Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A Conversation with Augie Maurelli, UVAFinance’s new AVP

Augie, his wife Kristen (a VA native) and their two boys

We caught up with A. Leigh “Augie” Maurelli on his fourth day on the job in UVAFinance as AVP of Finance. Although his office was bustling with activity and visitors, he took some time to chat about his first few days at UVA. 
Q. You were at the University of Delaware for over nine years before coming to UVA; what interested you in this position with UVAFinance?

A.  I saw this role as a tremendous opportunity to work at one of the most highly-regarded institutions in the country just at the time they’re getting ready to go through Finance Transformation and the Workday implementation. I liked the idea of contributing to a project of that magnitude. This role also gives me the opportunity to oversee areas in which I had direct knowledge and experience, but also, to expand my portfolio and take a larger leadership role.

Plus, who doesn’t want to live in Charlottesville, Virginia?

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Q. Obviously, it’s early yet, but what are your impressions of UVA so far? 

A.  Higher education has a lot of similarities from location to location, but at the same time, every culture is unique. I’m trying to immerse myself and understand UVA’s culture. I know for sure that it has been an incredibly welcoming and hospitable environment. I’m excited to see an R1 institution that has a state affiliation that still manages to be decentralized in an effort to support the mission. That’s rare – when you have state and federal regulation, there can be a stifling of the institution’s ability to seek and serve. UVA is a pleasant surprise in that way.

Q. And how about UVAFinance? What is interesting or notable about your new department?

A. Well, for one thing, it’s reassuring that I’m not the only one who’s new! I’m coming in on the latter half of a lot of realignment, which means there’s lots of opportunity for business process improvements and system improvements, as well as an opportunity for all of us to come together as a team and approach finance holistically rather than individual functional departments.

Q. What are some of your immediate priorities?

A.  I recently shared with my direct reports my 30-60-90 day / one-year plan to my team. For the next 12 months, my strategy is to tackle the pressing tasks immediately and proceed methodically on the bigger projects. In addition, Im hoping to gain some consistency and standards regarding how UVA Finance conducts business across all of our functional areas

Q. You have an interesting dual background in athletics and finance. Do you see the two complementing one another?

A. I was a senior administrator in athletics when I chose to move to central finance several years ago. My past experience gave me a window into how the end-user perceives and values central finance, and that perspective served me well in my new role. Athletics is a time-sensitive, demanding environment, and I try to translate that urgency across the entire enterprise, including central finance. It’s a “both sides of the coin” type of thing: I’ve gotten to “run a business” with the help of central finance, and then apply what I learned in that role as a finance leader with a greater appreciation of how board and vast a University’s operations can be.

Q. When you’re not on the job, what activities keep you busy? 

A. Recently, it’s family that keeps me busy. I have two sons, ages two and four. My wife and I are both former athletes, and we attend lots of athletic events and stay socially engaged on the campuses where we’ve been and we’re looking forward to continuing that at UVA. I’m excited to be at a school in this conference – UVA has had an amazing run lately in basketball, lacrosse, soccer and so many other sports. Our student athletes do an amazing job representing UVA.

Q. What’s your favorite thing about Charlottesville so far?

A. Well, it’s only been four days, but I get the sense that Charlottesville has everything a major market has to offer without the major market challenges. Plus, it’s absolutely beautiful – just the best of both worlds!

Anchovies, Antiques, and Implementations: Meet FST’s Workday Lead, Jackie Tucker

Jackie Tucker’s experience with implementing Workday at Yale made her a natural pick for the Finance Strategic Transformation team, but her perfect fit for the position goes beyond that experience. Tucker’s passion is working with teams to understand processes and problems, make improvements, and implement software that truly addresses needs.

For most of her career, she has worked with applications, holding IT and technical support roles, running data centers, overseeing network operations, and guiding hardware purchases. She’s overseen both the functional side and the application side of tech in business.

At Yale, she worked on many system implementations in a variety of projects and came to appreciate and enjoy the process of clarifying the business requirements for the software.

"I absolutely love the implementation phase of projects,” she says.

“I feel about implementations like some people feel about anchovies on pizza – they love the pizza, but not the anchovies. Implementations are like the anchovies on the pizza and I say bring them on!”

Tucker says the fulfillment she gets from implementations comes from the energizing and rewarding nature of working in a team environment, understanding business processes and working with teams to find solutions. 

“It’s not a one-sided process at all,” she states.

