The Ufirst Project


January 27, 2017, 9:48am

The Ufirst team launched their official project newsletter “Future First” on Wednesday, January 25th. Future First will deliver monthly updates on what’s going on within the project, announce important future-state information, answer questions, and provide tools to help with transition. Newsletters will be available on the Ufirst website and by subscribing directly. Check out the first edition today!

October 24, 2016, 4:44pm

Human Resources at the University of Virginia is transforming the way we serve our mission through the Ufirst project. The Academic Division and Health System are joining forces and aim to create a consistent and exceptional work experience for every UVA colleague, one that is commensurate with our reputation of excellence.

To recognize the accomplishments from the initial planning phase, the team recently held a Ufirst Appreciation Event recognizing phase I contributions. Kelley Stuck, Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer spoke of a future vision for HR at UVA while Ufirst Executive Sponsors, Pat Hogan, Chief Operations Officer & Executive Vice President, Dr. Rick Shannon, Executive Vice President, Health System Affairs and Dr. Tom Katsouleas, Provost, thanked phase I team members for their contributions. Additionally, phase I team leads expressed their appreciation to the team members for their effort over the past year.  

Dr. Sean Jackson, Ufirst Project Executive Director, closed the presentation with an overview of the Ufirst project implementation and spoke of the work ahead, “While initial design work has been completed, there is a tremendous amount of work that remains as we meet the many decisions that must be made to realize our vision of the future state.”

There are many exciting opportunities to get involved with the Ufirst project. If you have a passion for excellence, a drive to enhance the HR experience and want to be a part of co-creating a legacy at UVA, we invite you to apply to join the Ufirst team. We are currently seeking individuals to join our teams on a full-time basis (three or more days per week).

Kelley Stuck, Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, welcoming the Ufirst phase I project team at the celebration event in October 2016.
Kelley Stuck welcoming the Ufirst phase I project team.

September 21, 2016, 7:11am

Dear Colleagues:

If you have a passion for excellence, a drive to enhance the HR experience and want to be a part of co-creating a legacy at UVA, I invite you to apply to join the Ufirst team. We are currently seeking individuals to join our teams on a full-time basis (three or more days per week).

Ufirst is transforming the way human resources (HR) services are delivered at the University of Virginia.  Through a customer-centric approach, the Ufirst project will:

  • Improve HR systems and processes throughout the University
  • Produce a seamless and consistent high-quality experience for our customers
  • Engage and support HR professionals for continued growth

Important Information to Apply:

The application process is open:

  • We will begin reviewing candidates immediately and will continue until positions are filled
  • Priority will be given to internal candidates who apply by end of business on Thursday, September 29

To apply, please upload the following PDF files:

  • Cover letter
  • CV – please ensure your CV is current, highlighting your experience and appropriate skills that will positively contribute the position you’re applying for

Detailed application instructions are available on the application site; please use your UVA email address when applying

Read Ufirst Project Team Recruitment Frequently Asked Questions about the process

Throughout the project, it is critical that we maintain the balance of talent focused on Ufirst with the need for talent to provide services to the University on a day-to-day basis. Project leadership will work collaboratively with leading candidates and their supervisors to develop a transition plan that ensures our project contributors are not stretched too thin and our service levels do not suffer.

Visit our website for more information about project structure, team functions and how we will transform the future of Human Resources.  If you have any questions, please email Ufirst. 

Sincerely yours,

Sean Jackson
Executive Director │ Ufirst


August 26, 2016, 9:12am

Dear Colleagues:

Enabling our core teaching, research and patient care missions through the delivery of high quality HR services is the primary goal of the Ufirst project. Over the next two years, the Academic Division, the Health System and the College at Wise will work together to implement a series of transformative changes that will advance the way HR services are delivered across the University. I offer my sincerest gratitude to those of you who have already contributed your time, ideas and expertise to help design a future that we are now preparing to implement.

Over the past few months, the Ufirst Project Leadership Team (Bryan Garey, John Boswell, Laura Hawthorne, and Sarah Collie) has worked diligently to identify individuals to lead the different paths of work required by this next phase of the project. They gathered interest from people across Grounds and assembled a talented team of leaders who are committed to bringing to life the promise of high quality HR service at UVA. It is my pleasure to announce the Team Leads who have accepted the following key roles on the project:


