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Bravo Employee Recognition Program

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Travel Workflow Implementation Team,
Disbursements and Travel Services

Financial Affairs is pleased to recognize Travel Workflow Implementation Team ...
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Financial Affairs and the PeopleSoft Support and Sustainment Center is pleased to recommend The Travel Workflow Implementation Team, for consideration of the 1st Quarter FY 2017 Celebrating Excellence recognition. The more than six-month project was a collaboration between Financial Affairs and PSSC; Team members include: Sheri Hardison, Diana Macias-Ollervidez, Nora Compean, Elisabeth Cuadros, Javier Martinez, Rene Paniagua, Cynthia Orth, and Dennis Layman.

Since the implementation of PeopleSoft software, the UTSA campus community has expressed frustration with the interim processes associated with travel. As a result, Financial Affairs collaborated with faculty and staff across UTSA to work toward the common goal of eliminating the interim processes and streamlining the Travel business processes. A travel survey was developed and sent to more than 20 faculty and staff to solicit feedback and ensure the survey was capturing pertinent data prior to sending to all faculty and staff, nearly 4,200, valuing the teamwork and participation. Financial Affairs took survey responses and opinions (more than 700) into consideration and showed great RESPECT AND CARE, treating survey responses with openness and recognizing the need for CREATING POSITIVE CHANGE and embarked on a mission to make improvements based on staff and faculty responses.

The Travel Workflow Implementation team PARTNERED with UT System SIS team to analyze, test and manage the rollout of the Travel and Expense Workflow project and other changes. They COLLABORATED to form a team with goals to deliver EXCELLENCE and a COMMITTEMENT TO DELIVER HIGH QUALITY SERVICE. Survey results were analyzed and based on the top four responses, the following improvements to the Overall Travel and Expense processes were made:

Eliminate Redundant Entry/Forms
Eliminated Interim SharePoint Process Eliminated Travel Reimbursement Settlement Form Except Certain Situations
Streamline All Processes
Workflow Consolidates Approval and Data Entry Processes
Supervisors Only Required to Approve Travel Authorization (no longer have to approve Travel Reimbursement)
Approvals are Tracked and Monitored in PeopleSoft (know where bottlenecks are)
Improved Communication as Email Notifications are Received at Each Approval
Developed online training and updated in classroom training
Partnered with SIS to make modifications to PeopleSoft
Be More Flexible
Increased the Number of Days Required to Submit Travel (was 30 and now 60)
Supervisor Only Approves Travel Authorization, not Travel Reimbursement
Faster Reimbursement
Eliminated paper routing (ability to scan documentation)
Approval/Denial Process is Streamlined since All Documentation is in PeopleSoft,br>Use Metrics to Monitor Processes

Various other improvements were made to other Travel and Expense processes as well based on survey responses. More than 80 faculty and staff were utilized to test the system and pilot the training. The Travel and Expense Workflow team worked diligently to CREATE POSITIVE CHANGE by refreshing our processes to meet our customers' needs while supporting Business Affairs employees.

Debra Villanueva, Financial Affairs Debra Villanueva, Administrative Services Officer III

Financial Affairs is pleased to recognize Debra Villanueva ...
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Financial Affairs is pleased to recommend Debra Villanueva, Administrative Services Officer III, for consideration of the 2nd Quarter FY 2017 Celebrating Excellence recognition. Debra consistently demonstrates the guiding principles of the Financial Affairs division in all that she does.

She PARTNERS to deliver excellent customer service by providing guidance and assistance to her Financial Affairs colleagues and also to the larger UTSA community. One example of this is the employee travel process. She noticed that there was a need for a "how to" resource in this area, and responded by developing a valuable travel checklist that guides employees through the entire process, from the request for travel authorization to reimbursement of travel expenses.

The FAR meetings are another example of the excellent customer service that Debra provides. She organizes these meetings for 90+ Financial Area Representatives, from scheduling rooms, coordinating presentations, preparing and distributing agendas, greeting representatives as they arrive, and completing countless behind-the-scenes tasks to make sure the meeting proceeds smoothly from start to finish.

Debra VALUES and empowers her fellow employees. She recognized a need for training and knowledge sharing among administrative staff and formed an administrative staff peer group that meets regularly. This has CREATED positive change - improved communication, shorter turn-around times, and fewer processing errors. The group has also resulted in standardized processes across Financial Affairs, as well as providing a collaborative environment for new and creative ideas. Debra volunteers her time and provides valuable feedback on new business processes; she serves as a member of the Sci-Quest (Rowdy Exchange) Focus Group, she served on the pilot test group for Travel Authorization Workflow project and is the SECC Area Champion for the AVP Office.

By paying attention to the needs of others and following through to provide assistance, she shows RESPECT and care for her fellow employees. She is always available to answer questions and patiently provide guidance to Financial Affairs and other departments, often going above and beyond the call of duty to help others.

Debra also demonstrates her RESPECT and care for others in the BRAVO Award process. She is instrumental in organizing the nomination and selection process, but the most important part of her participation is her contribution to the ceremony, which because of her thoughtfulness and attention to detail is not just a presentation but a meaningful experience for the recipients. She often volunteers her personal time to ensure that the award presentation conveys that Financial Affairs values the contributions of its members.

She is familiar with and understands UTSA policies and procedures, and often provides guidance to others in this area, helping them to DO the right thing in performing their duties and relating to their fellow employees. She always acts in the best interest of Financial Affairs and UTSA.

These are only a few examples of how Debra embodies the Financial Affairs guiding principles. She quietly and efficiently keeps the department organized and on track, never calling attention to herself.

Rowdy Exchange Project Team Rowdy Exchange Project Team

Financial Affairs is pleased to recognize our Rowdy Exchange Project Team ...
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Financial Affairs is pleased to nominate the Rowdy Exchange Project Team for consideration of the 4th Quarter FY 2017 Celebrating Excellence recognition. The team members are:

  • Rene Paniagua, BIS
  • John Clifford, PDS
  • Araceli Pacheco, BIS
  • Bruce Williams, PDS
  • Dennis Layman, BIS
  • Diana Macias Ollervidez, Office of the Controller
  • Diane Gomez, Financial Affairs
  • Elizabeth Raymond, PDS
  • Frank Salinas, PDS
  • George Hawxhurst, Consultant
  • Julie Gohlke, PDS
  • Lane Brinson, PDS
  • Melissa May, Business Affairs
  • Patty Burrier, PDS
  • Paul Duke, PDS
  • Paul Sanguinetti, BIS
  • Richard Wollney, Business Contracts
  • Sandra Calderon, PDS

Because team members represented various departments across Business Affairs, it was critical that the team PARTNER to deliver excellent customer service. Team members thought openly and took the lead on new ideas and concepts. Exchanges within each group and cross-groups raised the level of system excellence. Team members were RESPECTFUL and responsive within the team while handling their daily responsibilities, always showing RESPECT and care for one another. The team's attitude was critical in the success and acceptance of campus-wide implementation, and all embraced the system with enthusiasm. They worked diligently to persuade customers of the benefits of Rowdy Exchange in order to CREATE positive change.

The Rowdy Exchange team also PARTNERED with many departments across campus, utilizing User Groups to assess the system and provide feedback prior to implementation. The Project Team involved members from campus at every point. Executive and Advisory teams were carefully selected to include representatives from high usage areas such as Research and Facilities, as well as niche purchasing areas such as the Art Department. The User Groups proved very valuable, as information was gleaned from these meetings to ensure Rowdy Exchange implementation considered all possible scenarios. Engaging User Groups early in the process allowed the project to be responsive to needs along the way.

Rowdy Exchange delivered an easier customer interface and an overall better customer service experience. Not only does the system allow a more streamlined purchasing process, but it also allows for better tracking of spending metrics and will hopefully steer users to preferred vendors. The project also re-engineered some processes to be more efficient, such as matching requirements.

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