your knowledge of UVA services and programs, and even help you in your day to day work.

As we look at our upcoming schedule, we’d like to hear from the UVAFinance team on what topics would get you to join us for a Lunch and Learn. We welcome your suggestions of speakers and/or subject matter.

Have a topic on which you’d like to share your expertise? Please contact or Patty Marbury to share your feedback or get on the schedule!

Hope to see you at a Lunch and Learn session soon!

Putting Together the Pieces: Semi-Annual Endowment Spending Distribution

This July will be busy for Wanda Breeden. Breeden, who works in Financial Operations as Assistant Director for Investment Services, is gearing up for the semi-annual endowment spending distribution.

January and July are the two times per year when money made on UVA’s endowment, which is in the Long Term Pool invested and managed by the University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO), is shared out to schools and units within UVA.

For Fiscal Year 2017, the distribution was over $196 million; for Fiscal Year 2018, it will be over $200 million.

For departments, which have been expecting the distribution, this time of the year means funding and budgeting their projects.

For Breeden, it’s a time of assembling puzzle pieces.
Wanda Breeden of UVAFinance

“I have about 2000 accounts that make up all the pieces of the puzzle,” she said.

“I have to tie all of those back to UVIMCO in terms of total share and market value, and then I dissemble those and share them out to departments.”

Breeden has been a part of financial services at UVA for thirty years, nearly all of which have involved work with gift and endowment accounts. Her work behind the scenes has changed a lot since she began, going from spreadsheets and manual effort to loading and tracking money in Fundriver, Financial Operations’ endowment accounting system.

“There’s definitely a tight window between getting the funds processed and distributed,” Breeden said.

This summer, she’ll again be balancing the important task of endowment distribution with year-end duties, nimbly working a 2,000 piece puzzle so that UVA can carry on with its important work.

Supporting the Research Mission: UVA Joins ACTA

The Office of Sponsored Programs has moved forward with additional efficiency in clinical trial contracts by joining the Accelerated Clinical Trial Agreement (ACTA). ACTA’s ‘master agreement’ basis can expedite the startup of clinical trials by reducing the average time for contract terms negotiation by almost half.

ACTA was developed through the NIH Clinical Translational Science Award Network to create a standard agreement to accelerate the contracting process between sponsors and entities registered to the ACTA. It is essentially a pre-negotiated contract that covers the terms and conditions for clinical trials.

“Our participation in ACTA is another way we can support the research mission at UVA,” said Kristy Hall, Director of Contracts in Sponsored Programs.

“Complex contract negotiations are often identified as a major barrier to efficient study initiation, and ACTA can streamline this process,” she added.

Language in the ACTA strikes a fair balance between the concerns of both UVA and sponsors. Participation in the ACTA is voluntary, and use of the ACTA depends on the agreement with the sponsor.

Contact Kristy Hall or Lynn Koplin in Sponsored Programs for more information.

ExpenseUVA by the Numbers

It's been a month since the launch of ExpenseUVA.  See the graphic below for a snapshot of how things are going so far!

Click the image to view larger
Go to for more information about ExpenseUVA.

UVAFinance Team Members Earn COSO Certification

Change is constant at UVA, and new technologies and processes require a robust system of internal control. Recently, several UVAFinance team members were among those who completed training on the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) Framework. The COSO training provided them with more tools to use in the pursuit of effective risk management and increased compliance.

UVA Chief Audit Executive Carolyn Saint led the effort to bring COSO training to UVA’s compliance professionals. After an intense period of classroom training, self-paced learning, and an exam, attendees earned a COSO Internal Control certificate.

“COSO offers a useful framework, and we can apply it to what we do. The COSO methodology ties well to the seven elements of an effective compliance policy that comprise our institutional compliance policy at UVA,” said Gary Nimax, Assistant Vice President for Compliance.

