Thursday, January 25, 2018

SFS and Admissions: partnering to help early action applicants

Students and families need clarity when making decisions regarding college, and it’s not just academic programs and location that make a difference: it’s the availability of financial aid.

“Families are sitting down and crunching the numbers,” said Kelsey Bowles, Assistant Dean of Admissions at UVA.

“For many, especially in first generation college families and low-income families, the most important factor they consider is whether or not they can afford it,” she said.

Mary Fields of Student Financial Services
Scott Miller, Director of Financial Aid in Student Financial Services, says this is why it is critical for UVA to get financial aid packages to students as soon as possible, and why the financial aid staff in SFS has been hard at work since December review financial aid applications in anticipation of awarding the financial aid packages for thousands of early action students.

The early action process allows students to apply and hear back on an accelerated schedule. UVA’s early action application deadline is November 1, and those applicants receive decisions at the end of January instead of the end of March, when regular admission decisions are made.

“Even though UVA meets 100% of demonstrated need, if students don’t have a clear understanding of their financial aid package, they will choose the school who gave that understanding to them sooner,” Bowles said. 

Software partnership will reduce administrative burden, improve efficiency in UVAFinance

A partnership with the School of Medicine (SOM) and School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) will soon make it easier for UVAFinance LSPs to address the technological needs of their clients.
Click to view larger

KACE software has components that were of great interest to UVAFinance ASG-LSP team member Mike Hayton. The software’s ability to automate by reducing data entry, the way it allows users to download approved software on their own time, and its ability to remotely solve user issues were all attractive and made problem-solving easier and more efficient. But for a small department, the cost was prohibitive.

Those costs had put the software out of reach for use in Finance until, at a meeting on Grounds, Hayton discovered through routine networking that SOM had been using KACE for nearly a year and a half and it was working as promised in the sales pitch.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Join the UVAFinance Book Club!

Our first book is Wait, What?: And Life's Other Essential Questions, by UVA's incoming President, James Ryan.  The book is a fun, inspiring read, and only 127 pages long.  It's also available via audiobook.

We'll have sessions on February 12 and March 15, from 12pm - 1pm in Carruthers -2.  All are welcome!

More about the book:

More about James Ryan:

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Upcoming Finance Training

Following are the upcoming courses, workshops, labs, and Brown Bag Sessions for February-March, 2018.

We hope you will take advantage of these professional development opportunities for finance professionals. Links to enroll via Employee Self-Service are available from the Events section on the Finance Outreach and Compliance website at

  • Finance Fundamentals
What is UVA’s mission? What is the Code of Ethics and why is it important? What is the organizational structure of UVA and where do you fit in? What is a PTAEO? What are the sources of revenue at UVA and how are funds processed? What do you need to know about internal controls, and what are some best practices to follow? In this class you will get answers to these questions and more, as well as have an opportunity to interact and network with other administrative professionals. This class is a required course for access to the finance applications in the Integrated System, but is also open to anyone who wants to learn about UVA’s financial operations.

    • February 13, 1:30-4:30
    • February 27, 1:30-4:30
    • March 13, 1:30-4:30
o   March 29, 1:30-4:30
    • All sessions are held in Carruthers Hall, Conference room 2

  • Reconciling Expenditures in Recon@UVA (formerly Mastering Account Reconciliations)
All departments spend money, whether it is for office supplies, equipment, or personnel. It is important to reconcile these purchases each month to maintain strong internal control standards. This course is designed to help UVA staff and faculty who prepare, review and approve expenditure reconciliations navigate these processes in the Recon@UVA system. We will discuss how to accurately complete monthly expenditure reconciliations for transactions that occur in the Integrated System’s Grants Management (GM) module in compliance with UVA policy and procedures.
    • March 8, 1:30-4:00
    • Carruthers Hall, Carr-2

**Mark your calendars! The UVAForward 2018 conference will be held on Thursday, May 24. More details will be coming soon!**

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

Feel free to share this information to other colleagues, and managers, please forward to your staff.  Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Learn more about Workspace Workspace: An Overview

Tuesday, February 6th in Newcomb Hall South Meeting Room from 12:00-1:00.

Lunch will be provided, and space is limited to 30 attendees.

Josh Richards, Senior Grant and Contract Administrator, Office of Sponsored Programs
Tonia Cable, Senior Grant and Contract Administrator, Office of Sponsored Programs

Workspace is the standard way for organizations to now apply for federal grants in, replacing Adobe packages and allowing a grant team to develop, complete, and submit proposal packages. This session is designed to go over the process of developing and submitting a proposal through Workspace. Topics covered will include data elements, guidelines, and the proposal submission process, as well as the connections to internal processes at UVA. Best practices will also be discussed.

Register here.

Registration will close at the end of the day on Thursday February 1st

Valentine's Day Blood Drive at Carruthers Hall

Donate blood. Support life.

Carruthers Hall   
Valentine's Day Blood Drive
Wednesday, February 14
10 am - 2:30 pm
On the Bloodmobile

To sign up, contact Stacey Rittenhouse at 924-4294, or visit 

Appointments are preferred; walk-ins are welcome.

Be one of the first to see Workday!

The second Workday prototype is done, and Ufirst is ready to show you what they’ve been working on! Make plans to come to one of the preview and feedback sessions being held to ensure the system and processes meet your needs and expectations.

