Thursday, March 28, 2019

The UVAFinance Potluck and Bake Off is coming!

Our next Culture Crew event is right around the corner:  our Third Annual UVAFinance Potluck and Cookoff! This year we will be featuring the baking skills of our employees by having a competition for the best cookie/dessert bar!

The event will be on April 10th and we hope to see our whole UVAFinance team there. 

Please go to SignUpGenius to indicate how you would like to participate in the event.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Thriving During Change

March 27, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Here at UVA, we’re constantly undergoing change: we have a new President, a new Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, a new Provost, and soon, a new interim Executive Vice President for the Health System. To add to the mix, UVAFinance is undertaking a transformation that will impact the entire University community and change the way we do business.

Change is a continuous influence on our work, and many of us are more constantly connected to work than ever before. With the World Health Organization recognizing stress as the “global health epidemic of the 21st Century,” more of us than ever before are at risk of burnout.

Change can feel threatening, and you may be wondering about the impacts to you: Will my job change? Will I have a different manager? Where will I sit? Will there be additional organizational changes? How will the President’s strategic plan impact UVAFinance, especially as we undergo our own transformation? I know precisely how you feel, as I’ve been adjusting to a new boss, to new team members, and to new responsibilities.

AND, if all of that weren’t enough, our personal lives are also filled with their own unique changes and issues that add more anxiety and stress to the mix (two teenage daughters, need I say more?).

Change is a challenge, but since we aren’t going to escape it, it’s smart to learn not just how to survive change, but how to thrive during it.

A key factor to thriving during change is resilience. Resilience is a person’s ability to bounce back from, and grow and thrive during challenge, change, and adversity. This is something we all need to practice, myself included! We all have pressures in life and work.

How can we develop resiliency? I found these ideas from a Psychology Today article on what resilient employees do differently to be really helpful:

1. Develop high-quality relationships with your peers, your manager, your team (listen supportively & build trust)
2. Avoid burnout (practice self-care to maintain energy & enthusiasm) (check out Hoo’s Well offerings)
3. Be your authentic self (don’t be afraid to show vulnerability)
4. Grow your grit (pursue long-term goals with passion & perseverance)
5. Stay inspired (your work has value; find the meaning) 
6. Be mentally tough (think positively and be flexible)
7. Anticipate change (you know it’s coming!)

Change can bring new and interesting opportunities: for growth & learning; for developing new relationships with teammates; for collaborating with finance partners outside of UVAFinance; and for taking on new and exciting responsibilities. 

One of the things we're most excited about is the opportunity for our team to take a fresh look at what we do and shape it for the future while shaping your own careers in the process.

Strive for resilience and give it a try!


PS: Questions and uncertainties are a part of change, no matter who you are. Be assured that both I’m committed to telling you what we know when we know it when it comes to FST, even when the information is imperfect or incomplete. Please take advantage of the online Finance Community for info, and feel free to let me or your manager know what questions and ideas you have!


For further reading on resilience:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Make plans to join the next UVAFinance Book Club

Please join us on Wednesday, June 12, 12-1 pm in Carr-2 for the next UVAFinance Book Club meeting. We will be discussing Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. There is a copy of this book in the Book Nook (in the corner of the Carruthers 2nd floor break area) which may be available for check-out.
What's Start With Why all about?  Check out author Simon Sinek's TED Talk for an inside look!

Visit the Start With Why Website

If you have questions about the UVAFinance Book Club, or would like to suggest a book or lead a discussion, please email

Everything you need to know and more!

Are you taking advantage of all the Finance Strategic Transformation information at your fingertips in the online finance community?  

Every single presentation about Finance Strategic Transformation, even those made to the steering committee or working groups, are housed in the community and open for your questions and comments.  Plus, you're welcome at any time to share your general questions and ideas!

That said, it can be hard to wade through the slides for items of interest, so we've collected a couple of  recent posts that might be helpful:

Log in and take a look -- and remember, your comments, questions, and concerns are welcomed!

What's new with Finance Strategic Transformation?

On March 11 & 12, UVAFinance hosted a series of Town Halls for Finance employees.  At each session, James Gorman provided an update and look forward on Finance Strategic Transformation.  We recorded one session and have posted it in the community for all to view. 

