Thursday, May 21, 2020

FST Update

You could say the team has been a hive of activity (aw, bad joke!). 

Want to listen to this update instead of reading it?  
CLICK HERE for the WFST Broadcast (same info, no reading!)

Project Timeline:  As of now, we know we’re not going live on the original July 1, 2021 date, but we aren’t yet sure what the new date will be.  In the meantime, the FST team is continuing its implementation efforts, and planning different go-live scenarios.  The team has been in discussions with our stakeholder groups and governance groups to talk through the benefits and drawbacks of a January 2022 mid-year go live.  If you haven’t yet given your thoughts on that point, we want to hear them in the Community!  You can also feel free to email us at or send your feedback via the anonymous feature in the upper right corner of our FST website.

We want to help you with FST!  (from the Change Management Team)

Future State:  Who's in Charge of FST?  The future functional owners of FST are involved now, guiding the project toward completion.  Read more on the Community!

Adaptive Insights Update:   The AI team is on track to complete a series of individual and group meetings with as many schools and units as possible this summer, with a goal of empowering them to perform their yearly budgeting process in AI and provide feedback on the use of the system and possible future enhancements. Read more from Elissa Morton on the Community.

Architect Session Roundup:  Jessica Rafter has put together a collection of updates for your convenience!  Visit her blog post.

The Supplemental System Survey is now on the Community:  Check to see if your systems are represented and let us know if not!

Do you speak Workday?  Check out our Workday Words resource and let us know what else needs definition!

Who's new on the team? 

Gary Young Assists FST with Expertise on Oracle Fixed Assets System

Though most of UVAFinance likely knows Gary Young, Director of Fixed Assets Accounting in the Financial Reporting and Operations department, you might not know that he recently joined the FST project team.

In his typical role, he and his team handle the accounting and financial reporting for the Academic side of Fixed Assets, but also consolidates the Medical Center Fixed Assets financial data. For his work on the FST project, Young uses his knowledge of these responsibilities and the Oracle Fixed Assets Module, along with the valuable assistance of one of his key staff members, Lisa Layne, to provide screenshots, financial reports, and other helpful information to the group building UVA’s Workday tenant.

“I’m not as familiar with Workday,” he explains, “Trying to get used to the different terminology is challenging, but I know what things we need within Oracle. A big part of my job is working with different FST experts to ensure we do not lose any important functionality in Workday that we currently have in Oracle. There are also times when we have to figure out whether or not we need to do something differently than how we did it in the past.”

He says his experience with the project so far has been good. However, he is “looking forward to when we can all meet face-to-face again. Sometimes things can go a bit fast within Zoom, so it’ll be nice to be able to slow meetings down a bit to allow greater time to explore some of the important elements under discussion.”

When he’s not busy doing his best to make sure Workday Financials has everything UVA needs, Young likes to putter around in his garden or work on other home projects. He also enjoys the pursuit of writing about subjects such as parenting and religion. He and his distant family members also recently started to participate in frequent game nights over Zoom, while enjoying the creativity of his eight grandchildren as each shows off their latest Lego creation based on a central theme, like their favorite vacation or adventure.

WFST Broadcast for May 21, 2020


In this episode:

Seriously, want some good recommendations on shows to binge watch? We got you.

Coms Channels:
The FST Website:
The Community: (just click on "UVAFinance Community" once you're in!)
UVAFinance Blog:
Our email:

Akhil Reddy Chinthireddy’s Story Begins at UVA

Akhil Reddy Chinthireddy
In April, FST’s Technical Workstream team welcomed Akhil Reddy Chinthireddy as a Workday Integration Developer. He’s no stranger to working in academia, as he previously helped Ohio State University with enterprise resource planning system (ERP) implementation. For seven years, Chinthireddy has worked with ERP systems and specifically with Workday for three years.

“Because I’ve worked for a university before, I know that the work will be challenging,” Chinthireddy says, “and I love challenging things.”

He further explains that the reason he loves a challenge like this is the opportunity to increase his technical knowledge; a project like FST provides a path to learn more.