“You really have to listen and understand. There are so many different people to learn from on an implementation, and I like seeing the end result of that collaboration.”

Another bonus to system implementations, according to Tucker, is the unique opportunity organizations have to influence project design. UVA, she says, is perfectly positioned to help shape Workday product for higher education as a design partner.

“Workday encourages design partnerships. They are very committed to providing higher ed specific functionality. UVA can step right up to the plate and help influence product design.”

Although she’s only been in Charlottesville and on the job for a week, she has found people in the area kind and welcoming, and the UVAFinance team cohesive and welcoming.

The love of making improvements while honoring the past runs deep with Tucker: when she’s not implementing systems or helping to make business processes more efficient, she spends time refinishing antique furniture.

“I’m actually not very good at it and that’s what attracts me to it,” she laughs, but admits she’s getting better all the time.

“My latest project was a refinished bureau – it started out rough, but now it looks like something that I might buy in a store!”

If her career path is any indication of her love to delve into a project while understanding and respecting the past structure, there should be lots of pieces in our area antiques stores that could have a new, refurbished future ahead of them.

Financial Operations Welcomes Steve Marciniak

Steve Marciniak has joined the Financial Reporting & Operations team as Senior Payment Card Compliance Analyst. Marciniak comes most recently from the Boar’s Head Resort, where he was Senior Systems Engineer for over four years. 
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Marciniak brings several years of experience in IT and systems engineering from roles at Sentara, Northrop Grumman and more. Although his new role is a career change, it builds upon a foundation of knowledge and experience he gained working with PCI Compliance at the Boar’s Head. His background in networking and IT support will serve him well as he now focuses more on finance control.

“Every organization is different when it comes to IT,” Marciniak says, adding that those differences have given him numerous opportunities to assess situations and figure out the best course of action.

Having been a “jack of all trades” during his IT career, Marciniak says he looks forward to his new area of focus and getting to know his new department and colleagues.

Besides the warm welcome from his colleagues, Marciniak is enjoying another benefit of his new role and diverging career path: a sizable workspace instead of a shared space with the hum of servers.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Operations Issue Resolution Team Tackles the Tough Problems

Since a few months after Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) went live at UVA, a cross-functional team has been working together behind the scenes to solve the most challenging problems experienced by stakeholders.

The Operations Issue Resolution (OIR) Team was assembled by EVP-COO J.J. Davis, VP of Finance Melody Bianchetto, Chief Information Office Virginia Evans, and Chief Human Resource Officer Kelley Stuck and initially charged with resolving lingering cases after Workday HCM go-live.

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The team was tapped with getting into the Salesforce queue used by the Solution Center to manage its cases and identifying those that were unresolved for over 90 days. The team’s membership includes experts from ITS, UVA HR, and UVAFinance --the right membership to take on these cases and resolve them quickly and thoroughly.

The OIR Team was also asked to develop standard work focused on 1) identify potential issues early and prevent future problems; and 2) effectively coordinate and resolve issues unforeseen issues.

With the help of the dedicated team at the HR Solution Center, most hiccups, questions, and issues post-go-live could be addressed quickly and efficiently, but not all issues were straightforward. The thorny, complex cases that involve more than one working area, and are the kind that usually cause stakeholders in the field the biggest headaches are the ones assigned to the OIR Team.
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As OIR Team member Kelly Hochstetler of UVAFinance says, the team serves an important role of optimizing across the “white space” between the three groups. Hochstetler says the OIR Team has worked closely together to resolve the complex problems and provide final, permanent fixes.

Even though the right experts are at the table working on the issues, fixes to these issues can be hindered by system limitations. Often, helping to resolve this type of complex problem involves building a manual, time-intensive short-term solution until a system or process change can be put in place to keep the problem from recurring. Even when the team is able to “solve” the problem from the stakeholder’s viewpoint, it can take an Oracle or Workday patch, or even a new integration or process that is still to come from Finance Strategic Transformation before the case can be considered truly closed.

"This has been a valuable experience to address complex issues across functions. It has increased the rapport and made it easier for awareness, as well as relationship building between HR, IT, and Finance," says Gabriela Garcia Largen, Director of the HR Solution Center.

"The number of issues resolved by the team demonstrates that the collaboration across functions makes a difference," she adds.

To date, the OIR Team has addressed 75 complex, cross-functional cases. One thing that the team is particularly proud of is that there has not been a recurrence of any of the problems it has addressed and officially closed.