Log in today and take a look!

PS:  We're still working on getting the entire Town Hall video posted, for those of you who missed the sessions.  Stay tuned!

Financial Reporting and Operations welcomes Richard Carter

Richard Carter
Richard Carter has joined the Financial Reporting and Operations team in the role of Senior Debt Accountant.  Carter, who has a BS in Finance from Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business, has worked at UVA since 2005, longest in Facilities Management and most lately in the Darden School of Business.

In his new role in UVAFinance, Carter will focus on debt-funded activities, as well as reviewing and approving cost transfers and journal entries.  Because many debt-funded activities involve construction, he'll be on familiar ground, since most of his time at facilities was spent working with project teams, administration, and architects, developing budgets and analyzing expenses on construction and renovation projects.

Among his new colleagues include Procurement, a group he became familiar with during his time in Darden as he reviewed contracts as part of his work with the Executive MBA program, global initiatives, and data analytics. 

In many ways, Carter admits, his new role is both a natural progression of his UVA career and a sort of "coming full circle":  he says that his work in UVA's schools and units allowed him to see the challenges and priorities of financial operations, and working in UVAFinance now allows him to see how those individual priorities and challenges roll up to a central point of view, and how they fit into the total financial picture of the University.

His career is also an extension of a family legacy -- both his mother and father were long-term UVA employees.

Although he's in a new role, Carter is no stranger to Carruthers Hall.  Between 2000 and 2005, he spent considerable time in the cages downstairs as a temporary worker, shredding old checks that were sent back from the bank on his holiday and summer breaks, earning some college spending money.

Carter says he finds Carruthers a lot different than he remembers it (less dark and dusty!), but still full of great colleagues doing great work.  "There's a great group of people here," he says, adding that he also enjoys the variety of projects with which he gets to do his intensive type of work.

"I like to sweat the small stuff," he laughs. 

Carter also enjoys playing the drums (he's in a rock/blues band), cooking and trying out new recipes, and getting to the Outer Banks as much as possible.

Financial Reporting and Operations welcomes Logan Hobbs

Logan Hobbs
Financial Reporting & Operations is pleased to welcome Logan Hobbs, formerly of UVA HR, to their team, where he will continue his work as a foreign national tax analyst.

Hobbs began his career at UVA almost 7 years ago in the HR service center but soon moved into compliance and immigration services. In January, the international taxation function was moved to the tax compliance area in FRO, and Hobbs began working in UVAFinance with familiar colleagues from Financial Operations and Payroll.

In his day to day work, Hobbs, a 2012 graduate of Roanoke College, analyzes payments to international students, faculty, and researchers, and examines foreign corporations and businesses to determine the correct tax withholding and reporting.

Hobbs says he enjoys being able to help students, researchers and faculty get the information they need.

"There are lots of different aspects that come together in my job - it's even kind of exciting, as much as tax compliance can be exciting," he says.

When he's not sorting out international tax issues, Hobbs can be found hiking and watching sports with his wife and their dog.

Monday, March 18, 2019

New on Finance Matters: A Two-Part Series on Self-Awareness

Self-Awareness and Self-Leadership

What does it really mean to be self-aware? Do you know why you behave/respond the way you do? Understanding your thoughts, feelings, and values can make you more effective as a leader and a colleague, and in life in general. Join Patty and Brandi for part one of a two-part discussion featuring Theran Fisher of UVA's Talent Management department. LISTEN HERE!

Resources Mentioned:

True North by Bill George

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Disc Assessment


Talent Management Site

Emotional Intelligence Class from Talent Development

Self-Awareness and Work Relationships

Part two of our two-part series on Self-Awareness, with guest Theran Fisher. Join Patty and Brandi as they discuss with Theran self-awareness' role in the workplace. You'll learn how who you are impacts how you work with others, the pitfalls of lack of self-awareness in the workplace, and how to better work with people who aren't self-aware.  LISTEN HERE!

Resources Mentioned:

True North by Bill George

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Disc Assessment


Talent Management Site

Emotional Intelligence Class from Talent Development

Get your best recipes ready: the UVAFinance Bake-off is coming!