Chinthireddy is heavily involved in the ongoing architect sessions, which he finds very helpful to understand UVA’s business processes and current systems better. The project process at UVA will be similar to what he experienced at Ohio State, though UVA’s needs will be unique. When the project transitions to development of integrations, he’ll have a clearer sense of similarities and differences.

Chinthireddy also has been working with the HR team to make enhancements and system changes to HR Workday that will make it easier to ensure the same can be set up in the financial system when it’s put in place.

An accomplished polyglot, Chinthireddy speaks Telugu (his mother tongue), Tamil, and English fluently. He understands the other South Indian languages: Kannada and Malayalam. According to Chinthireddy, he likes to make friends, which helps him pick up new languages. He also began to learn Spanish years ago when he came to the U.S., and hopes to make more Spanish-speaking friends so he can fully learn Spanish someday. 

Chinthireddy enjoys many hobbies in his leisure time. He watches streaming shows and movies with his fiancée. His favorite actor is Leonardo DiCaprio and, fittingly, his favorite movie is Inception, though he also likes Shutter Island. Chinthireddy enjoys reading novels, too. 

Uncharted Territory: Sharing Resources During the Coronavirus Response

Climate Trivia Zoom Party with C3 & UVA Sustainability

Thursday, May 28



Join C3 & UVA Sustainability for some family-friendly climate-related trivia (ranging from energy use stats to pop culture references) and enjoy music that celebrates the Earth. It’s every household for themselves in this high-stakes game of climate knowledge. Compete for the ultimate title of UVA Climate Trivia Champion 2020! All you need to compete is a piece of paper, a pen, and your brilliant minds. You are also welcome to enjoy your own happy hour drinks/snacks if you choose. We’ll toast to a sustainable community!

Free Online Yoga Through UVA Contemplative Science Center

Click here for class links:

FEAP Activities

Coffee Talk – Grief on Many Levels Friday, May 22nd 10-10:30 am.   

This Coffee Talk led by Joyce Camden is an invitation to acknowledge the grief that is a natural part of this process in life now.  We will also discuss ways to both honor and release some of what may come with the grief.


Coffee Talk – Boost Your Immunity, Friday, May 29th 10-10:30. 

This Coffee Talk, led by Beth Frackleton our internal chronic care coach who has helped countless people reach their health goals, will focus on learning strategies to make lifestyle choices to boost your immunity which is so important during the pandemic. 

Architect Sessions: Great Online Community Content

Contributed by Jessica Rafter, FST Project Team

Architect sessions:   I'm sure you've heard of them or even participated in them, and I want to take a moment to go over all the great content coming out of them to help you better understand them, the outcomes of those sessions, and where they fall in the overall design process.

First and foremost Architect Session are the beginning of requirements gathering not the end, you can read more about them in the post What are the Architect Sessions?( please note we've we've extended our timeline since that posting). As a team we take the learning that happened in sessions and will follow with targeted conversations. It's also likely that we will be consulting our FST Steering Committee and FST Advisory Group for even further feedback. If you haven't been to a session yet please don't worry as they'll be more opportunities. There are also some great slides in the Steering Committee Slides presented on May 20th, 2020.

We're also embracing transparency and have posted all Phase 3 Architect Session Slides, which I would encourage you to read through and comment.

Additionally, read about what our change management team is learning in these sessions in the thread Documenting Change Impacts in Architect Sessions.

Log into CommunityHub to check out this and other great content!

We want to help your school/unit with FST changes!

The purpose of the change management team is to help the UVA Community navigate the changes of FST as gracefully as possible. We have been working hard for months to share information, solicit feedback, and encourage participation with the project. We know that Phase 3, already a change-heavy part of the project, will require even more effort because of the circumstances we now find ourselves in globally and as a university, during the COVID-19 response. That's why we're reaching out today with an invitation to work closely with your schools and units as FST progresses because crazy times call for specialized measures!

