The recommendations from three working groups tasked with implementing the Division of Finance and Planning’s strategic plan are now under review, with five action items topping the to-do list.

Under the direction of the Vice President for Finance and Planning Dan Layzell and the senior leadership team of Associate Vice Presidents Greg Alt, Andrea Ballinger, Barb Blake; Assistant Vice President Tammy Carlson; and Senior Associate Vice President Deb Smitley, the three cross-unit working groups of division employees were created in June 2012.

Their charge was to inform the development of an operational work plan to advance three goals outlined in the division’s strategic plan.

“Each of these groups worked diligently and creatively to meet the various deadlines established by the division’s senior leadership team,” said Layzell. “Along the way, they consulted with dozens of individuals within the division and across the University through a variety of methods to gather input and information that helped shape their final recommendations. My sincere thanks to all of you who took the time to participate in this very successful process.”

This spring, the senior leadership team carefully reviewed working group final recommendations, determined their relative prioritization, and outlined a plan and timeline for moving forward with implementation. While there are many good ideas proposed in the recommendations, the division will focus initially on a relatively small number of the most critical priorities. The full implementation of the strategic plan is scheduled to span the next five years; however, the focus over the next 12-18 months will be on the following action items:


  • Onboarding process improvements, including the development and implementation of new onboarding procedures and enhancements to the new employee orientation process.
  • Division communication improvements, including the development of a quarterly newsletter, creation of a SharePoint site, enhancements to the VPFP website, and appointment of a communications coordinator.
  • An operational and business process review of purchasing, including a comprehensive assessment of the procurement process, workflow, organizational structure and staffing, tracking and communication, internal/external impediments, and recommendations for improvement.
  • Management and staff training and development, including the development of a centralized portal including training and development resources and opportunities and a new supervisor/department head orientation program.
  • Technology-related improvements/enhancements, including iPeople (commitment accounting, benefits accrual, and reporting), Budget Wizard, Administrative Technologies processes such as Request for Change (RFC) and desktop support.

Here’s a more detailed listing of these action items.

Strategic Plan Working Groups, goals and final reports

Goal 1: Enhance organizational and staff development opportunities

Organizational and Staff Development Working Group

VPFP Group 1

Front row, left to right: Sarah Evans (Human Resources), Co-Chair Kristi Kowall (Facilities Management), Margaret Gabor (Comptroller), and Co-Chair Andee Radliff (HR). Back row, left to right: Jerry Malak (BITS), Leslie Root (Office of the VPFP), Don Kunde (Environmental Health and Safety), Kristen Hendrickson (Planning, Research, and Policy Analysis), and Diane Ruch (Administrative Technologies Business Office)

Read Group 1’s final report

Goal 2: Improve business processes and work flow to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the division

Business Process Improvement Working Group

VPFP Group 2

Front row, left to right: Christy West (Comptroller), Co-chair Tom Shadid (Comptroller), Co-Chair Chris Homan (Energy Management), Georgia Martin (Facilities Planning), Pam Beach (eMerge), and Sandy Cavi (Budget Office). Back row, left to right: Leslie Root (Office of the VPFP), Chuck Scott (Facilities Management), Michael Schultz (HR), Mary Jo Kocar (Parking and Transportation), Rajiv Shah (Enterprise Support Services) and JC Crabill (Environmental Health and Safety).

Read Group 2’s final report

Goal 3: Formalize strategic partnerships across the University

Strategic Partnerships Working Group

VPFP Group 3

Front row, left to right: Robin Knapp (Comptroller), Julie North (Parking and Transportation), Shirley Murphy (Comptroller), Derek Story (HR) and Arturo Ramirez (LEAPForward). Back row, left to right: Leslie Root (Office of the VPFP), Ron Kelley (Energy Management), Co-Chair Eric Hodges (Enterprise Support Services), John Goodman (Environmental Health and Safety) and Co-Chair Angela Engel (Planning, Research, and Policy Analysis). Not pictured: Ben Ryburn (Facilities Management, retired).

Read Group 3’s final report