Because of the team’s success, and the ongoing need for such cross-functional collaboration, the OIR Team is becoming a permanent, operationalized team, whose members will adapt to changing needs but continue to provide monthly and quarterly reports of activities and accomplishments to UVA leadership.

Hochstetler says the team functions kind of like a rapid response team: “We’re not delivering anything new or fancy,” she says, “we’re just trying to keep the trains moving.”

For many UVA stakeholders, those running trains will mean expedited resolution to problems, prevention of new issues, and even educational opportunities to help future issues from occurring.

FST Update: Wrapping up Phase 2; looking toward Phase 3

Not only will we ring in a new year this January, but we'll also ring in a new phase of FST.  Here are a few points to keep in mind as we look back at Phase 2 and ahead toward Phase 3.

Want to listen to this update instead of reading it?  Tune in to WFST Radio now!

Phase 2: Readiness

Phase 2 has been a time of intense work, together with our stakeholders and partners across Grounds.
One important happening is that The FST Steering committee voted in favor of expanding the Planning and Budgeting Pilot. Next, we'll need to decide which schools and business units will participate in the expanded pilot, and define a roll-out schedule

Additionally, a cross-functional working group has been working to refine the FST Design Principles, using feedback from the Advisory Committee and the Steering Committee. You can view the design principles here on the FST website. 

In Phase 2, we have sought to identify high-level change impacts through a variety of activities, including our Business Process Discovery sessions, the Chart of Accounts Straw Model, Workday HCM and Finance Integrations, and more. These change impacts will help us confirm the scope and budget of the project, understand and communicate what is changing, inform our change management plans, and guide further analysis during Phase 3.

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Phase 3: Implementation

FST is a multi-step journey. So what's next? In January, Phase 3 begins. And yes, that's "Phase 3: Implementation" -- remember that we have a long lead time before go-live!  Phase 3 stretches from January 2020 through June of 2021, which gives us a long time to plan, architect, configure and prototype, and to test the system thoroughly.

Visit the FST website for a more detailed look at the Phase 3 Timeline.

As we move into Phase 3, you'll notice the project team getting larger as we add the expertise and bandwidth this phase will require. As we've dug into Phase 2 these past several months, it's been terrific to have the partnership of schools and units, with folks sharing their concerns, their ideas, and questions. We're truly looking forward to what Phase 3 will bring, and to that continued work and partnership. 

Comments and questions are welcome in the online community, and here on the blog.

Visit FST on the web:

Email us at 

Thank you for your generosity!

Thank you to all who contributed to the Community Feast Project this year. Contributions from Carruthers Hall, O’Neil Hall, and the Dynamics Building helped to provide Thanksgiving meals to over 50 families in the Charlottesville area (over 20 were directly from our food and monetary donations). 

Your generous donations made it possible for these families to enjoy this special meal, which would have been impossible otherwise.

Brenda Nalley recognized by Organizational Excellence

Brenda Nalley of the UVAFinance FST project team was recently recognized with Organizational Excellence's Spotlight on Excellence for her continuous improvement efforts, specifically leading the adoption of DocuSign in UVAFinance. Implementation of DocuSign helped several units refine processes for better outcomes. The software made it possible to transition from paper to digital with a complete audit trail and improved security.
The Excellent Brenda Nalley

Nalley’s colleague Ruth Parcells said, “DocuSign has reduced to minutes what used to take weeks or months of work.”

In collaboration with Rachel Sliger from Enterprise Solutions in Information Technology Services, Nalley identified this application that met her colleagues’ needs and was already successfully in use at UVA. So far five UVAFinance units have implemented DocuSign, and the impact of Nalley’s contributions will continue to grow as more units do as well. She goes out of her way to share information about the product and train those interested in using it.

Congratulations, Brenda!

See past winners of OE's Spotlight on Excellence here:

Monday, December 16, 2019

Tax Form Updates from University Payroll

It's that time again:  time to start thinking about taxes!  Please review the tax form information provided by University Payroll on their site:

You're Invited: 2019 Legislative Forum

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UVAFinance Holiday Party Photos

These folks know how to plan a party!

Thank you to the UVAFinance Holiday Party planning committee for a festive bash on December 13!  We had a great time celebrating with our colleagues.

Click here to see pictures from the event. Thanks to Danielle Hancock for the great photos!