New Ufirst Project Role

Previous University Role

Kathleen Aliff

Communications Lead

Medical Center Manager, Rewards & Recognition

Mary Brackett

Process Lead

Senior Associate, Office of  Organizational Excellence

Richard Covington

Talent Management Lead

Medical Center Learning & HR Leader

Jeremy Duff

Talent Acquisition Lead

Director of Recruiting & Senior Search Consultant

Bryan Garey

HR Service Delivery Lead

Academic Division Interim VP and Chief Human Resources Officer

Gary Helmuth

Employee Relations Lead

Academic Division, Manager, Employee Relations

Barbara Kessler

Talent Readiness Lead

Director of Human Resources, School of Professional Continuing Studies

Michael Latsko

Business Services Lead

Academic Division, Director, HR Strategic Systems & Support

Teresa Wimmer

Technology Lead

Assistant Vice President of Enterprise Applications

To learn more about the Ufirst Team Leads, please visit the project structure page on the Ufirst website. Please note that we still have yet to fill three important leadership roles: Total RewardsTime to Pay, and Change Management. The Ufirst Transformation Management Office is in the process of conducting a formal search for potential candidates who can fill these roles as soon as possible.

I would like to formally thank Cindy Reed, Virginia Evans, Bryan Garey, Mark Dunn, John Boswell, Sarah Collie, Catherine Lindqvist, Melody Bianchetto, Pam Sutton-Wallace, Kathy Peck, Brad Haws, and other leaders whose work made it possible to free up these Team Leads from their current operational responsibilities. I have appreciated your partnership as we worked together to develop creative solutions to complex problems.

As Ufirst Team Leads complete the transition from their current duties to their new roles by mid-September, they will begin soliciting interest from our community for full-time and part-time project team members. We are preparing a formal announcement and guidance on how to apply for these positions when they are posted.

Lastly, the University has entered into a contract with Sierra-Cedar, Inc., to be our Workday System Integrator (SI). Sierra-Cedar is a leading technology firm with significant experience in Higher Education and Healthcare, and asour SI partner will work closely with us to configure the new system, develop integrations with other systems, convert data, and support testing and cutover activities. All of these tasks are necessary to support our targeted June 30, 2018 launch of Workday’s Human Capital Management solution.

I ask that you please join me in congratulating our Ufirst Project Leaders: Michael Latsko, Teresa Wimmer, Brenda Jarrell, Melissa Frederick, Leigh Williams, John Teahan, and Jim Jokl for conducting a thorough due diligence process that resulted in the recommendation to enter into a contract with Sierra-Cedar.  I also would like to express my thanks to leadership from Procurement, University and UPG Legal, University and Health System IT and the Ufirst Project Leadership Team for their input and counsel through the selection and negotiation process. Thank you for your continued support for this important strategic initiative. 

For more information on the project, please visit the Ufirst page.

Sincerely yours,

Sean Jackson
Ufirst Project Executive Director

July 19, 2016, 10:03am

The Ufirst Project Leadership Team is excited to announce that the University has selected Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) to address the University’s human resource needs. Workday HCM is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider and is our best option to address the wide variety of HR needs in a single solution. Selecting an HR solution is a critical milestone in the Ufirst project. It will function as the primary HR technology solution for all three entities across the University. It will provide the opportunity to reduce redundancy and allow HR professionals to focus on mission-critical work, allowing for an improved user service experience.

This selection is the result of a thorough review of multiple HR technology vendors and an eight-month evaluation process of four HRIS cloud solutions, which involved University leadership, over 200 UVA stakeholders from across Grounds, payroll, finance and IT. The Workday HCM implementation will begin January 1, 2017 with an anticipated go-live date of July 1, 2018. It will provide functionality in the areas of recruiting, time & attendance, benefits, payroll, talent management, learning, compensation, and core HR (i.e., personal and job data changes). Workday HCM is an intuitive, user-friendly, and fully-integrated solution that meets the needs of the University. To learn more about the HR vendor selection process, visit the RFI journey.

We are also excited to announce that Sean Jackson has accepted the position of Executive Director for the project, effective August 8, 2016. The Ufirst Project Executive Director is charged with leading the implementation phase of the HR transformation project and serves as the primary change agent to advance UVA’s goals and priorities.

Sean joined the University of Virginia in 2011. He currently serves as the Chief Information Officer for the School of Medicine and the University Physicians Group. Sean is a Lean practitioner and Six Sigma Black Belt with over 20 years of experience leading technology operations in complex non-profit and higher education organizations, including Yale University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. We are excited for the next phase of the project and to welcome a fellow UVA colleague to help us commence the successful implementation of Ufirst.

Selecting an HR solution and hiring an Executive Director are two critical milestones in the Ufirst transformation. The Ufirst Project Leadership Team thanks the Executive Sponsors, the HR Technology Review Committee, the technology team, and the UVA HR Community for supporting these decisions. As Ufirst work continues, the Ufirst project team will provide updates including improvements to HR processes, policies, and systems. For more information about the Ufirst project and FAQs, please visit Ufirst website.

The Ufirst Project Leadership Team
John Boswell, Sarah Collie, Bryan Garey, and Laura Hawthorne