2017 Launches Financial and Administrative Services Portfolio

Colleagues,

It’s a new semester in a New Year, and we are a new organization! The Financial Affairs and University Operations service units have come together to form a new portfolio—Financial and Administrative Services.

We’ve made a good deal of progress in our transition to this new portfolio, so I’d like to start the New Year off with some updates.

First, in addition to naming our new organization, we’ve launched a new website (https://financials.utexas.edu/ ) dedicated to informing our campus customers and colleagues across campus of our mission, values, structure, and service offerings. This website will gain more content and depth as we engage in strategic planning this year. For now, it reflects our current initiatives and purpose.

The strategic planning process will begin this quarter. Later this month, we will begin the development of our inaugural strategic plan aimed at providing Financial and Administrative Services with overarching goals, structure, and metrics. I will be providing you with regular updates on this initiative and with opportunities to weigh in as the plan evolves.

New organizations necessitate new org charts. For now, we have an org chart that reflects our combined organizations (https://financials.utexas.edu/sites/default/files/cfo_orgchart.pdf ). This chart may change over time, and when that happens, we will communicate those changes to you.

And speaking of communications, I’ve asked Chief of Staff Tara Doolittle and Director of Communications Rhonda Weldon to launch an aggressive internal communications effort for our employees. Preliminary plans include continued updates to the transition web pages (http://transition.financials.utexas.edu/ ), a portfolio-wide newsletter, and portfolio-wide social media to celebrate and amplify our unit successes. 

We’re also moving forward with building consistency in our policies and practices. Your management teams can expect to receive policy memos from me in a few of these areas (e.g., timesheets, personnel action delegations, and official occasions) once I’ve had a chance to brief portfolio leadership in the next week or two.

I’m also drafting charges for committees to be formed around the following topics:

  • Staff awards
  • Telecommuting
  • Communication Device Allowances (CDAs)

Specific to staff awards, I’d like you all to continue with any local employee awards and recognition programs while the committee evaluates and makes recommendations for what we do portfolio-wide. This means we will forego the STARS and SLICE programs that were part of the former organizations (Financial Affairs and University Operations respectively), but continue with unit level informal and formal employee recognition as we develop a new program for Financial and Administrative Services.

In closing, let me say again how impressed I’ve been these past few months with our employees’ dedication to continued excellence while we launch this organization. Each of you has made this smooth transition possible. Thank you and Happy New Year!

Regards,

Darrell Bazzell
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Financial and Administrative Services