Congratulations to the Finance Outreach & Compliance/ ASG team for their winning Gingerbread House creation!


Mark your calendar to meet local SWaM firms!

The University of Virginia’s Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services is hosting a Meet Local SWaMs (Small, Women, and Minority Businesses) Day on Wednesday, January 15. 

We are inviting 15 well-established local SWaM firms (that already are doing business with your peer schools and departments across Grounds) to UVA for a free, single-day event to help all of us get better acquainted. 

We encourage you to drop by the Commonwealth Room from 12pm-2pm where tables will be set up to help these companies showcase their goods and services (e.g., custom screen printing, media and content marketing, batteries and bulbs, limo and transportation services, IT services and peripherals, big data solutions, cyber security, mobile shelving and high-density storage solutions, physical security, design and graphics, catering, custom banners, displays, and signage, full-color offset printing, state-of-the-art digital printing, bindery services, interior design, and interior landscaping (live plants).

Want to know more about working with SWaM businesses?

If your school or department would like to learn more about identifying and working with SWaM businesses to meet your ever-growing need for quality goods and services, contact Jack King (jek7s). He will be happy to come by your school/department at your convenience to discuss the benefits of identifying and developing relationships with small, minority-owned, and women-owned vendors.

Visit Supplier Diversity on the web!

See which companies are participating after the jump!

WFST Radio: Broadcast for December 17, 2019

WFST is your Transformation Station!

Today we bring you a quick look back at Phase 2 of FST, as well as a look ahead at what's coming in 2020 as Phase 3 begins.

Resources Mentioned:

Design Principles
Phase 3 Timeline

From the Carruthers Hall Green Team: Power down before leaving town!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Are you a multitasker?

Many of us like to think we're good at multitasking.  The bad news is, there's no such thing as multitasking, and the worse news is, what we're doing when we think we're multitasking is detrimental to our productivity, our creativity, and the quality of our work.  

Tune in to the latest episode of Finance Matters to learn how multitasking affects us, and how to cope with a world of distractions and "single task" instead.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving from Finance Matters!

The two turkeys behind Finance Matters bring you a discussion of things to be thankful for at work.  Not that any workplace is perfect, but . . . if you have at least some of the things we mention in this pod, things aren't too awfully bad.  Listen in and take a moment for gratitude!


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Finance Transformation Roundup!

The Project Team is Growing

We’re currently interviewing two additional Communications staff positions, two administrative roles, and a Change Management Lead.

More positions will be posted soon. Watch UVAJobs and our website.  As we head into the first quarter of 2020 and Phase 3: Implementation, hiring will increase rapidly

Wrapping Up Phase 2

We recently held Consolidated Playback Sessions, which are a roundup of what we found in the business process discovery workshops for each workstream. In the community, you can find the consolidated playback slides – they’re a great opportunity to see what your colleagues in each area liked about Workday’s offerings and what concerns they had. These results will be important as we assess what approach we’ll use for implementation.

Answers to Your Questions in the Community

Plus, a post from Batten's Charles Rush on the Adaptive Insights Pilot: "A few words on the AI pilot, common ground, and the beauty of less customization."

A New Channel for Communication

We’re pleased to announce the launch of WFST Radio: Your Transformation Station. WFST Radio is a short-form news podcast designed to bring you all the FST news you need on a bi-weekly basis, in under 10 minutes. Listen at your desk or on your mobile device, and stay in touch even if you don’t have time to read other updates!

Stay in touch!

Questions? Concerns? Requests? Suggestions? Contact us at – we watch our inbox closely to make sure we don’t miss you.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Get Grounded field trip to the Special Collections Library

UVAFinance Team members on their recent Get Grounded Field Trip

"UVAFinances’ Get Grounded journey to Harrison-Small Special Collections was enlightening to not only the historical treasures the University has in its archives but also to the number of artifacts recounting America’s Revolution and birth as a Republic. To have access to so much of America’s and the world’s written chronology of a people’s seamless transcendence of progress is astounding. All who attended left with a heightened sense of the significance of the University’s archival collection of historical relevance in a vast world of information and knowledge." -- Patrick Wood, PSDS

See all of the pictures from the trip on the UVAFinance Flickr page.

Get Grounded field trips are brought to you by the UVAFinance Culture Crew.

Supply Room Companies contract renewal, expansion of offerings

Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services is happy to announce that the Strategic Office Supply Contract with The Supply Room Companies (TSRC Inc) has been renewed through August 2024!

