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!
Click the image for a larger view
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. 

Click the image for a larger view.
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.

Click the image for a larger view
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.