Update on FAS Reorganization

Colleagues,

With the consolidation of the financial affairs and university operations portfolios in January, Financial and Administrative Services (FAS) leadership has been considering additional ways to optimize resources. Today I’m announcing several appointments and the reorganization of reporting in several portfolio units. This change in reporting is meant to build upon our successes while enhancing accountability for action and results that improve efficiencies and customer service for the campus. With the exception of the interim CIO, the reorganization and associated appointments are effective March 20.

Interim Chief Information Officer

First, I’m pleased to tell you that Mike Cunningham has agreed to serve as Interim Chief Information Officer (CIO) beginning March 18. He will succeed Brad Englert, who is retiring this month from his post as Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Mike will function in this role while we conduct a national search to replace the position.

Joining UT Austin in 2010 as a director in Information Technology Services (ITS), Mike has overseen the construction, commissioning, and operations of the university’s new data center. In this role, he transformed the data center service from a sole ITS center to a co-location facility for critical computing systems used by a majority of colleges, schools, and units (CSUs) and other UT System campuses.

Procurement and Payment Services, Business Contracts, and Historically Underutilized Business and Small Business Office

Felix Alvarez will now serve as the Assistant Vice President of Procurement, Business Contracts and Payment Services. He joined the university in January as the Director of Procurement and Payment Services. In addition to overseeing Procurement and Payment Services, Felix will now lead Business Contracts and the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) and Small Business (SB) Office. He will serve as the institution’s official HUB coordinator while Tiffany Dockery Gibson will now be the director of the HUB/SB Office. Tiffany has served as the interim director since 2016 and will continue to affirm the university’s commitment to lead new initiatives and expand our relationships with historically underutilized and small businesses.

Controller, Accounting and Financial Management

Kristen Walker has been appointed Controller and Assistant Vice President of Accounting and Financial Management. Kristen will continue to direct the activities of the Office of Accounting and Financial Management but will be taking an expanded role in overseeing the university’s financial and accounting functions. Treasury and Risk Management will become part of the Accounting and Financial Management portfolio of units. The position of controller will be integral to addressing strategic financials issues and initiatives and maintaining and improving the accuracy of financial reporting.

AVP for Financial Affairs and Budget Office

Mary Knight continues in her role as Associate Vice President of Finance overseeing Budget and Payroll Services. This reorganization provides Mary’s office with added capacity to focus on institution-wide budget and financial matters.

AVP for Financial and Campus Services and Records Management

As Records Management Officer, Maryrose Coyle-Hightower also will supervise the Records and Information Management unit which was formerly aligned within Treasury and Risk Management. The Records and Information Management unit will now serve under the direction of Marla Martinez, Associate Vice President of Financial and Campus Services. Maryrose has been instrumental as a records management officer overseeing several campus initiatives, including the DocuSign launch.

I know this is a lot to take in. A revised organizational chart is available to help you visualize our new direction. My hope is that these changes will invigorate the portfolio and revitalize our service delivery. I invite you to share these organizational changes with our stakeholders and welcome our new leaders. I’m looking forward to collaborating with you daily as we continue our focus on streamlining our processes to provide high levels of customer service.

Sincerely,

Darrell Bazzell
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer