Thursday, February 20, 2020

Finance Strategic Transformation Updates

Want to listen to this update instead of reading it?  Head on over to WFST Radio for all the news!

Data Gathering Sessions

The Workday functional team is pulling together a series of data gathering sessions with our stakeholders -- these sessions are focused meetings with key UVA stakeholders in order to gain an understanding of current state processes, approval workflows, systems and integrations, security and reporting requirements, and more. Participants in the sessions will help answer questions and pull together current state material that will adequately prepare the implementation team for successful architecture workshops. Invitations are being sent now!

If you’re invited to one of these sessions on behalf of your school or unit, please make the time to come. Your representation, expertise, and feedback are vital to ensuring that we build a robust and effective financial management approach for the University.

The Project Team is Growing!

The Finance Transformation project team is still growing, and we have new positions available. You may know someone who’d be perfect for one of these roles. Check out current openings on the Finance Transformation website.

We're pretty excited about the great people joining the team:
  • Mark Anderson, who will shortly be joining UVAFinance as the Director of Business Intelligence, will have a dual role as FST’s Reporting & Analytics lead
  • Urmila Bajaj and Vonda Durrer are co-leads in the Grants Management Workstream
  • Supporting Grants Management will be Shenika Knox, Darcy Rugar, and Sairam Praneeth Vegesana
  • Bill Click will help support the Budget and Customer Accounts/Contracts work
  • Expense work will be supported by Justina Duncan, Gareth Evans, and Jason Davis
  • Michael Priddy will help support Payroll work
  • Jacob Mair and Catina Seitz will support the Financial Data Model work.
  • Beverly Smart and Kelli Craddock will help support the Business Assets/Projects workstream.

Adaptive Insights Pilot Update

Budgeting & Planning Lead Elissa Morton and her team have assessed the readiness of other potential areas at UVA to implement the pilot, and our governance groups are reviewing that summary and making some decisions on the expansion of the pilot.

UVAFinance welcomes Sarah Fleming

This January, the Office of the Vice President for Finance welcomed Sarah Fleming into the role of Special Assistant to the Associate Vice Presidents for Finance. In this new position, Fleming provides administrative support for AVPs Bill Ashby and Augie Maurelli, as well as assistance on special projects, material for the Board of Visitors, and the quarterly financial reporting process.

Fleming’s background at UVA makes the marriage of project work and administrative organization this role requires a good fit. As she puts it, she “grew up” at UVA, beginning with executive assistant role in Student Affairs, and then moving into event planning and eventually an HR generalist role within that department.
The Flemings (photo by Adam Mohr,
 asm photography.

Her 16 years in varied roles allowed her to grow as a professional, both in giving form and process to key administrative tasks that aren’t always simple, as well as getting into the details with the human side of work, filling staffing needs and giving candidates a good experience.

Fortunately, Fleming is also familiar with change. She recalls her experience with the Ufirst project as an important learning moment in her career. The transition, she says, ended up being a pivotal time for her to cultivate confidence in her skills and develop her voice as an advocate for good processes.

“Change is an emotional ride,” she acknowledges.

“There are definitely stages we all go through with change, and although I’m a realist, I tend to have a hopeful, big-picture view,” she says, adding “and I get some satisfaction from accomplishing something difficult.”

As special assistant to two executives who are themselves new, Fleming’s experience with change and complex issues will likely come in handy, especially as UVA heads into Phase 3 of Finance Strategic Transformation.

Fleming has found her new team to be warm and welcoming, and not afraid to ask questions (she notes this as a good thing, since she has lots of those herself).

When she isn’t settling into her new role, Fleming and her husband Drew and their two daughters Meredith (10) and Caroline (13) enjoy outdoor pursuits such as camping, hiking, and a nice fire. The family’s time outdoors has health benefits other than physical, Fleming notes.

“A little time outside tends to dissolve a lot of internal friction, too.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Finance Strategic Transformation Welcomes Lisa Shuler

Lisa Shuler
Lisa Shuler is transitioning from her role in Student Financial Services to join the FST team as the Team Lead for Revenue. Shuler, a 32-year UVA veteran, is eager to lend her institutional knowledge to the project and build on her existing strong relationships with colleagues across grounds.

During her tenure, colleagues have shared their pain points with current systems and processes. One of the many things that excites Shuler about joining FST is that she can help build understanding and work collaboratively as, she says, “we all enter into the world of finance transformation.”

As the revenue lead, Shuler will work with schools and units to identify their needs in the areas of grants management, customer accounts, and customer contracts. She wants to advocate as well, to bring a customer-service orientation and willingness to improve processes.

Shuler says, “Colleagues have been saying for years that they want to have one truth related to reporting.” She believes that Workday Financials will enable UVA to have a modern and reliable source of information while reducing the administrative burden.