The Supply Room Companies is a woman-owned company and has been providing office supplies to the University under this contract since 2014 (for more on Supplier Diversity at UVA, visit their website). The Supply Room provides multiple benefits as part of being a Strategic Supplier, next-day desktop shipping, price matching, and a reduced cost listing of “Best Value” items are just a few of the benefits of the Strategic Contract. 

 The renewal expands the scope of The Supply Room’s offerings to also include coffee supplies, furniture, janitorial equipment, promotional items, remanufactured ink and toner goods and services as well as, technology products and services. 

Be on the lookout for a special program in the coming months for remanufactured ink and toner supplies with service and maintenance included in the cost of the ink and toner!

Questions, comments, and feedback may be sent to Kristin Floyd, Senior Buyer Strategic Procurement Group

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Student Financial Services welcomes Rylie Carlson

Carlson on a trip to Ireland
Rylie Carlson has joined the SFS team as Assistant Director for Athletic Financial Aid. Carlson comes to UVA from Iowa State University, where she was the Program Coordinator for Athletic Financial Aid. 
Since she was a student employee at the University of Northern Iowa, Carlson has been committed to working with students. She worked all four years of her undergraduate studies in financial aid, and upon graduation in 2011 with a degree in Business Management, she chose financial aid as her career and joined the team at Iowa State.

“I like helping students and families understand their options for paying for college, and finding the choices that work best for them,” Carlson says, adding that she especially enjoys working with first-generation students.

“I feel like I can help them the most,” she says.
Carlson (second from right) and family.

“They’re starting fresh and I can help them from the bottom up, through the entire process.”

At Iowa State, Carlson developed her specialty area of working with student athletes almost by accident.

“The person who was doing it left, and I volunteered to fill in,” she laughs.

Carlson went into learning mode and taught herself the NCAA rules, and she hasn’t looked back since.

On a trip to Colorado
She has found that not only does she help students achieve financial success, but she also enjoys supporting them on the field. She feels it’s important for students to know that she really cares about their success. And, since UVA has a wider breadth of sports than Iowa State had, she’s excited about checking out sports she’s unfamiliar with, like lacrosse and rowing.

In her new role at UVA, Carlson is already pleased with all of the financial resources SFS has at their disposal. When Carlson isn’t working, she enjoys traveling, going to concerts and getting outdoors. She’s looking forward to exploring her new corner of Virginia, checking out the great hiking trails and beautiful wineries. 

“It’s beautiful here,” she says, before citing another benefit of her new position in a new area: “I’m honestly glad to have escaped an early and harsh winter in Iowa. It’s -3 there right now!”

Six small changes you can make to live more sustainably

Brought to you by the Carruthers Hall Green Team

When you think about “going green,” you might immediately conjure up images of reusable shopping bags and buying organic produce. Those are both great ideas, but there are many more easy tweaks you can make to your daily life to reduce your environmental footprint.

1. Think twice about buying new. Every product you purchase has an environmental footprint, beginning with the materials used to create it, the byproducts emitted during its manufacture and the packaging (and ultimately the product itself) when it ends up in a landfill. Before you buy, pause and decide if you really need it – minimalism is great for the environment and for making your home and your life more zen. When you do need to purchase, consider buying gently used; there are more options than ever for locating used products (think Facebook Marketplace, used clothing sites like ThredUp and Poshmark as well as apps you can download such as LetGo, Decluttr, and Chairish).

2. Go Plastic-Free as much as you can. Here’s where those reusable bags come in! You can also cut down on plastic waste by forgoing plastic water bottles, straws, and cutlery (you can get great reusable cutlery sets and travel utensils to keep in your desk or vehicle). When you’re shopping, purposefully choose products that are packaged in plastic. Plastic never goes away, with billions of pounds of it currently floating in our oceans, so every little bit you can cut out of your daily life helps!

Go Green this holiday season!
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3. Watch your water. Of course we should skip the bottled water, but water conservation is also critical. You can help out by taking shorter showers, fixing leaky toilets, and choosing drought-hardy plants for your yard and landscaping.

4. Drive less, and drive smart. One of the biggest ways you can reduce your carbon footprint is through your driving habits. Walking, biking, carpooling, and public transportation are best, but we do inevitably have to drive our vehicles. Make sure your car gets regular tune ups and that its tires are properly inflated – this decreases your fuel usage, which helps with global warming!

