Thursday, July 26, 2018

Finance Strategic Transformation Update

UVAFinance is wrapping up a few remaining details with our consulting partner for the Assessment and Planning Phase of Finance Strategic Transformation.  We expect the consultants to be on Grounds very soon and that meetings with stakeholders will begin in August.

We welcome your questions/concerns -- get in touch with us at 

Meet President Ryan on his first day!

You’re invited to a University-wide ice cream party on 8/1, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – come meet incoming President Ryan and enjoy some free Ben & Jerry’s!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Travel & Expense Team Welcomes Sharon Farina to Procurement

Sharon Farina has joined the Travel & Expense team in Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services as a Travel and Expense Analyst, a role which, given her background in data analysis and her penchant for travel, seems to be a perfect choice.

Farina has worked in a temporary capacity in Travel and Expense and Accounts Payable since January of 2016. In her current role, she puts her problem solving and trend analysis skills to work in developing reports for audit purposes and identifying opportunities for improvement within the Travel & Expense program.

Farina’s work background involves analyst positions at both Bank of America and New Century Mortgage.

She has an MBA from Case Western Reserve University (in a joint program with Central European University) and her studies were completed in Budapest, Hungary – and that’s not even the furthest reach of her travel. Originally she is from Chicago, but she has lived on both coasts and in Texas, and has traveled extensively around Europe.

In addition to traveling, Farina enjoys reading and learning more about technology. She has found the environment around Charlottesville to be a perfect setting for another of her pursuits, photography.

Online Finance Community Launching this Fall

What's so great about an online community?

You may have heard that we're expanding the Jive platform used for the UBI Community to include a space for all of us who do finance work across UVA. If you haven't been involved in the UBI Community, you may be wondering, what's so great about an online community?

So. Many. Things. See below for more!

Mark your calendar: Day of Caring 2018 is September 26!

This year's Day of Caring activities will be held on Wednesday, September 26. 

If you would like to participate, please let Stacey Rittenhouse know by August 3 (she'll also need your t-shirt size).

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

New from Finance Matters

Our world is busy -- we multi-task, we worry, we try to achieve balance.  It can be easy to think that contemplation and mindfulness might involve too much time and effort for us to fit into our lives. We may think don't have time to learn another new thing or take up a new practice.

Yet, our brains are very flexible. 

Did you know that there are steps you can take every day to train your brain to focus, to get better command of your mental resources, and generally gain a sense of calm?  

In this series of podcasts, we explore concepts of mental well-being and the connections to our physical and emotional health, as well as our productivity and happiness. 

In these episodes, UVA experts give very practical tips that are easy to incorporate into your day to day life -- tips that will help you flourish as a whole person. 

See all the podcasts after the jump! 

Research Administration Dashboard module release

After six months of development and two pilot tests, the Research Administrative Dashboard (RAD) module is available for all in the research administration community who want to view the health of a principal investigator’s research portfolio.

The RAD is a UBI Engage project led by the Curry School of Education, in collaboration with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the School of Medicine, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Office of Sponsored Programs and Vice President for Research, with support from the Community of Research Administrators (CoRA), Organizational Excellence, and the Research Administration Improvement Team (RAIT).

The module blends the Qlik technology behind the UBI reporting tool with the analytic capabilities of Qlik Sense, a complementary tool. The result is functionality that offers principal investigators and research administrators an unprecedented clarity into post-award data, financial issues, and trends associated with sponsored research.


Special thanks to RAD developers Phil Paulick, Johann Reinicke, and Andrew Yeung. You guys are radical!

Read more about UBI Engage here:

Summer Blood Drive scheduled for August 15

Click the image for a larger version

Way to Go Green! UVA Saves Hour was a great success!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the energy-reduction efforts of UVA Saves Hour on June 26!  The UVA Office for Sustainability reports that during this year's test, their energy reduction goal was surpassed by 157%:
Mariah and Mara of the Carruthers Hall Green Team,
 sans overhead lights on UVAFinance
during UVA Saves Hour.
Before setting our UVA Saves Hour goal for 2018, it was estimated that on a late-June day at 2pm, UVA’s anticipated energy load would be 49,147 kW. We set a goal to be able to reduce that energy load to 41,000 kW  or lower in the event of a grid emergency. Due partly to the relatively cool weather during our test on June 26th this year, the peak energy load only got up to 40,440 kW that day. However, thanks to the efforts of everyone who participated in UVA Saves Hour, we were able to decrease our energy load by an additional 2,870 kW between 2-3pm, meaning we not only met, but far exceeded our energy reduction goal during UVA Saves Hour 2018.
A great way to save energy (and recharge yourself) is to
unplug and go for a quick stroll with your colleagues!

Way to go, everyone!  

Remember:  any day of the year is a great day to conserve energy and make our workplace (and the planet) greener!