Kelly Hochstetler, Director of Finance Outreach and Compliance, also completed the training, and will promote adoption of the COSO framework within UVAFinance, as it is specifically referenced in both the Uniform Guidance, which are the terms and conditions associated with Federal assistance awards, and the Commonwealth's Agency Risk Management and Internal Controls Standards (ARMICS). Hochstetler and Nimax will also present the COSO framework to UVA’s Compliance Network, subject-matter experts from the University’s major compliance areas, as a useful tool in assessing their own programs.

After their in-depth exposure to COSO, all who completed the training can now go back to their particular area and apply their knowledge, using the COSO principles to identify possible weaknesses in communication, risk assessment, monitoring, and other control activities.

Congratulations to all who completed COSO training:

UVAFinance: Urmila Bajaj, Christine Carrizosa, Lynn Galasso, and Kelly Hochstetler.

UVA Audit: JJ Sullivan, Phil Stavropoulos, Ralph Traylor, Dan Reid, Kathy Kimball, Molly Castle, Sam Richardson, Neal Ley, Christine Kennedy, and Linda Freeman

Gary Nimax, Assistant VP for Compliance

Carolyn Saint, Chief Audit Executive

To learn more about COSO, visit

Welcome Tanya Rahman, Senior Project Manager in Financial Planning and Analysis

Tanya Rahman,
Senior Project Manager
UVAFinance is pleased to welcome Tanya Rahman to Financial Planning and Analysis. As she begins her role as Senior Project Manager, Rahman will be at the helm of a number of upcoming initiatives, including automation of the vendor experience in Procurement and implementation of a Budget and Forecasting application.

Rahman has over 15 years of experience in project management, system improvement, and team leadership. Most recently, she was at General Electric, where she developed program management processes and coached program teams on financial, resource, tollgate, scope change, schedule change, and risk management.

She has an MBA from Lynchburg College, is a Six Sigma Black Belt and a Certified Scrum Master. After earning her degree, she joined the faculty of the City University of New York as a mathematics instructor for four years, and then went on to project management roles at Genworth Financial and Centra before joining General Electric.

Rahman has also used her skill set leading service projects in her community, including fundraisers for the March of Dimes and the Blue Ridge Community Food Bank.

Rahman cites her affinity for change as one reason she has stuck with her chosen field.

“When you work in project management, you’re constantly working on new challenges, and figuring out new ways of doing things,” she said.

Another reason she loves what she does? People!

“Efficiency and improved experience are tied to what I do,” she said, adding, “I get to create enhanced work experiences for people and improve their lives.”

When she begins a new project, Rahman said she starts by getting to know the people who are receiving the product so she can understand how the change will affect them. That starting place is the same, whether she is working with students or professionals.

“When I taught remedial math, I enjoyed seeing the students move from having a phobia of math to a place where math is something they can do and maybe even enjoy. The unfamiliar can be unsettling. In my role, I get to guide people through change, and help them get to a place where things are easier for them.”

“I enjoy seeing the transformation,” she said.

Notes from the Mayor

A collection of upcoming dates, useful info, and general intelligence you need, straight from the desk of Carruthers Mayor Stacey Rittenhouse  . . . just in case you deleted the email.

Construction Alert:  North End of Carruthers Hall

Starting Tuesday, May 23, 2017; contractors will be working to install bollards along the north end of Carruthers Hall. This project is expected to take 10 working days to complete, weather permitting. Working hours will be 7:am until 5:pm daily.

Access to the building will be limited on the north end during construction. However, north egress for emergencies will still be allowed.

Please see map below marked in red for location.

Carruthers Hall Blood Drive on May 22

The Bloodmobile will be here on Monday, May 22, from 10:00 am - 2:30 pm.  Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.  Please sign up with Stacey Rittenhouse or go online at 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Registration is OPEN for UVAForward! 
When registration for the UVAForward Conference opened on May 1, there was an incredible surge of activity in the first few days.  There have already been over 200 registrants, so don't wait too long if you haven't already registered!