As a revenue functional team member, Shuler is aware of the importance of the Foundation Data Model (FDM), which is the new chart of accounts in Workday. She expresses excitement about our new chart of accounts and exploring all the new Worktags that Workday offers. Worktags are descriptors assigned to transactions that provide information for analysis and reporting purposes. She says, “Stay tuned for more on Workday terminology at a later date.”

Outside of work, Shuler enjoys camping adventures with her family.

“We have two wonderful grandchildren. I love taking them on adventures and exposing them to things outside of Virginia,” she says. “Home is where we park our RV because life is always an adventure.”

Joshua Breeden Joins FST

Joshua Breeden
Joshua Breeden joined the Finance Strategic Transformation (FST) project team on February 3 as a Business Process Analyst. He transitioned to the project from UVAFinance and previously assisted on the Ufirst project with the transition to and stabilization of Workday Payroll.

Breeden enjoys being an analyst because it enables him to learn about a lot of different topics and how things work. He has a history of process improvement, which will serve the UVA community well in his new role on the project team.

For FST, he will be learning about how we currently do things, gathering requirements, and learning about processes from stakeholders. This understanding will help him ensure the future setup in Workday Financials and updated processes best meet stakeholder needs. Additionally, he will partner with the change management team to develop training that will enable users to be successful in adopting new functionality.

“I want people know to why they’re doing things in a new way instead of just telling them ‘press here, press here’,” Breeden said.

Outside of work, Breeden has been working towards an MBA from Liberty University, which he will earn this May. He also enjoys visiting breweries and loves a good murder-mystery podcast.

FST welcomes Kristie Smeltzer

Kristie Smeltzer
Before joining the Finance Strategic Transformation project team in early February, Kristie Smeltzer already had quite a bit of experience with large-scale change initiatives at UVA. 

 Both in her role as a communicator in UVA HR during the Ufirst project and later in her communications role on the Organizational Excellence staff, Smeltzer had gained valuable experience in collaborating with others to move projects forward. 

An opportunity to join the project’s Change Management Team was attractive to Smeltzer as a natural next step to take, and a place where her experience and talent could have a wide impact.

“I’m excited about capitalizing on my experience at the University, both as a stakeholder and as a communicator, to collaborate with the good people already working on this project,” she says.

Smeltzer brings both her experience and considerable skill as a storyteller to her new communications role. Outside of her work at UVA, she has also served as Manager of Guest Studies and Services for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, is Burke Institute certified in Qualitative Research and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. 

Click image for a larger view
For Smeltzer, writing and reading have been paramount in her professional, personal, and educational pursuits.

When she isn’t writing to share information with the UVA audience, Smeltzer is often at work on her own creative pursuits, including novels and short stories (her work has appeared in several literary magazines and journals) and teaching writing classes at Writer House of Charlottesville.

“As a teacher, my focus is often on listening. A good teacher listens to be able to meet people where they are and help them learn what they need to in order to get them to the next step closer to their goal,” she comments.

That focus, she acknowledges, is not unlike the support she provides to audiences affected by a transformative change initiative, shining a light on stakeholder stories that impact processes and translating technical terminology into layman’s terms to provide clarity and understanding.

“As a communicator who gets to delve into many different areas, I’ve really enjoyed absorbing the expertise people in those areas have, and listening to and learning the language that will be meaningful for our audience,” she says.

News from your Wellness Champs

Your wellness champions keep the HoosWell corner updated
with the latest wellness info.
Boost your physical, emotional and financial wellbeing with the following Hoos Well offerings. UVA Health plan participants can also earn awards for participating! 

Be sure to check out the Hoos Well Corner in the Carruthers Hall Café area for the latest offerings and news.


Contact Linda Leshowitz, Wellness Champion.

Participate in the upcoming Physical Activity Challenge – March 2 – May 11, Registration starts Feb 17th

Join a free drop-in exercise class (Zumba, Yoga & others). 

·         Take advantage of special pricing for UVA employees for Wellness that Works (formerly Weight Watchers) – click here for more info.

·         Also a special WW Starter Kit is being offered this month --Employees who purchase a WW (Weight Watchers® Reimagined) membership plan between 2/3 and 3/6 can redeem a FREE Starter Kit* (over $100 value!). New members will have until 3/20 to redeem this kit.  See attached flyer for more info.

Attend an Emotional Wellness Webinar such as the upcoming Flourishing in Your Life, (3/12 & 3/14).

Register for free access to eM Life, an online mindfulness platform open to ALL employees (UVA Health plan not required).  Registration starts Feb 24.

Attend a Financial Wellbeing Webinar such as the upcoming Within Reach: Transitioning from Career to Retirement (3/4) or Quarterly Market Update (3/19).

Do you use Chrome to access the UVA Marketplace?

Google's Chrome browser released an update on February 17 that can affect how the browser handles cookies, and consequently, might affect the punchout catalogs in the UVA Marketplace.

The change will be temporary, as each supplier updates internal technology.  For more information, visit PSDS's Chrome Update and UVA Marketplace Information page.

Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services is working diligently with our suppliers to monitor the functionality of their catalogs in the UVA Marketplace with the new Chrome settings and is testing several ways for our users to have an uninterrupted shopping experience in the UVA Marketplace.
If you use the Chrome internet browser to access the UVA Marketplace, please review the instructions below.

To continue using Chrome to access UVA Marketplace punchout catalogs:

1) Review the list of suppliers with catalogs compatible with the Chrome updates.
2) If you would like to shop a punchout not compatible with the updates, you can try to open the punchout catalog in a new window.
3) If the punchout does not work, or if you cannot open the punchout in a new window, use a different browser.

To use a different browser to access UVA Marketplace punchout catalogs:

1) Review the ITS Supported Browsers for Integrated System.
2) Contact your Local Support Partner (LSP) for assistance choosing the right browser.
3) PSDS will send a notification when all punchouts are fully functional with all browsers.

Please continue to use Chrome to access the Integrated System (Oracle).

For assistance with using the UVA Marketplace with Internet Explorer or Safari, please contact Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services at (434) 924-4212 or at

For assistance with installing new internet browsers, please contact your Local Support Partner (LSP), or the ITS Help Desk at (434) 924-4357.

MOVE IT! Learn a quick, easy process improvement approach

Event Date: Feb. 26, 2020 - 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Location: Newcomb Hall, Commonwealth Room
Presenter: Angela Knobloch - Team Lead, Change Management & Continuous Improvement, Finance Strategic Transformation

Presented by Organizational Excellence as a Quality CORE Network event

Looking for quick wins and a way to tackle less complex process problems efficiently? Participate in this session to gain skills to share with your team to identify challenges, prioritize what can be resolved quickly, and plan how to achieve the solution.

Consider participating with colleagues; it’ll make it even easier to implement the approach in your area soon.

REGISTER on the Organizational Excellence website

If you register but become unable to attend, please let OE know by emailing We appreciate you letting us know of such changes as far in advance as possible. We look forward to seeing you at the session!

Winter Blood Drive at Carruthers Hall

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Procurement's new website goes live February 25!

Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services will roll out their new website on Tuesday, February 25.  The new site is the result of collaboration with CACS and our stakeholders, and we think you'll like what you see!  Thank you to our website preview team (Whitney Richardson, Maureen Pipkin, Sherry Fitzgerald, Ruth Lawrence, Rosemary Shaw, Matthew Bradley, Judy Grigg, Leslie Yowell, Susan Hughes, Jacquelynn Hardin, Danielle Hancock, and Jack Jensen) and the Fiscal Administrators group for your help and feedback.

Some new features we're proud of: 

New Goods and Services Procurement Guide

  • Streamlined look
  • New recommendations from Procurement on which procurement method is the best for each category
  • Suggested expenditure types if possible
  • Links to commodity guides that include wide-ranging information about an entire commodity from purchasing to payment (example, furniture)
Organized resources by function

  • A basic overview guide for purchasing, payables, and vendor processes
  • Succinct resources listing the tools, training, and other related resources for each area
  • Contact information by contact type for each function (example: for payables we list all of the different reasons you may need to contact, and which email address to use which surprisingly wasn’t there before).
We know everything won't be perfect immediately, so if you have thoughts or feedback, please let us know!    You can submit your thoughts using the "Get Help" button on the navigation bar.  The site will undergo continuous improvement, and we already have some enhancements planned for the near future.  

Travel & Expense and Supplier Diversity are already live -- check them out!

For HSVPN Connectivity Emergencies

If you should happen to be denied access to the HSVPN because your device is not passing the security posture check from OPSWAT/MetaAcess, you can contact the UVA Help Desk and request a 24-hour exception.

This request should only be used if you
  • Have an urgent deadline to meet and yourr LSP is not available to assist, or
  • You are attempting to complete urgent work on the weekend

Note- Exception requests may take longer to fulfill on weekends due to staffing

The exception will time out after 24 hours. Remember to follow up with your LSP so the connectivity issue can be resolved to avoid any further interruptions with access.

Monday, February 3, 2020

FST Update

The project team is growing as we ramp up Phase 3!

Meet our newest team members:

Tune in to the latest WFST broadcast to get all the FST news without reading a thing!

Sunday, February 2, 2020

New from Finance Matters: Culture is a Journey

Join Patty, Brandi, and their guests Sarah Doran and Danielle Hancock as we discuss the importance of prioritizing workplace culture. In this episode, we talk about what culture is and how to create a positive workplace culture. The benefits of participating in creating a healthy culture are great for the organization and for employees as individuals.

Tune in for a great discussion!  LISTEN HERE

WFST Radio: Our First 2020 Broadcast

WFST is your Transformation Station!

In this first broadcast of 2020, we share the newest members of the FST team (we even have one of them join us in the studio!). There's so much more to come as we enter Phase 3!