A Snapshot of 2017 Highlights

Kristen Walker, Assistant Vice President for Accounting and Financial Management, and Controller

Student Accounts Receivable

  • Collaborated with the Office of Financial Aid, the Registrar’s Office, and the Provost’s Office to ensure that students affected by Hurricane Harvey were able to effortlessly transition to their Fall ’17 classes.

 Accounting and Financial Management

  • Continues to partner with various university departments to continually improve internal report automation and communication with our students, parents, staff, and external customers.
  • Completed another Annual Financial Report on time with minimal findings.

Mary E. Knight, Associate Vice President for Finance


  • Provided legislative appropriation analyses and hearing materials to leadership and governmental relations staff during the 85th Legislative Session.
  • Worked with university business officers and administrators to complete the FY 2017-2018 annual operating budget, including salary policy allocations and budget reduction estimates.
  • Implemented the Gov. Greg Abbott’s hiring freeze policy changes, tracked funding reductions, and prepared related state reports.
  • Worked with Tuition Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC) as a resource for tuition estimates and analyses.


  • Worked with IT teams to revise our internal programs and reports to comply with the Teacher Retirement System modernization efforts via the new TRS Reporting Entity Portal (portal went live September 1, 2017).
  • Worked with Human Resources to provide about 1,000 accrued leave payments to employees who left the university in previous years but did not receive their payouts. Many months of research were required to locate previous employees, determine the amounts due, and issue the checks.
  • Developed a comprehensive Wiki page for internal payroll documentation in preparation for Workday go-live. Engaged and involved payroll staff members in process review and documentation, and implemented a weekly Hands-on Workday (HOW) exercise to help payroll staff become familiar with Workday.

Financial Information Systems (FIS)

  • Completed the first 267 integrations to financials systems required for Workday HCM/Payroll, roughly half of the effort needed to complete all FIS integrations.
  • Implemented a new system to verify bank routing numbers for ACH transactions, saving the university well over $100,000 over the next five years.
  • Incorporated specialized cohort billing into the Tuition and Fees system for Dell Medical School students.
  • Completed the administrative interface of the tax portal, the first phase of a project that will eventually produce a one-stop, self-service application for students, faculty, and staff to claim their tax forms issued by the university.

Marla Martinez, Associate Vice President for Financial and Campus Services

Business and Financial Services (BFS)/Technology Resources

  • Collaborated to build the invoice tracker system for BFS customers to utilize in submitting payment information for processing.

Document Solutions

  • Won seven awards at the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association’s 2017 awards, more than any other organization that entered. Awards included five golds, two silvers and Best of Show.

Travel Management Services

  • Provided management and central billing of the newly implemented Anthony Travel Motorcoach program: $703,787.00.
  • Managed airline business discount programs, saving the university $236,402 in 2017.

Texas Swim Center

  • Marked the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center with promotional activities.

Longhorn Aquatics

  • Hosted thousands of visitors at 25 events at the Texas Swimming Center.
  • Continued the club’s tradition of excellence with top performances in 2017 swimming and diving meets.

Child Development Center

Bob Harkins, Associate Vice President for Campus Safety & Security

Campus Safety and Security

  • Managed the safety response to Hurricane Harvey (UTPD, Environmental Health & Safety and Fire Prevention Services/ Emergency Preparedness)

Parking and Transportation Services

  • Completion of stage 1 of the East Campus Garage
  • Initiate SURE Ride and continued growth of SURE Walk

Dana Chapman, Associate Vice President for Administrative Systems Modernization


  • Managed the reset and campus wide engagement of the Workday project.
  • Announced 2018 Go Live date for Workday HCM/Payroll.
  • Completed design confirmation sessions.

David Rea, Associate Vice President for Campus Planning & Project Management

Campus Planning and Project Management

  • Created a new unit – Capital Planning and Construction – successfully transitioning from UT System to UT Austin

Capital Planning and Construction

  • Opened Engineering Education and Research Center for first day of classes in August
  • Opened Dell Med clinics in the Health Transformation Building in October
  • Achieved LEED Gold rating on all Dell Medical School buildings
  • Opened Phase 1 of East Campus Parking Garage

Project Management and Construction Services

  • Initiated more than 900 projects totaling in excess of $80M of design and construction activity
  • Commenced execution of Space Allocation Study and completed several initial relocations, freeing up core campus space to be used for academic and research use
  • 7 individual SITES awards earned by PMCS employees
  • Initiated in-house Design Team to focus on projects less than $200,000.
  • Continue to utilize repurposed wood across campus collaborating with Carpentry Shop, Project Managers, Landscape Services, and Sustainability

Campus Real Estate Office

  • Closed on the purchase of 5  properties
  • Facilitated 25 lease transactions, totaling over 143,000 SF
  • Concluded 21 easement, ROW or license transactions in support of 11 projects or properties

Office of Sustainability

  • Awarded $493,000 of Green Fee funds to 33 projects, and in the process creating 46 student worker positions for the 2017 cycle
  • Shared in the work needed to achieve the Dell Med LEED recognition mentioned above
  • Campus Environmental Center more than doubled its active student membership. Nearly 100 students learn about and take action on sustainability for on-campus and in the community
  • There are now 32 certified Green Offices across campus

Felix Alvarez, Assistant Vice President for Procurement, Business Contracts, Payment Services

Procurement/Business Contracts/Payment Services/HUB & Small Business Program

  • Aligned Business Contracts, HUB, Payment Services and Procurement into one portfolio under one AVP.