Go to to see the agenda, read about the speakers, and, of course, register.  Managers are encouraged to make allowances for staff members to attend, as this event provides many great opportunities for professional networking, growth, and development.

Sponsored Programs and Procurement: Moving research forward from behind the scenes

As described in a recent UVAToday piece, George Christ, a professor of biomedical engineering and orthopedic surgery at UVA, is leading the way for UVA to participate in a consortium of other industry, government, academic and non-profit entities whose goal it is to find common denominators in the cell and tissue engineering process in order to develop improved and more consistent manufacturing processes. Christ is also at the helm of two multi-institutional efforts to develop other tissue-engineering/biomaterials platforms to support pilot clinical trials funded by the Department of Defense.

Dr. Christ says Sponsored Programs and Procurement
play a key role in moving research forward at UVA.
For Christ, who also leads UVA’s Laboratory of Regenerative Therapeutics, the long-term goal is repairing combat injuries of US soldiers. Bioprinting provides another important platform for developing regenerative approaches to muscle tissue repair.

There was only one company that could provide the technology that delivered the level of expertise and resources required for the precise cell placement and connectivity required for muscle tissue replacement in the presence of minimal bio ink:  a west-coast based company called Organovo.

As Christ explained, “they have developed an instrument and approach that is unlike any other; they have nearly 10 years of know-how, but they’re not experts in muscle like we are.  And if a company has 10 years of expertise, I don’t want to spend 10 years catching up to them; I want to collaborate on things that are of mutual interest.”

 “What we do is outside their bandwidth, but we’re really good at it, and vice-versa, so there was a natural synergy,” said Christ.

Christ proposed to Organovo that they lease their bioprinter to UVA and agree to share protected know-how with each other.

Although Organovo was very interested in Christ’s proposal, they wanted a thorough understanding of timeline, outcomes, and other parameters.  What was needed was a carefully-arranged agreement detailing what both sides of this partnership could expect in terms of intellectual property, timelines, milestones and more, details that Christ recognized as obviously important, but not something he wanted to have to figure out himself.

Christ reached out to Kristy Hall, Director of Contracts in the Office of Sponsored Programs, and Hall took the challenge of mapping out the internal and external partnerships that were needed to effect an agreement between Organovo and UVA. 

Close coordination between several people and departments would be required for the agreement to take shape in the time frame that Christ and his team required.

“This is a ‘non-funded’ agreement in the Sponsored Programs sense,” said Hall; “and things aren’t straightforward because the contract falls into that space between Procurement and Sponsored Programs.”

Because of that intersection, Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services and the Office of Sponsored Programs would need to coordinate on which area was responsible for what pieces of the contract and work out what risks might affect either group.

Hall conferred with John McHugh, Assistant Director of Procurement Services, and together they hashed out the concerns that would need to be addressed from each of their perspectives – things like indemnification, governing law, risk management, intellectual property and data security concerns. 
It made sense that Sponsored Programs would handle the agreement, while Procurement would help them navigate the University’s requirements for competition.

“Clearly, it wasn’t possible for any other company to compete with Organovo in this instance,” said McHugh. 

“Because we do a lot of work with research and development, though, we have guidelines in place that exempt research purchases, in some cases, from the sole source process and reduce the paperwork involved.”
Bill Shoelwer of Sponsored Programs

With that solid footing, Hall was then able to turn the negotiation of the contracts over to Bill Schoelwer in Sponsored Programs, who began crafting a custom-built agreement with lots of complicated factors in play.

Schoelwer realized right away that the stakes were high with this project.  On day two of Schoelwer’s negotiations with Organovo, the article describing George Christ and Shayn Pierce-Cottler’s research appeared in UVAToday.

“The work they’re doing is so important,” said Schoelwer.

 “I felt extra motivated based on the important outcomes at stake to make sure I did my part well.  We’re expecting there to be important developments coming out of this project, and we want to account for that in the agreement and make sure all parties’ interests are accommodated.”

