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Status Update

March 2014

Paying Forward Suggestion Current Initiative and Benefits Status

Grants Process

Streamline Pre/Post Grants process from "Inception to Closeout" through a process assessment. Determine improvements and develop solutions.

  • A team of representatives from OSP, IT, and key schools is working to develop an electronic grant approval form and conduct a process assessment.
    • Requirements for a new Electronic Grant Approval Form, which includes an approval workflow, electronic capture of new awards, and tacking of pending and active awards are being finalized in March.
    • A process assessment is being conducted to draft the current process map with roles and responsibilities; it has identified opportunities for improvement.
  • Enhanced support and value for faculty through increased effectiveness of pre/post grants process
  • Reduced administrative burden
  • Increased research support capacity
  • Increased compliance
  • Benchmarking of Research Administration findings will identify key improvements to be reported in March and findings will be integrated with the process mapping effort.
  • The development and implementation of the Electronic Grant Approval Form to follow.
  • Timeline to be determined.

Grants Management System

Implement document management and reporting fixes to improve effectiveness in managing the grants award system.

  • The Office of Sponsored Programs is improving the grants award tracking system (to track sponsor invoices and reporting requirements), which will increase its stability and decrease data entry time.
  • A document management system is being developed which will provide electronic imaging of grants and awards files for improved access and visibility. Requirements are being finalized.
  • Increased effectiveness of current grants award system.
  • Reduced administrative burden
  • Increased research support capacity
  • Development and implementation to follow.

Mobile Phones and Service Plans

Review current voice and data plans to reduce the University costs for providing mobile services to employees.

  • A team from across the University conducted an analysis of mobile expenditures with assistance from Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services.
  • A potential reduction in mobile service expenses of 50% ($600,000) was estimated.
  • A team of key stakeholders in Facilities Management, School of Medicine, Athletics, ITS, Police, PSDS, and Business Operations is investigating alternatives to the University's current practices.
  • Recommendations regarding University mobile phone and service plans are anticipated in spring 2014.
  • Changes may require a new University policy.

Phone Books

Employees made multiple suggestions related to eliminating the annual printing of the University telephone directories

  • Every year, the University prints telephone directories, and large numbers of the directories are returned to be recycled because employees, who prefer to go on line, don't need them. Employees expressed concern about the waste that the printing of these directories caused.
  • Process Simplification recommended the elimination of the phone books several years ago. A decision was made during the recent budget discussions to stop the printing of the UVa. phone directories.

Space Management

Optimize use of University- owned and -leased space to meet long-term institutional needs.

  • The Vice President for Management and Budget established the following goal for 2014: Strategic Space Planning and Optimization, specifically, "Develop and implement a comprehensive space planning and management approach that is grounded in robust analytics to guide decisions that align and advance institutional priorities."
  • In November 2013, the VP charged a workgroup with representatives from Facilities Management, Office of the Architect for the University, Real Estate and Leasing Services, and the University of Virginia Foundation to develop a structure and process to achieve the goal. The workgroup engaged other key stakeholders, such as the Provost Office and Medical Center.
  • Unified approach
  • Alignment of space use with institutional priorities
  • Optimize use of all physical assets
  • In February 2014, the group drafted a set of recommendations that address structure, representation, authority levels, and guiding principles for effective space management that are under review by senior leaders.
  • Once vetted and approved, implementation will begin.

Strategic Sourcing1

Aggregate purchasing for Office Supplies

  • Strategic sourcing is a tactic to aggregate purchasing to receive more favorable pricing and effective service.
  • Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services has analyzed the University's spending on commonly used office products, such as paper and toner; has issued an RFP; and is evaluating firms to assess if aggregating office supply spend would lead to more favorable pricing and improved service.
  • Improved services, reduced cost of goods and services (projected 10%) is possible.
  • Additional revenue is possible through signing bonuses, rebates, and/or early payment discounts.
  • Procurement Services is in the final stages of evaluating firms.
  • A contract will be effective in FY15.


More than 30 submissions suggested ways to increase sustainability practices and conservation in the workplace, that would reduce the use of energy and other resources, and reuse and/or recycle goods.

  • The University is preparing to launch the department-based UVA Green Workplace Certification program that will help guide and recognize U.Va. workplaces and departments that are taking a leadership role in improving the sustainability of their operations.
  • The Green Workplace Program incorporated conservation and sustainability-related ideas submitted in the Paying Forward campaign.
  • The Office for Sustainability in Facilities Management will administer the program.
  • Decrease department expenses for energy, water, paper, printing, etc., leading to institutional cost savings.
  • Reduce the institution's carbon and nitrogen footprint as approved by the Board of Visitors.
  • Version .5 of the Green Workplace Program is being piloted in University Human Resources and the Office of the Architect.
  • Version 1 is anticipated for release in May or June of 2014.
  • Workplaces interested in participating should contact Nina Morris, Sustainability Outreach Coordinator, Facilities Management Dept.
  • This year, the University's Sustainability Partners program has organized its monthly meetings around the categories of the Green Workplace Program.

Travel Expenses

Optimize travel expenditures by using a single booking entity to negotiate airline and hotel contract.

  • Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services is reviewing the processes for expensing and reconciling purchasing card transactions and requesting travel reimbursements and considering how a travel and management expense system can contribute to an improved and automated process.
  • Simplify approval, purchasing and reconciliation processes
  • Provide enhanced spend data for informed decision –making
  • One-Pcard, direct pay for travel expenses, thus managing the cost of services and providing data to contract for reduced air fare and lodging rates.
  • Procurement Services is evaluating various travel and expense management systems and soliciting input from University faculty and staff on process and needs


Review the use of overtime, premium pay expenditures and the awarding of compensation to determine opportunities for savings.

  • The University Internal Audit Department gathered preliminary data on the use of overtime, premium pay expenditures and the awarding of compensation. The results were forwarded to the appropriate departments for review.
  • Enhanced workforce planning.
  • Departments are reviewing the data received from University Internal Audit for possible investigation and/or resolution.
  • University Internal Audit will conduct a follow-up analysis, over the course of a full fiscal year, to determine if any changes or improvements have been made.
  • Internal Audit will issue its recommendations by August 2015.

1: The concept of strategic sourcing of office supplies has been endorsed by the Organizational Excellence Leadership Council

2: About 20 percent of all ideas submitted to the Paying Forward campaign were related to sustainability.