  Check out this blog post for great suggestions for everyday energy savings. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


Cool stuff around the University that you might've missed

Talent Development has published their 2018 offerings!  Check them out here.


Have you seen something cool at UVA that might be useful or interesting to your colleagues? Send it to and maybe we can share it in the blog!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Coming Soon: An interactive hub for the finance community!

This August, we're expanding the Jive platform used for the UBI Community to include space for all of Finance. For both central finance and our partners across Grounds, the online community will be a place for all things Finance Strategic Transformation:

  • Timelines and updates
  • What's going on behind the scenes
  • Conversations with Melody and other Finance leaders
  • Forums for submitting ideas and getting your questions answered
  • Great stories, video content, online events, and so much more!

Watch for more news as we move toward launch! 

 In the meantime, don't be shy: we're building this forum for YOU -- tell us what you'd like to see in the community in the comments below or via

Financial Planning & Analysis Welcomes Devin Foster

Devin Foster has joined Financial Planning & Analysis in the role of Financial Analyst. Foster comes to UVA most recently from Liberty University, where he worked as an Academic Budget Analyst II for nearly six years. He has a bachelor's degree from Guilford College and a masters from Liberty University and has worked in a variety of industries.

In his new role, Devin will manage Operating Financials for UVAFinance, account reconciliations, assist with documenting and streamlining budget processes. He will also work closely with the Administrative Services Group.

His work experience at UVA has started out well: "The team has a great work ethic, and UBI gives you a lot of information."

Foster admits "I moved from the land of the FOAPAL account structure to the PTAEO," he laughed.

Outside of work, Foster, a longtime UVA football fan enjoys keeping up with college football, and he stays outdoors quite a bit, hunting and fishing.

He and his wife Dominique have two children: Dillon, 8, and Della Rae, 4.

Our Grounds are Getting Greener

We drink a LOT of coffee.  
If you've gotten a coffee in the Carruthers Hall cafe area lately, you may have noticed a couple of new recycling boxes for K-cups.

A cooperative effort between the Carruthers Hall Green Team and Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services, these boxes are part of a new program that allows all of our used K-cups to find new life outside of a landfill: the coffee is composted, and the plastic pod is recycled.

Procurement worked with the University’s strategic office supply provider, The Supply Room Company to get the Keurig "Grounds to Grow On" program up and running in Carruthers Hall. You can see more about this K-cup recycling program here:

The next time you get a coffee from the cafe, don't forget to toss your used K-cup into the Grounds to Grow on bins -- as you can see in the pictures below, those K-cups mount up quickly, and we want to keep them out of the landfill.

These two boxes have been
filled so far, each within about

Watch for more changes soon in the Carruthers Hall Cafe, as the Green Team works to make it more sustainable.

Behind the Scenes in Payroll: Testing 1, 2, 3

Payroll staff, technical trainers, and subject matter experts were busy testing Workday during June to make sure both the team and the system are ready to pay everyone at UVA correctly and on time when the system goes live in January.
Payroll Team members deep in the testing process.

The team of 15 payroll staff performed "cross-sequential" testing and training, which means they focused on a diverse cross-section of workers and their payroll results over the course of the year. With this type of testing, the team was able to confirm the various types of earnings, deductions, and taxes as they calculated and accrued toward limits in an environment that mimicked the natural payroll cycles, which spanned 26 Bi-Weekly and 12 Monthly pay periods. They worked with a test population that represented employees from the Academic Division, the Medical Center, and University Physicians Group. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Working on your mid-year review?

We have a podcast about that!  Take a quick listen to the latest episode of Finance Matters for some helpful tips for now and the future.

Click here to listen!

Monday, July 9, 2018

UBI Delivers!

Click the graphic for a larger view.

That's a lot of accomplishments on the graphic above!  Read more about UBI Engage here, and don't forget to check in with the UBI Community to stay abreast of the new modules.

Desktop Scanner Winners

Here are the Travel & Expense whizzes, nominated by their colleagues, who won the desktop scanners in a giveaway from Procurement.  Almost 50 entries were submitted, and, based on the nominations, five winners were chosen:
Thank you to ALL of our TravelUVA and ExpenseUVA rockstars!

  • Kathy Alderson, McIntire School of Commerce
  • Michelle Busby, Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Cathy Froelich, School of Continuing and Professional Studies
  • Crystal Haislip, Curry School of Education
  • Valerie Rudman, Center for Transportation Studies

Read the nomination letters here.

Congratulations to everyone who won!

2018 Service Awards: Celebrating the UVAFinance Team

UVAFinance Team members were recognized for their years of service.  Pictured:  Yvonne Metheny,  Jessica Marvin, Laverne Beasley, Lori Ponton, Melody Bianchetto, Palvi Sharma, Kevin Crabtree, and Meredith Dixon.

See all the pictures on University Human Resource's Flickr page!