According to Christ, Sponsored Programs “helped keep the pendulum in the middle” in terms of making sure both UVA and Organovo felt comfortable with the terms of the collaboration, its goals, and what happened with the resulting and potentially groundbreaking developments.

The agreement was soon completed to all parties’ satisfaction and the deal was closed within the required timeframe, and as a result, Christ and his lab are set up with the right machinery to support their minds and goals.

“There were so many collaborators who worked on this,” Christ said, adding “there’s a whole ecosystem in place that helps move these key advancements forward.”

For those collaborators in PSDS and Sponsored Programs, they’re just happy the work they do helps support UVA’s research mission. 

“These are the types of things that keep me excited about what we do every day,” said Hall. 
Schoelwer said he can’t wait to see what happens with the project.  “I’ll be checking the newspapers to see what happens,” he said. 

“I’m glad I got to be behind the scenes, enabling researchers to do what they’re best at.”

Rittenhouse, Kimata win UVA recognition

With spring comes awards season at UVA, and two impressive UVAFinance Team members are among those who have recently received recognition.

Stacey Rittenhouse, Winner of the Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award

Outstanding contribution to the overall mission of the University.  Contributions that have enhanced internal or public regard for the services provided by the University.  Service that has affected students, management, employees, or the community.

Upon reviewing the above selection criteria for the Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award, Lorie Strother, SWaM Contract Administrator, had a candidate in mind immediately:  Stacey Rittenhouse. 
Stacey Rittenhouse receiving notification
of her award, along with flowers and

“Every time I leave Stacey, I feel like a boss,” Strother said.

“She always has a big smile, is totally attentive, and will even step away from her desk and come with me, so I can show her what I need.  I know that she cares about my concerns, that she’s listening carefully to that concern, and that she will follow up.”

Stacey Rittenhouse’s official title is “Business Manager,” but many know her as “Mayor of Carruthers,” an unofficial (and voluntary) position she’s held for nearly as long as her 30-year tenure at UVA.  

In her official role, Rittenhouse is in charge of a plethora of administrative duties, including procurement, reconciliations, and all matters regarding the facility.  Unofficially, she is one of those people who seems to know everything and can help with virtually any question.  During the Carruthers Hall renovation, Rittenhouse, a consummate juggler of disparate tasks, took on even more responsibilities, and kept the entire building in the loop during the construction process, as the physical surroundings changed nearly every day.

“Stacey is everywhere, doing everything,” said Elizabeth Feola, Employee Recognition Specialist.  Feola adds that out of 39 nominations from all over Grounds, only Rittenhouse and four others were chosen as winners.

Strother said it wasn’t difficult to find several colleagues who were willing to add their support to Rittenhouse’s nomination. 

“My experience with Stacey isn’t isolated, it’s universal,” said Strother.

“She isn’t just making me feel good about working with her, she’s making everyone’s experience great.”

Rittenhouse will be honored at the Service Awards Dinner this June, and will also be invited to lunch with the Board of Visitors, receive an engraved gift, and be nominated for a Governor’s Award.

Steve Kimata, Winner of the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award

The University of Virginia Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award is given annually by the association to a classified employee who has exhibited leadership qualities that serve as an inspiring example to his or her colleagues, and whose service involves direct contact with UVA students, faculty, and alumni.

This past April, this recognition was awarded to Steve Kimata, the Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Services (and Interim University Controller), in UVAFinance. 

Kimata has a long history with finance, having also served as the bursar and the controller in the past.   An alum of UVA, a 35 year employee, and the parent of a UVA second-year student, he was imminently qualified for the award, and his nomination, initiated by Disha Venkatesan of UVAFinance, immediately garnered much support from those who have worked with him.

“I admire Steve’s management ability,” said Venkatesan. 

“He is a transformational leader who puts his employees and customers first.”