5. Prevent food waste. Did you know that 40% of edible food in the US goes to waste? Curb food waste in your household with planned shopping, and by thinking creatively about how to use/consume what you purchase. Another way you can reduce your environmental footprint through your eating habits? Reduce your meat consumption! Try “meatless Mondays” for a starter.

6. Vote. Look for candidates with strong environmental platforms. Encourage your representatives to pass policies that fight climate change and protect the environment.

The tips above are only the tip of the iceberg!

For more information on sustainability, visit these sites:

Want to know more about the Green Team?  Read about us on the UVAFinance blog.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Understanding Fixed Assets at UVA: Check out our new video!

A UVA physician posed this question
to Gary Young, Director of Fixed Assets

Fixed Assets Accounting teamed up with Finance Outreach & Training to develop a short, informative video to help the UVA community understand one of the University’s largest investments: Fixed Assets. 

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Employees and departments have responsibilities to ensure proper accounting for and safeguarding of Fixed Assets at UVA.  We hope the video, posted below, gives you a better understanding!

For more information about Fixed Assets, visit them on the Financial Reporting & Operations website. 

Reminder: UVA HR is now on Old Ivy Road

This week, HR completed their move to their new building!

Faculty & Staff Holiday Sale at Cavalier Computers

ONE DAY Apple Sale December 2

2019 Holiday Sale December 2-7

New on Finance Matters: Find your True North

After a few months' hiatus, Patty and Brandi are back in the podcast saddle with special guest Lisa Harris of UVA HR's Talent development team. 

In this episode, they discuss Bill George's book, "True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership." We all have an internal compass, and when it's followed closely, we can become authentic, outstanding leaders. 

If you've wondered what "leadership style" might suit you best, whether you're in a managerial role or not, check out this episode (and the book!). Self-discovery, no matter where you are in life, is the first and best step on a path to a meaningful and fulfilling experience. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

FST Updates: We've been busy!

The FST project team and partners across Grounds have been busy since the last blog update.

Take a look:

Community manager Jessica Rafter has also put together a handy post that aggregates the updates above and more! View it here:  Catch up with FST

Meet UVAFinance's AVP for Financial Strategy

Bill Ashby joined the UVAFinance team in late September as Associate Vice President for Financial Strategy. This is a new role,not only adding a senior leadership position focused on strategy, but also as technological advances increasingly automate transactional work, creating opportunities for the development of analytical and “soft” skills within our workforce. Globally, companies are investing heavily in learning and development for employees, as new “hybrid jobs” blending technical experience with research skill, problem-solving skills, teamwork, and creativity become more prevalent, UVA Finance is moving in this direction too.

In the role of AVP for Financial Strategy in UVAFinance, Ashby will prioritize ensuring that Finance delivers on its promise of high-quality service delivery that keeps the business of UVA running like clockwork, while at the same time carving out time to launch efforts that position UVA to be forward-looking, anticipating trends, new directions, and getting ahead of the curve.

“In higher education, the norm in operational areas is to be focused on the day-to-day, but if we can truly build a culture that embraces a forward-looking mindset and celebrates trailblazing we’re going to be unique and more valuable to the University as a whole,” says Ashby.

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UVAFinance, in the midst of an extensive transformation effort, presents a unique challenge and opportunity for a financial strategist, and that’s the very thing that attracted Ashby to the role. Even at the outset of his career, Ashby had an interest in blending his interest in student life with operational expertise and the underlying business of higher education.

“The pattern I recognized after 30 years in my career, is that for me, success and fulfillment often means stepping into organizations reaching some type of inflection point,” he explains.

In his career path, these “inflection points” have involved transitioning a small campus gymnasium at Cal Poly into one of the first multimillion-dollar, state of the art student recreation centers, stepping into the Director of Business Services role at Cal Poly on the heels of an embezzlement scandal and rebuilding trust and credibility, and helping get the Batten School off the ground and seeing the student body and faculty grow and live up to the vision and expectations of the donor who funded it and the University community.

His experience has shown him that these times of great challenge often present remarkable opportunities if they’re leveraged correctly. For him it’s mindset and imagination that make a difference in what might be perceived by many as intractable problems.

As for UVAFinance, Ashby says it feels like the organization is “on the launching pad,” poised for something great.

“The spirit here is great, the energy high,” he says.