While we can't do much about the unpredictable global situation we currently face, our team is ready and willing to partner with you to make the uncertainties of FST easier to handle. UVA won't be successful navigating change if we're applying a one-size-fits-all change strategy. I invite all of our schools and units to let us know how we can help you and your teams at a more granular level
  • How can we tailor resources to fit your needs?
  • What questions does your team need to be answered right now? What is most important to them?
  • How does your team like to be communicated with? How do they like to share feedback?
  • What channels of communication resonate with your area?
  • What concerns are top of mind for your colleagues?
  • Who from the project would you like to hear from?
None of us could've predicted that we'd be modifying our entire lives in response to the Coronavirus pandemic: working remotely, experiencing new social and family dynamics, strange new daily routines replacing familiar ones. While the changes just keep coming (new project timelines, development of scenarios and strategies responding to the crisis, adjusting to life without normal celebrations and rituals), the uncertainty of the future looms constantly. None of us know exactly what to expect, but we know we must brace for continued upheaval. 2020 is a crash-course in change at a breakneck pace, whether we like it or not.

In the coming weeks, we'll be expanding the resources offered in the Community and on the FST website, with the aim of providing tools and materials to address your needs. Our goal is to make at least one of the myriad changes you're facing a little easier to deal with. I hope we will hear from you on how we can shape and grow our outreach specifically tailored to your needs.

Please let us know how we can work more closely with your school and unit, and thank you in advance for your partnership. 

Do you speak Workday?

POP QUIZ*: What's a "worktag?"

The answer is pretty important!  If you don't know, you're not alone . . . but you can easily find out with our new FST "Workday Words" dictionary.  

Check it out!

We'll continue compiling words that need definition as we proceed with Finance Strategic Transformation. 

If you have a suggestion for words that need definition, please let us know!


* Quizzes will be graded after Workday Financials goes live.

A "worktag" is what we currently refer to as a Chart element, e.g. Project, Task, or Award.

What's for dinner? Ask Chef Nick!

During these #stayathome days, many of us are cooking more than usual, and finding that cooking might be a little more interesting than it was before -- partly from the lack of other usual forms of entertainment and more time, and partly because it's an opportunity to have fun with our families. 

Photo Credit:

Nick Williams of Student Financial Services is our resident culinary expert; below are a few of the recipes he's shared recently.  Check them out and plan something great for dinner (or breakfast, or brunch, or anytime!). 

WARNING:  Images in the recipes linked below may make your stomach growl!

FST Technical Workstream Lures Akash Ginjala to UVA with the Beauty of Grounds

Akash Ginjala
Akash Ginjala
In April, Akash Ginjala joined FST’s Technical Workstream as a Workday Integration Developer. It had been some time since Ginjala had been in the university setting, and he loves the higher education environment. The opportunity to use his years of experience with Workday implementations to work on such a large scale project for an academic institution appealed to Ginjala.

“When I learned more about the University of Virginia,” Ginjala says, “I heard about the beauty of the campus—of Grounds.”

The urge to explore UVA’s historic Grounds sealed the deal for Ginjala. Unfortunately world events have intervened, and he hasn’t been able to explore as much as he’d like. Here’s hoping that Ginjala will be able to explore Grounds more as things become safer out there.

Along with colleagues on the technical team, Ginjala will work on the integrations between Workday Financials and other third-party systems in use at UVA. He and the team are participating in architect sessions, seeking information that will help them draw conclusions about what system integrations will need to be built.

Ginjala says, “The architect sessions are interesting and engaging. There’s a huge learning curve on other systems and processes at UVA.”

In addition to exploring Workday Financials system integration needs, Ginjala has recently started collaborating with UVA colleagues who maintain the HR Workday system.

Outside of work, one of Ginjala’s favorite things to do is travel. Since moving to the U.S. five years ago, he’s seen many of the states and still has more to go. Florida is one of his favorites, and he’s been several times. He enjoys visiting the Florida Keys and participating in the many activities available there.

Business Assets and Capital Projects Lead and Part-Time DJ joins the FST Team

Say hello to one of FST’s newest team members, Jealous Chiambiro! 

Chiambiro recently joined the project, which means in addition to the struggles that come with any new position, he is also “learning and adapting to new tools and ways of doing business during this Covid-19 new norm.” Despite the challenges this situation presents, Chiambiro describes his work so far as an “overall fantastic experience.”