Supporters of his nomination noted the way Kimata motivates his team every day to do what they can do to change the lives of UVA students, especially those who are in financial need. They cited his strength at relationship-building, and how he challenges his staff to understand the story behind the financial aid application, the tuition bill, and the unpaid notice.  They recounted the way he advises students and parents, helping them understand their part in creating the best possible way for the student to succeed. 

“Even during the tough situations, Steve has a calming presence,” said one SFS staff member.

Kimata was honored at an Awards Luncheon at Alumni Hall on April 21.  In her remarks for the occasion, Vice President of Finance Melody Bianchetto cited many of the kudos for Kimata that poured in to support his nomination, but as she pointed out, one particular comment sums him up most aptly:

“There is one final note about Steve that everyone needs to know.  As he’s sitting here today, he will disagree with the idea that he is the person who makes these things happen.  He will say that it’s all the people who have helped him along the way, and the people who he works with on a daily basis that make things work so well.  And that’s Steve.  And that’s exactly the reason he deserves to be given the Alumni Distinguished Service Award.”

A note about nominating

Your deserving colleagues only win awards if someone like you nominates them. 

In the words of Lorie Strother, who not only nominated Stacey Rittenhouse, but also one of last year’s Sandridge winners, Connie Alexander, “There are so many amazing people here at the University.  I’m glad we have these types of opportunities to recognize them.  We just need to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Consider how you can help the amazing people you work with get some recognition.  In addition to the awards mentioned, you can also consider Organizational Excellence’s Spotlight on Excellence
 or even a shoutout on the UVAFinance Collaboration board.

New Faces in UVAFinance

Managerial Reporting Welcomes Matt Bonham

The Managerial Reporting Project is pleased to welcome Matt Bonham in the role of Communications Lead.  Matt joins UVA after ten-plus years of creative work in commercial photography, content writing, editing, marketing, photojournalism, and project management. Prior to pulling his restored vintage Airstream travel trailer to Charlottesville, he lived and worked in the Roanoke area, where he earned his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Roanoke College and his MBA from Averett University. He is excited to join UVAFinance and the MRP team as a communicator.  Outside of the office, Matt enjoys music, reading, writing, hiking, biking, camping, and exploring outdoors as much as possible - even though the majority of that time is currently spent on another money pit - building an adventure van.

Elizabeth Wilson Joins Sponsored Programs

Elizabeth DeVilbiss Wilson recently joined the Sponsored Programs team as a Grants and Contracts Assistant.  In this role, she will create new awards, projects, and budgets in the system, and support grant administrators and Principal Investigators.  Wilson brings a background that spans work at both nonprofit organizations and The U.S. Department of State, as well as a variety of roles related to international issues.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in History and Spanish and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from James Madison University.  In 2015 she was selected as the Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellow, where she performed grants and contracts management and processing for conventional weapons destruction programs around the world.   Wilson looks forward to using her experiences to contribute to the overall goals of the Office of Sponsored Programs, and to learning more about the breadth and depth of research being done at UVA. 

Notes from the Mayor

Deputy Mayor Mariah at her post.

Welcome, Deputy Mayor Mariah Kier!

In addition to her role at the Front Desk, Mariah Kier will also assist Stacey Rittenhouse as Deputy Mayor and with general UVAFinance Administrative Services Group (ASG) efforts.  We are happy to announce that ASG will now support the MRP team and Mariah will be the MRP team’s point person within ASG.

Mariah has been helping with Front Desk work since January 2017 and we have received fantastic reviews for her friendly personality and customer service. She recently graduated from VCU specializing in political science and International relations. 

Please congratulate Mariah the next time you see her.

From Melody's Desk

May 4, 2017

Dear Team, 

This April, I had the privilege of addressing attendees of the Spring 2017 Fiscal Officers of Colleges and Universities State Supported (FOCUS).  I shared with the group that one of the major changes underway at UVA is the HR transformation project we know as Ufirst.   My remarks were sparked by a book that Kelley Stuck, the new Chief Human Resources Officer who is leading this change, recommended to me:  The Future of Work, by Jacob Morgan.