“There’s a strong sense of purpose; people understand that our work matters. I’m grateful to be a part of this community and to play a significant role in helping us and the institution reach our vision and full potential.”

Ashby and his wife Debbie have lived in Charlottesville for 18 years. They have 3 sons: Nick, 19, Zach, 17, and Alex, 12. Their dog Boomer rounds out the family.

You can read more about Ashby in the Online Finance Community on Community Hub. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Chicken soup for the student's soul: SFS's student food pantry

Trudy Taylor has worked in Student Financial Services for 20 years. In that time, she’s provided students with a lot of guidance, abundant service, and occasionally, a much-needed snack- - because although UVA and the Charlottesville community provide many resources for students with food insecurity, SFS encounters multiple students each semester who are hungry.

“It’s not just low-income students,” says Taylor.

“College is a life lesson, where many students are learning for the first time about budgeting. Sometimes they just find themselves in a pickle. Usually it’s over the summer and in gap times, when it’s close to the end of term, and their financial aid refunds have run out, and they’re paying higher rent than they can really afford.”

Although there are ample resources on Grounds that students can access for help, Taylor, her colleague Irene Paschall, and others had found themselves retrieving snacks from their cubicles or running across the street to McDonald’s to feed a hungry student. It happened often enough that Taylor and Paschall banded together with their colleagues to establish their own little food pantry for students in need. All of the items in the food pantry are donated.

The SFS staff has developed keen instincts for spotting students in trouble, and they don’t hesitate to ask gentle questions that might reveal food insecurity, and to answer the need with peanut butter, crackers, soup, and other items they have in their stock.

Due to a number of reasons – the possible stigma of walking into a food bank on Grounds, the absence of affiliation with a church, or even lack of transportation to local food pantries – Taylor says some students feel more comfortable talking about the issue with SFS staff, with whom they often have an established relationship.

Paschall explains that it’s all in the conversation: “We’re the money people. They’re coming to us to ask for an emergency loan because maybe they’re having trouble paying their rent. Then you ask them if they have money for food, and when is the last time they ate.”

Paschall says students sometimes try to downplay their need, but that SFS staff often counter their protests by reminding them that it’s their job as a student to function, and they can’t do that without eating.

A hug is often part of the transaction, and a request for the student to come back and let the staff know how they’re doing.

“We want to help them and get them to the finish line,” Paschall says.

“It’s our privilege to get to see them grow into adults and do great things in the world.”

Taylor agrees: “We’re Student Financial Services,” she says.

“Without the students, we wouldn’t be here – we are happy to help them however we can.”

Resources for food insecurity on Grounds:
Community food pantries:

If you’d like to donate non-perishable food items to the SFS food pantry, feel free to drop them by the cashier’s window in SFS.

Shout out to the Shout Out board: We only knew about this story because Trudy and Irene’s colleague Nick Williams recognized them on the shout out board – kudos to all of you UVAFinance folks who recognize good work AND provide us with great, inspiring stories!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

2019 CVC Event results and pictures

THANK YOU to everyone who took part in the 2019 CVC Event!  So far in this year's giving season, UVAFinance has raised $5700 for the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign at UVA.  Each donation makes a meaningful difference in our community and beyond.
Your 2019 Cornhole Champs!

It's not too late to give!  Donations can still be made until December 13.  You can give online or use your red envelope.  Contact Patrick Wood in Procurement if you have questions. 

Congratulations to Judy Mallory and Stephen Cornelison, who took first place in the Cornhole Tournament.  The second-runner-up team was Asa Lopatin and Patrick Wood.

See photos from the event on our Flickr page. 

Staff Senate: Advocacy and Service

Why join the Staff Senate?  Click
image for larger view.
UVA’s staff senate is a forum through which UVA staff members can provide input on policies, procedures, and programs. It also provides the opportunity to interact with colleagues across Grounds, to stay aware of current issues, and to play an active role in shaping our “Great and good” University.

“This is an organization intended for staff to feel empowered, and to have a resource,” says Kristie Smeltzer of Organizational Excellence, who serves as Co-Chair of the Staff Senate.