He is the Lead/Project Manager for business assets and capital projects, working closely with Deloitte consultants as well as Gary Young regarding business assets and Blake Watson and Bev Smart’s group regarding capital projects. In this role, his responsibilities “will mostly involve working alongside [the previously mentioned team members] to gather, track, report, and coordinate data gatherings from Fixed Assets/Projects.”
The chance to learn Workday Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Financials was what really motivated Chiambiro to join the FST team. He has plenty of experience implementing other programs, “mostly Oracle, SAP, JDE and [I] have been exposed to Workday HCM,” but says he has yet to work on implementing Workday Financials. He says he also knew that his “extensive background in ERP implementations around Financials as well as general accounting and finance experience” would be great assets to the project.

Chiambiro DJing
Outside of work, Chiambiro is a husband and a father to two girls, 8 and 12, and one boy, 23. He also says that he plays in and manages a non-professional soccer team and even DJs when he finds the time.  

Rohini Rairao Joins FST Technical Workstream

Rohini Rairao
Last month, the FST team welcomed Rohini Rairao as a Workday Integrations Developer and Analyst in the Technical Workstream. Rairao has six years of Workday experience, working with many of the system’s modules as well as enhancements and integrations. 

“I love collaborating with team members,” Rairao says, “trying to help the client make processes easier.”

Rairao joined the team during this time of remote work due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Rairao, this moment is an opportunity to challenge ourselves to complete a big project while working remotely, and she thinks the project has a great set of team members to rise to the occasion.

To prepare for implementation of Workday Financials, Rairao will partner with colleagues focused on
the Oracle side of things, as well as collaborating with colleagues in conversions, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Procurement, and other areas. Rairao has been involved in the architect sessions and feels the six-month extension of the project timeline will give the team more time to process stakeholder input.

Rairao says, “The additional time to process will give us a strong foundation as we move into the next stages of the project.”

During her free time (when it’s possible to do so safely), Rairao loves to travel with family and friends. Her fiancé lives in Florida, so she spends a lot of time there. India, where she has family, and Europe are her favorite places to travel. Rairao also enjoys reading when she can find the time, and her favorite book is Gone with the Wind.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

UVAFinance Recommends: Quarantine Entertainment

Looking for something new to watch?

Last Friday, UVAFinance colleagues got together for another online social hour.  The topic of conversation was "what are you binge-watching during the quarantine?"  Below you'll see some of the most frequently mentioned suggestions for your consideration.  

UVAFinance social hours are brought to you by the Culture Crew.  You're invited to join the next virtual event at 4pm TODAY!  Click here to join:

Our next event is planned for June 5 at 4pm -- watch for more information!

Go on a Continuous Improvement Quest!

The Continuous Improvement Committee has prepared a fun quest in the Online Community to help you understand better how to implement CI principles as an individual contributor.  

Log on today to complete the quest (it's a little like a video game, only smarter!)  You'll see the quest on the right-hand margin if you scroll down a bit in the CI space. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

COVID-19 Supply Website from Procurement

As UVA considers how the Commonwealth's phase reopening plans will affect our eventual return to Grounds, Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services is working to make ordering and distribution of personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and services, and other related items easier and more cost-effective for all.


Supply chain fluctuations currently make it more difficult for the UVA Community to access items such as hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, cleaning supplies, plexiglass, and others that will be necessary to have in place before students, staff, and faculty return to Grounds. 


Visit,which details Procurement's management of coronavirus-related supplies and gives purchasing guidance per category.   The page will be updated often, so check back frequently!


Jenn Glassman, Director of Procurement & Supply Diversity, reminds those who make orders to be wary of working with suppliers you've never worked with before when ordering COVID-related supplies. 


"Err on the side of caution, and please contact us in advance if you are planning large-scale orders or have questions,"  she advises. 

Questions or concerns?  Contact Kristin Floyd



Contact Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services:  or 434-924-4212


Other COVID-related resources from Procurement: 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Finance Strategic Transformation Project Timeline Extended (and more updates from FST!)


                                                                            Want to listen to this update instead of reading it?  Tune in to WFST's Broadcast for May 7!