Click the image for a larger view.
More details on this delicious event will be coming soon.  

Brought to you by the UVAFinance Culture Crew.

Save the Date: UVAForward 2019!

Click the graphic for a larger view.

Brought to you by FEAP and your Wellness Champs: Communicating More Assertively

Click the image for a larger view. 

Make time to learn to communicate more assertively in the workplace.  This seminar is only an hour, and will teach practical steps to help you communicate more effectively. 

Thanks to the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program and our UVAFinance Wellness Champs for bringing us this great content.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Preparing for the yearly review: New on Finance Matters

It's yearly performance rating time here in UVAFinance. Whether you're a manager or not, you'll find this content interesting as you get ready for performance reviews. Patty and Brandi discuss what to keep in mind when evaluating team members, and how to avoid common rater biases. It's a must-listen for this time of year (and good to bookmark for mid-year reviews!).


Resources Mentioned:

Swot Analysis

Thursday, March 7, 2019

SFS: Responding to student needs in unusual times

Before the longest government shutdown in American history ended on January 25 this year, many furloughed government employees had experienced financial stress. Unsurprisingly, some of the affected households were families with students at UVA, who were facing tuition bills but not receiving a paycheck.

Over the course of the shutdown, a dozen or so families reached out to Student Financial Services with concerns about payments and worries about the impact of the potential length of the shutdown. On an individual basis, SFS responded quickly, with a situationally-appropriate version of the same message: don't worry; we'll work with you.

"Our contact center staff reassured the affected families that we would be glad to work with them," says Steve Kimata, Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Services.

According to Kimata, working with families and students affected by the furlough is a silver lining in a tough situation, but it's also pretty standard stuff for SFS.

Many past instances of disaster have resulted in the SFS team employing a student-focused philosophy while at the same time properly stewarding UVA's financial resources and working hand in hand with UVA leadership and other departments, such as the Office of the Dean of Students.

Kimata can remember working with partner offices across Grounds to extend resources and support to students and families affected by a succession of past hurricanes: Harvey, Sandy, Maria and Iris. In 2005, he recounts, after Hurricane Katrina, UVA welcomed over 100 Virginia students from Tulane who took classes at UVA free of charge for a semester.

"Our first concern in response to Katrina," Kimata says, "was our students from New Orleans who were here at UVA, and right on the heels of that, we were concerned with students from Virginia who were at Tulane." He notes that then-president John Casteen's response to Katrina was considered a bit atypical at the time, but UVA leadership felt it was the right thing to do.

Of course, this sort of response takes coordination of efforts across UVA, but as SFS's Sarah Doran points out, by having student accounts and financial aid located in the same department, SFS is able to avoid a certain amount of passing students back and forth when they have special cases. Because SFS is embedded within central finance, she says, the team has the connections and institutional knowledge they need to make good decisions in each case.

And, Doran says, the team has the trust of the VP of Finance to bring fresh solutions to discussions with their partner offices.

"We have the support from UVA to do this," she adds, "and a response that's coordinated with the entire university. We've always had support from UVA to support our students however they need, get them to graduate, and have productive lives."

Save the Date: Lean Projects Course

Have you completed the Lean Fluency course and want to take it to the next level? The new Lean Projects course is coming! 

The first class is on April 9, 2019 from 8:30 – 12:00 noon. Stay tuned more details later this month.

Prerequisite: Lean Fluency or Leading a Lean Transformation certificate

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Highlights from the Wellness Expo

 Hundreds of UVAFinance and Carruthers Hall colleagues packed Carr-1 & 2 last month for the first annual Personal Wellness Expo.

Thank you to every one who came, and thanks to all of our great vendors!

Because there was so much great info shared, we wanted to provide a recap of just some of the resources provided during the event:

Contemplative Sciences Center

Check out their list of classes here
The CSC also has online resources you can access any time

Hoo's Well

Learn more about the Hoo’s Well Program and Earning awards here. Check out the new Portal and set up an


The Faculty and Employee Assistance Program has a great lineup of programming to choose from. You can see their upcoming schedule on their site.