Two sessions are available:   

Academic Division Session – Register
Thursday, February 22
1:00p.m. – 5:00 p.m. │ Newcomb Hall

UVA Health System Session – Register
Tuesday, February 27
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. │ Pinn Hall Conference Center

In addition to the exclusive preview of the technology and HR processes, you’ll be able to check out sessions, interact with the software, ask questions of the HR team, and enter to win prizes. 

What do you need to know about Controlled Unclassified Information?

As UVA researchers pursue more applied and translational research projects in partnership with federal, industry, and foundation collaborators, it is important for all of us involved in the research enterprise to understand the definition of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and the issues surrounding it. 

CUI covers a broad variety of information that may be used in University research and administrative activities; for example, patient medical records, student records, data provided in student financial aid applications, and research results subject to publication restrictions. 

Check out the University's CUI webpage for a general overview of what you need to know about CUI and how it is safeguarded and managed at UVA (includes guidance documents and training materials!).

See the Finance Discoverer Sunset

It's going to be a beautiful sunset! 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Taking Service a Step Further

Student Financial Services and the Office of Financial Planning and Analysis Offer Assistance During Tuition & Fee Setting

This past fall, Student Financial Services teamed up with the Office of Financial Planning and Analysis (the “budget office”) to trek across Grounds to visit with multiple UVA schools and units during a very special time of the academic year: tuition and fee increase request time.

Every year, schools and units establish their budgets for all programs. Part of the process is deciding what tuition and fees rates to charge. It’s a complex process that the Office of Financial Planning and Analysis (OFP&A) had already helped to streamline last year by putting together a centralized tool for submitting the requests.

The brainchild of Disha Venkatesan and Jennifer Hale, the “Tuition and Fee Tool,” was built by CACS in partnership with representatives from OFP&A SFS, and EA-ITS SIS Finance. It has made the process easier and more visible for all the UVA entities with a stake in the tuition & fee setting process, but this year, Sarah Doran of Student Financial Services realized there was still an opportunity for UVAFinance to collaborate with its stakeholders: proactive, face to face conversations.

Carruthers Hall Improvements: Many partners help produce great results

Carruthers Hall has not necessarily been known for its beauty.

Traditionally, it looks its best in early spring, when a flood of daffodils bloom near the main entrance. At most other times of the year, the grounds around it are leafy or muddy or otherwise fairly bare, and sprinkled with worn-down spots where people have beaten their own paths to cross Emmet Street.

Carruthers Hall before exterior renovations.
We can't wait to post an "after" picture
this spring!
 Yet Carruthers serves many visitors from across Grounds including students and parents. For some time, some improvements have been needed.

Besides ongoing renovation work within the building, a steady stream of activity has been taking place with the aim of improving both the appearance and safety of Carruthers’ exterior spaces. Those projects have been the result of much-appreciated collaboration with many departments and funding from diverse sources.

Over the course of three years, parking and walkways have been improved, and outdoor seating and spaces have been added. And, says Disha Venkatesan of UVAFinance, there is still more to come.

See the SIS Discoverer Sunset in 2018!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Temporary relocation of Finance Outreach & Compliance

Ongoing renovation and office space reconfiguration in Carruthers Hall has required Finance Outreach and Compliance staff to vacate their office suite until March 2018, when they will relocate to a new office space within Carruthers. Most FOC staff will work remotely during the transition time, while others will remain in temporary office spaces on Grounds.

FOC staff members are available as normal via their direct dial telephone numbers, email addresses, and on Skype. They will also frequently be on Grounds and in Carruthers for meetings, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have needs.


Kennedy returns to Outreach & Compliance

We couldn't resist the "New Adventures"joke.

This December, Christine E. Kennedy joined Finance Outreach and Compliance (FOC) as a Compliance Analyst. Kennedy is no stranger to compliance: she was on the compliance team when it was part of Sponsored Programs for nearly four years before moving to the University Audit Department three years ago.

In her new role, Kennedy will review, revise, and write policy and procedure, and make certain UVA well-positioned within the changing regulatory landscape. She describes her position as “her old job on steroids,” and as a role of service to the University community.

Mark your calendar!

You won't want to miss the 2nd Annual Travel and Expense Expo!  Watch for more details soon . . .

Student Financial Services welcomes Kris Hopkins

As Associate Director for Undergraduate Financial Aid, Kris Hopkins manages the undergraduate need-based aid team in Student Financial Services. New to this role and to UVA as of December 4, Hopkins has a wealth of experience in financial aid, most recently at Colgate University, as well as experience in career services, alumni affairs, and even government relations. 

 The thread that ties her background together is a love of facilitating: helping others to clear obstacles so they can do what they feel they’re meant to do.

In her new role at UVA, Hopkins looks forward to working with the undergraduate aid team to help students and families understand the sometimes complex world of financial aid.

Small Dollar Purchase Limit Raised

As of January 7, 2018, the small dollar purchase limit has changed from $5,000 to $10,000. Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services and the Office of Sponsored Programs partnered to implement this change, which puts the University in line with new federal grant small dollar purchase limits, and also reduces the administrative burden of purchasing, invoicing, and receiving processes for University departments.