For several weeks the FST team has closely analyzed detailed scenarios for the project timeline that would allow some breathing room as the University community as a whole makes adjustments necessitated by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Based on this analysis, the project’s executive sponsors have extended the timeline by six months. This extension will give the project team more confidence that they can deliver a successful transformative experience for stakeholders.

The six-month timeline deferment announced by executive sponsors on April 27 (see the message on the FST website) reflects a commitment to making space to do this transformation well during this challenging and unpredictable time. It is not a definitive go-live date for Workday Financials implementation. 

Much will depend on how the fall semester and the University’s financial situation shapes up as we know more about the pandemic. The team is aware of the concerns about going live with Workday Financials outside of the fiscal year cycle.

For now, the project team will proceed with a six-month timeline extension as a goal. As greater clarity of how the extension will impact project work becomes apparent, subsequent decisions will be made openly with input from stakeholders and communicated clearly and directly.




Other updates from the world of FST: 

  • Check out this piece by Mark Anderson in the online Community about our road map for Reporting & Analytics – which is one of the four main areas that make up FST.  (The other 3 are the Workday Financials implementation, Continuous Improvement, and the Adaptive Insights Budget Pilot.)  In this piece, Anderson talks about how we’re using the project and the Workday implementation as a catalyst to design and plan an enterprise-wide reporting and analytics plan that will provide the trustworthy and up to the minute data that you need do your jobs well.  Read it here.  
  • Architect sessions continue to take place, though on a less compressed schedule than before, given the extension.  We’ve begun posting the slides to all architect sessions in the Online Community, and we’re compiling a master list of all the attendees of the architect sessions to be posted there as well.  These postings are in response to requests from stakeholders; we heard that you wanted to know who in your area was representing you at these meetings so that you could have offline discussions, so we’re posting the slides and (by next week) the attendee list to give you that clarity.
  • On the FST website:  We're adding resources like a “Workday Words” glossary that will help us start to understand what some of the new terminology we are hearing means, and how it may or may not connect to similar terms we’ve used in the past. Two things about that resource:  one, it will be constantly updated, so what you see on the site today is not complete – we’ll keep discovering new things that need to be explained, and new terms that need clarification.  And two, we really need you all to share with us the words that you think need more clarification.  The website is undergoing constant updates at this point, so please check back frequently!

Stepping up and helping out: UVAFinance during the COVID-19 response

dog and person high five
High fives to these folks for helping out!

Life and work haven't exactly been normal lately, but, as they say, the show must go on.  When times are tense, it's sometimes the little things that can matter the most!  Here are some of the ways UVAFinance has stepped up to serve the UVA Community during the COVID-19 crisis.  

Got an example of how your unit has gone out of its way during this unpredictable time? Email it to !

Travel & Expense

T&E has helped travelers across grounds cancel their upcoming travel plans and understand travel rules for how to rebook moving forward. The University has approximately $400K in unused ticket credits that T&E will need to help departments manage over the next two years. The airlines have offered special waivers to their corporate contracts which extend the validity of unused ticket credits and allow them to be used for a different traveler (name changes) which is not the standard practice, so we will need to help departments understand these exceptions and be aware that they have credits and how they can go about using them for alternate travelers.
We have helped to have approximately $43K in non-refundable tickets refunded by suggesting that travelers wait until the last minute to cancel tickets in case airlines issued waivers or had schedule changes which required them to refund rather than provide future travel credits.

Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services (and UVA HR!)

Early in the University's response to the Coronavirus, PSDS received a request for hand sanitizer from the School of Medicine.  At that point, there was none to be found.  Never daunted, John McHugh reached out to First Systems and Resources, a local small business that has been under contract with UVA for many years, and discovered that they had only an order of UVA HR-branded hand sanitizer in stock.  With the help of George Minor in HR, PSDS was able to supply both the SOM and Facilities Management with hand sanitizer from the HR stash.  Small business connections and generous colleagues meant that PSDS was able to provide a necessary commodity for our frontline colleagues. 

Virtual Shout Out Board

Shout Out Board

To: Sarah Fleming

From: Linda Estepp


Thank you for all your help in getting the APA user access straightened out.  I would not have been able to do it without you.

