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February 16, 2016

Dear Department Managers,

I am writing to share news about the formation of the department of Academic Finance and Administration (AFA), which I announced earlier today at a meeting to department chairs and center directors. AFA is a new organizational structure that consolidates existing shared services units and staff serving academic and administrative units under the Office of the Provost, Dean of the Faculty (DOF), Dean of the College, Graduate School and Office of Vice President for Research (OVPR). 

The goal of this consolidation is to serve administrative and academic units more efficiently and effectively and to unify and strengthen financial reporting capabilities.  The department combines functions and staff inFinancial & Administrative Networked Services (FANS), the Provost Service Center, the Academic Service Center, and the financial service offices of DOF, the Graduate School and OVPR.  AFA will partner with the DOF, Dean of the College, OVPR and Graduate School administration to coordinate support for financial and administrative needs. Academic and research departments will continue to be fully supported through this consolidation.

Academic Finance & Administration will be led by Sara Walsh, and will report to Vice President for Academic Finance & Administration Lindsay Graham.  The department will consist of three functional teams: Reporting and Analysis led by Jim Downing, Budget and Finance led by Becky Sattel and Operations and Outreach led by Sarah Peri. 

Faculty administration, academic staffing needs, and HR partner support for academic units will continue to be provided by the DOF administration, led by Nancy Congdon.

Current users of these services in academic and research units should not experience any changes during this transition; representatives from the existing offices with whom you work will continue to serve as the best points of contact.  Any changes that may occur over time as roles and responsibilities shift within the AFA team will be communicated in a timely way to ensure continuity of service.

Your feedback throughout the transition will be important, and there will be opportunities to discuss the changes and offer input at the Department Managers meeting on March 24. It will also be included as a discussion topic during the upcoming DOF spring planning meetings for academic units.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact Sara Walsh or Nancy Congdon directly with any questions or concerns. 

Our goal is and remains ensuring exceptional professional services to the university community.  Thank you for your cooperation as we move forward with this transition. 


Richard M. Locke