Morgan describes future employees, future managers, and future organizations, focusing in particular how work will change with new generations entering the workplace. This is important, because the changes are coming quickly, and, in some ways, already here. In just three years, millennials (those born between 1977 and 1997) will make up over half of the country’s workforce (they already represent around half of the workforce in MRP, SFS, and OSP).  At about the same time, the next generation, born around the year 2000, will be coming to work, and both groups have very different expectations of communication, collaboration, and learning.

What will we do to prepare ourselves for the future state of work?

Starting with our Appreciative Inquiry process, we have begun the process of creating a culture of community, breaking down our traditional organizational groupings into a more connected, larger team:

We have re-organized our administrative, IT, communications, financial, and process improvement teams to work in a more matrixed manner.  We have a biweekly blog, where we share information about new employees, organizational successes, and finance news.  We are focused on employee engagement, collaboration, service excellence, and rewards and recognition.  We have renovated spaces to allow for collaboration, discussion, and exchange of ideas.  We hold regular gatherings, monthly UVAFinance days, and have division-wide training sessions that mix team members together. 

These are just a few steps we have taken to learn to be an organization of the future, and they are steps that have allowed this team to become more close-knit and collaborative.

I would add that we need to continue to explore, fundamentally, why we are here and how we can better enable the University’s mission to deliver exceptional education, research, and patient care . . . what role can we finance play in UVA achieving that mission?  How can we deliver on the promise to be the valued and trusted financial partner that the University community turns to first?

To do this, we will need to make an investment in time, energy and money in three key areas:

·       People:  How do we deliver training and development to current and future employees that Morgan describes as accessible anytime and anywhere, open and transparent, and collaborated and communicating in new ways?  In addition to conferences, formal educational experiences and online experiences, we have created a Management Development Program to look at specific skills needed to be a manager.  We are looking at competency-based hiring and performance evaluation.  We have partnered with a Darden faculty member to create a Leading a Lean Transformation certificate program to instill a culture and provide training on real tools to improve processes.  Next, we want to develop a curriculum to create business analytical skills.  We have held mandatory training on respectful workplaces, multi-cultural fluency, and IT security.  We regularly hold lunch and learn sessions and have developed UVAForward, an annual conference for administrative employees.

·       Processes:  How do we transform from the group that has a focus to enforce federal and state regulations to one that enables innovation, creativity, and discovery while still maintaining compliance, data integrity, and accuracy? We have implemented an incentive-based resource allocation approach to provide information and insight into revenues and expenses at the school level.  We have been learning how to eliminate waste and transform core processes.  We are getting trained on COSO, in order to develop a robust, effective, and appropriate internal controls structure.  We are updating policies and developing a template for standardized operating procedures.  We are working with IT and the provost office to develop an institutional data strategy to provide and govern the balance between compliance and transparency, standardization and flexibility.  We are beginning the process to design a chart of accounts that provides data and information as needed for an executive or board level, but also provides flexibility for data analytics desired by a dean or faculty member.

·       Systems: How do we ensure that core transactional systems can deliver functionality in a way that supports desired service delivery and support the future organizations that Morgan described as connected, adaptable, evolving, and constantly innovating? We are implementing a data warehouse and business intelligence tool, UBI, and an online support community, UBIC.  We are developing our own research administration platform and faculty portal, ResearchUVA.  We have implemented ExpenseUVA, a travel and expense management tool.  We will have WorkDay payroll and are beginning initial thoughts around labor distribution.  We are nearing the selection of a tool to take our budget and planning process out of excel spreadsheets, and partnering with IT to make minor adjustments that will have a big impact on our current financial systems.

There are lots of changes, but with change comes opportunity and uneasiness as we move to the unfamiliar, which is understandable!  It will take a careful balance of paying attention to our people, to our processes, and to our systems, to make this transformation into the “future workplace.”  

I am confident that the UVAFinance Team is up to the challenge.