From the Culture Crew: Your tips for remote productivity

In a recent survey from the Culture Crew, we asked respondents to share any productivity tips they had for working remotely (in a time of crisis, no less!).  Folks had some interesting tips, from practical to emotional.  Here are a few of them collected in video format - - enjoy!

See the video in a LARGER format on Youtube.

Want to know more about working remotely during the COVID-19 response?  Check out these two episodes of Finance Matters:

Adjusting to Remote Work
Working Remotely During a Crisis
Zoom Fatigue

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Resources and Information During the Coronavirus Response

Recognizing Stress, Depression, and Anxiety in Your Team.

Date/Time: Thursday, May 14th, 2020 | 10am-11am EDT

Register Now

Join FEAP Director, Beth Danehy, in a discussion with Organizational Development Consultant, Raymond Brown, about how to recognize stress, depression, and anxiety in your team. They will discuss proactive steps you can take in order to help your team navigate through these challenging times.

Helping out during the Coronavirus Crisis

UVA Employee Volunteer Center

Find opportunities to volunteer and/or donate supplies during the current crisis.

Professional Development on UVAForward Site

Visit the  UVA Forward web site for many professional development, remote working, and community resources all in one centralized location.

Finance Outreach & Compliance Training 

The FOC team has converted in-person classroom training to leader-led online training using Zoom and employing features such as screen share, polls, annotation tools and break-out rooms.  Visit the FOC site for more information.

Other suggestions from our UVAFinance Wellness Champions
  • Spend at least a few minutes (preferably more) outside, weather permitting. Getting some fresh air whether through daily walks or eating a meal outside, etc. has been essential for staying connected to nature and it just feels good to get out of the house.
  • Take advantage of the mindfulness resources provided by the university. Lots of great opportunities are available.
  • Movement – whatever your thing may be – walking, running, dancing, online classes, housework, etc. Counterbalance all of the sitting with some movement.
  • Connecting with friends & family through Zoom, phone, social media, texts, etc.
  • Check out the weekly edition of Arts on the Hill
  • Kennedy Center Digital Stage – other Arts Organizations are also hosting on-demand virtual offerings; just check their sites to see what may be available.

Monday, May 4, 2020

From the Culture Crew: Social Hour on Friday 5/8/2020

Please join us for our 1st UVA Finance Zoom Social Half-Hour this Friday at 4pm.  Our theme, binge-worthy tv/movies, might give you a few new shows/movies to check out this weekend.

Zoom on in:

Workday Wiz Joins FST Team as Technical Lead

Sharad Gupta
Sharad Gupta started in April as the Finance Strategic Transformation (FST) Technical Workstream Lead. Gupta brings years of Workday experience with him, which will be essential in this role. Since 2012, his sole focus has been Workday, and he’s been doing IT-related work for 30 years.

Prior to coming to UVA, Gupta was a Global Workday Architect for IBM, responsible for implementations impacting more than 100,000 employees.  Additionally, he worked for Deloitte, UVA’s consulting partner for the project, in 2014 as a Senior Manager of Workday Practice. Gupta is certified in Workday Finance, HCM (HR/Payroll), Project Management, and Integration.

This opportunity at UVA enabled Gupta to pursue his interest to work in higher education again. He previously worked in the university environment on PeopleSoft projects at the University of Michigan and the University of Rochester. According to Gupta, many universities are transitioning from applications like PeopleSoft to cloud-based technology such as Workday, so UVA is in good company. 

Gupta says, “I like challenging roles where I can learn something new and apply my past experience.”

To get started, Gupta explains that he’ll be gathering information to understand the current tech landscape for UVA’s finance system. Once he has a firm grasp of the current situation, he’ll lead his team to handle everything from creating the UVA Workday Financials environment to integrations, reporting, and the Security workstream.

“We want to make sure everything is going to work well and welcome the challenges along the way,” says Gupta. “I enjoy coming up with creative solutions.”

Gupta has traveled throughout the world for work, and he likes traveling to new places. He’s been to more than 40 countries. Gupta’s favorites are Switzerland and France, where he lived for almost four years. They were the first places to which he traveled internationally.