HUB & Small Business Program

  • Achieved 18.87% in overall HUB utilization for FY16-17, compared to State of Texas overall HUB utilization of 11.97 percent..
    • UT Austin ranked 4th out of UT System component institutions in HUB utilization (percentage of total spend).
    • UT Austin ranked 2nd out of UT System component institutions in raw dollar expenditures awarded to HUBs.
    • UT Austin ranked 5th in the state as far as raw dollar expenditures awarded to HUBs ($71,987,498).

Payment Services

  • Worked with FIS team to improve the scholarship awards system
  • Implemented Internal Audit’s audit recommendations for cash advances for participant fee studies, strengthening internal controls.
  • Established standardized past due email notices which reduced the amount of past due cash advance reconciliations.
  • Established a Wiki page for Payment Services to store and standardize various procedures
  • Transitioned purchasing forms into DocuSign platform to reduce paper costs and improve the ability to obtain signatures. 
  • Held 13 training classes and trained 174 campus users on purchasing topics and UT Market.
  • Assisted Dell Medical School with purchases needed to facilitate startup the Health Transformation Building.
  • Improved average purchasing cycle time from 7.7 days to 6.9 days.

Debra Kress, Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Human Resources

  • Developed a new training series entitled HR Essentials.  The certificate series is designed to enable the university HR community to be grounded in applicable policies, laws, best practices and UT processes on a variety of HR and HR-related topics.  The pilot will conclude in January with the series opening for all university HR staff via UTLearn in February.
  • Redesigned Tableau workforce reports for each VP portfolio, every college and school, and interested departments. Both current state and historical trends of the workforce are included. The reports provide immediate aggregate employee information to management that can be used for planning and diagnostic purposes.


Employee Assistance Program

  • Modified the Staff Emergency Fund (SEF) business process in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to streamline the application and approval cycle. A total of 18 impacted staff members were awarded emergency funds using the SEF process. In addition, a new SEF online donation mechanism was created in collaboration with University Development. The new online portal is available year-round to receive SEF donations.
  • Provided on-site counseling services to Marine Science Institute employees post Hurricane Harvey and put in place a plan to provide continued telephonic and Skype counseling services.

Occupational Health Program (OHP)

  • Provided vaccinations to UTPD and EHS first responders headed to the MSI facility in the days immediately following Hurricane Harvey. OHP nurse traveled to MSI to provide flu vaccinations to faculty, staff, and students.
  • Provided on-boarding support to over 100 Dell Medical School healthcare professionals needing vaccines, TB screenings, and blood titers prior to opening their new UT Health clinic.  OHP drafted their medical clearance guidelines, ordered their supplies, procured an oxygen tank for them and traveled to their building to provide these services with only one week’s notice.

Wellness Program

  • Facilitated two institution-wide physical activity challenges in 2017 called Spring into Motion and Healthy Trails. Combined, these programs had over 2,000 participants and involved several campus-wide activities to enhance employee engagement with the online platform.
  • Launched the Peers Against Tobacco program. Volunteers are being trained in bystander intervention to respectfully approach those seen violating our tobacco-free campus policy.

HR Benefits

  • Converted existing paper Sick Leave Donor, Sick Leave Recipient, and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms into online forms using Qualtrics. The online forms are web accessible, mobile-friendly and allow for electronic signature and submittal.
  • Partnered with Payroll Services to complete the university’s employer IRS reporting obligations under the Affordable Care Act. This annual project involves the creation, validation and printing of 1095-C tax forms that are mailed to over 26,000 current and former employees.

Organizational Effectiveness

  • Coordinated the Employee Engagement Survey project 12,000 employees surveyed and results were disseminated to a university steering committee. Developed templates for reviewing and interpreting the results, and continue to provide ongoing support to units.
  • The Leadership Growth Program 2017 continues to progress under Financial and Administrative Services leadership. Six of last year’s participants have been promoted. Seven of the projects that participants proposed in their final presentations are either currently in implementation phases or have been implemented.

Strategic Workforce Solutions

  • The Student Employee Excellence Development (SEED) Program continues to provide professional development to over 250 student employees each year. During 2016-2017, 265 students attended SEED workshops. During the fall 2017 semester, 156 students participated, a significant increase from 94 students during fall 2016. The SEED Program offers 32 free, one-hour workshops each semester, and feedback from the student participants – both graduate students and undergraduates – is consistently very positive.

Mike Cunningham, Interim AVP for Information Technology Services

  • Completed the first phase of the Building Access Control System (BACS) Celebrated Entrances project.  This phase focused on select buildings with General Purpose Classrooms. 
  • Installed a parallel Data Center Network In support of the Data Center Network Lifecycle.
  • Completed phase one of Identity and Access Management Modernization Program with the production implementation of SailPoint IIQ. Campus early adopters now use SailPoint IIQ and are realizing improved security and efficiency in managing access to their applications. These features include automated granting and removal of access to applications, accurate reporting of who has access to what, access request approval management, and notifications when application access needs to be reviewed.
  • Completed the Office 365 migration project migrating the final batch of customer mailboxes from the legacy on-premises Austin Exchange Messaging Service (AEMS). This migration allowed AEMS to be retired and was a critical milestone toward the goal of eliminating all on-campus dependencies for campus email so that mail keeps flowing in the event of a campus disaster.
  • Negotiated a contract for offering Amazon Web Services (AWS) to campus as a centrally-offered service. Customers can sign up for AWS accounts and take full advantage of the AWS product catalog. The benefits of this service include coverage via a fully-negotiated and executed contract but full independence [for subscribers] in terms of usage, a 3% usage discount and data egress fee waiver for academics or university business (up to 15% of the bill). 
  • Handled  59,000 contacts at the Service Help Desk. 42% of customers served were students and 62% of customers were served via phone. An overall positive customer experience score of 87.3% was maintained, exceeding the 85% goal. The ID Center issued 32,000 cards over the last 12 months.