Their priority of staff advocacy has the staff senate focused on some important projects:
  • Collaborating on UVA’s 2030 Strategic Plan, working with the President’s Office, the EVP-COO’s office, and HR to achieve a strategic plan initiative: “Cultivating Staff Success.”
  • Increasing two-way communication with constituents (that’s all of you reading this!), enabling senators to connect consistently with staff members as the senate represents them and shares questions and feedback.
  • Continuing the partnership to improve Education Benefits, collaborating with UVA HR to advocate for continuous improvement in this area.
Staff can visit the website at to interact with a host of helpful resources, to view upcoming meetings (which are open for staff to attend) and minutes from past meetings, and to find out who their senator is.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to partner with other groups across Grounds to improve the staff experience at UVA,” says Smeltzer.

UVAFinance, meet your Staff Senators!
Click image for a larger view.

New Procurement Websites are coming!

Coming November 2019! Watch for updates;
 contact Brandi Van Ormer or Shannon 
Wampler with questions/concerns

UVA Marketplace Upgrades: Resource and ISP sections

Procurement recently took another step toward its goal of making the UVA Marketplace a one-stop-shop for all things procurement-related. 

To eliminate the need for shoppers to seek necessary information in several places outside of the Marketplace, the procurement team added a few resources often needed/required during the purchasing experience:
  • Procurement-related forms and procedures:  sole source justifications, authorization approvals, etc.
  • Increased awareness and connection to UVA departments in charge of managing critical processes, such as Information Security and Accessibility.
  • Connectivity with Internal Service Providers (ISPs) such as Printing & Copy Services, Cavalier Computers, and more. 

The team hopes that having easy access to these resources will make the purchasing experience smoother for departments. 

See a screenshot of the new features: 
Click image for a larger view

Let us know how we can help make the Marketplace experience better for you!

Vendor profiles deactivated due to inaccurate information

Procurement has been verifying all vendor information in the Marketplace as a part of routine data cleanup. They have found approximately 2500 vendor profiles that contain inaccuracies such as old addresses and, most importantly, mismatching tax ID numbers and incorrect company names. These inaccuracies can cause confusion and non-compliance with the IRS.

For every incorrect Tax ID number in our system, UVA receives a potential penalty notice that could result in a fee from the IRS if not corrected. As a consequence, Procurement has been deactivating all vendors with inaccurate information in their profiles. 

Each deactivated profile will have a note describing the reason for deactivation, found in the internal notes section of the Supplier 360 tab (see the image below).  If you encounter this note on a supplier you use, please reach out to your contact within the company and ask them to fully register and update their information in the UVA Marketplace.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

UVA HR is moving!

More info on the HR website:

Community Feast Project

As the holiday season quickly approaches, so does the season of Giving. UVAFinance will once again be collecting food donations for the Community Feast Project. The Community Feast Project is an annual effort run by various churches and organizations in and around the Charlottesville area. Thanksgiving baskets are then distributed to needy families right here in our community.

Beginning on Wednesday, October 30th, collection boxes will be placed around Carruthers Hall with a checklist of items needed. Additionally, monetary donations can be made to either Nicole Ferretti on the first floor or Carrie Crosby at the front desk. All donations must be received no later than Wednesday, November 13th.

The following items are needed:
  • Can of Yams (17.5 oz.)
  • Can of Green Beans (14.5 oz.)
  • Bag of Potato (5 lb.)
  • Jar of Turkey Gravy (10.5 oz.)
  • Box of Macaroni (14.5 oz.)
  • Box of Stuffing (6 oz.)
  • Can of Evaporated Milk (12 oz.)
  • Can of Cranberry Sauce (14 oz.)
  • Cake Mix (15.25 oz.)
  • Can of Crushed Pineapple (16 oz.)
  • Box Granulated Sugar (2-4 lb.)
  • Box of Brown Sugar (1 lb.)
  • Monetary donations for the purchase of turkeys

Thank you for your generosity.

Friday, October 25, 2019

New from Records and Information Management

The Office of Records Management's new name reflects an important dimension to the services it provides. As the "Office of Records and Information Management," it should be clearer that their mission is about more than paper -- it's also about electronic information: email, electronic databases, electronic files, audio, video, and images.
Besides their new name, the office is offering new online training for your convenience. Check out on-demand webinars on topics such as Email Management, Records Management for Research, Shared Drive Clean Up, and Paperless Office: Scanning Guidelines, plus many more!

Training for URMA, the web-based system designed to help departments maintain inventory of their physical and electronic records, will still be held in a classroom setting.

Check out the training resources, upcoming classes, videos, and tip sheets on the Records and Information Management website!

Remember to set your clocks back this weekend

Enjoy that extra hour of sleep!