The Ufirst Project

News Archive

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

July 11, 2016, 8:37am

The University of Virginia announced today that Kelley Stuck has been appointed vice president and chief human resources officer. Stuck, who is currently interim vice president of human resources for the University of Missouri System, will assume the leadership position September 6.

As the University’s top human resources executive, Stuck will be responsible for creating innovative ways to engage all employees and will establish a culture, systems and training that will develop leaders and empower employees to problem-solve. She will also create integrated talent acquisition plans in partnership with leaders in the Academic Division, Medical Center and University Physicians Group. In addition, Stuck will ensure that human resources technologies are aligned and consistent across the entire UVA enterprise.

“Kelley has a strong record of planning, integrating and implementing human resources services across a wide variety of stakeholders, doing so at the University of Missouri’s four campuses and health system,” President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “This experience will prove invaluable as she will be responsible for creating a high-performance, service-minded human resources strategy and culture that reaches across and connects the University of Virginia Academic Division, the Medical Center and the University Physicians Group.”

UVA enrolls more than 25,000 students. The Academic Division along with the Medical Center and University Physicians Group employs more than 27,000 full-time and part-time faculty and staff.

Stuck will champion the University’s new Ufirst initiative, which seeks to create a customer-centric human resources function and to make the employee experience exceptional. Ufirst will enhance UVA’s human resources systems in types of services, quality, and staffing among central human resources and schools and units. Ufirst takes a holistic, strategic view across UVA, including the entire Academic Division and Health System.

“As both a thought leader and advocate for leading human resources practices, Kelley has a demonstrated track record of leveraging the best facets of human capital while positively effecting change within a complex organization,” Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick D. Hogan said. “This experience will serve the University well as she works to infuse cutting-edge thinking to enhance productivity, innovation and employee engagement across the entire institution.”

Stuck said she is excited to join UVA and the larger Charlottesville community. “I am honored to join UVA,” Stuck said. “A large part of UVA’s innovation comes from its employees. I very much look forward to engaging with all employees to help them reach their professional goals and perform at the highest levels, as well as collaborating with University leadership to implement strategies to attract high-caliber faculty and staff to UVA.” 

Allan C. Stam, dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and search committee chair, expressed his enthusiasm for Stuck joining UVA. “Kelley knows how to work effectively with various groups to integrate a consistent and responsive human resources system,” Stam said. “The search committee recommended her from a strong pool of candidates, and is thrilled that she will bring her expertise to the University.”

Hogan expressed his appreciation to the search committee for identifying candidates for the leadership post. “I am grateful to Dean Stam and the other members of the search committee for their participation in this important process,” Hogan said. “We are delighted that Kelley will be joining the University and Charlottesville communities.”

Stuck graduated from Truman University with a Bachelor of Science in Education in Marketing Communications and the University of Central Michigan with a Master of Science in Administration with a Human Resources Concentration. Stuck holds a Senior Professional Human Resources certification.

June 28, 2016, 9:24am

The Ufirst Project Leadership Team is excited to announce 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 has over 20 years of experience leading technology operations in complex non-profit and higher education organizations.

Selecting Sean as the Ufirst Project Executive Director is a critical milestone in the Ufirst transformation. 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.

Please join us in welcoming Sean to his new role.

June 14, 2016, 9:29am

Early Service Improvements (ESIs) are Ufirst success stories made possible by Human Resource partners across the University. ESIs are visible and immediate improvements to HR services, straight-forward solutions to known issues, and a commitment to continuous progress. In the last week of May, the following two ESIs were communicated from UHR to the appropriate audiences:

ESI #1: Academic Division exempt staff no longer need to submit blank timecards as of May 30, 2016

What this means for you (Effective May 30, 2016):

  • Academic exempt staff will no longer need to submit timecards unless leave is taken or comp hours are earned. To receive a use or lose pay-out, the submission of all timesheets is no longer required. However, it is still required that 10 days of leave are taken for pay-out eligibility.
  • Managers will no longer need to approve blank timecards. They will need to continuously monitor employees who take leave or need to report comp hours earned diligently to ensure accurate leave payouts.
  • Individuals who monitor time and leave will no longer need to track missing timecards for exempt staff.


  • Elimination of non-time value added activities - Managers and exempt staff will save approximately 300,000 clicks per year.
  • Alignment of practices across the University - The Health System currently practices exception-time based reporting.
  • Alignment to current payroll practices of peer institutions - In a survey of 20 colleges and universities, 16 practice exception-time based reporting.


ESI#2: Elimination of five day internal posting requirement for academic staff vacancies as of June 1, 2016


  • Staff vacancies must be posted for five calendar days, (10 calendar days for underutilized positions), as opposed to business days. Additionally, all academic staff vacancies are immediately available to external applicants once posted on Jobs@.
  • Hiring officials will still have the ability to post internal-only positions for academic staff. Internal-only postings should be used when the need fulfills the guideline criteria. Please see the attached for internal-only guiding principles and examples of internal-only postings.


In the spirit of Ufirst, and providing a consistent recruiting experience across the University, this change in internal posting requirements:

  • Provides alignment with current Health System (Medical Center and UPG) practices
  • Enriches the talent pool, brings in new innovative ideas and different perspectives, and creates a more diverse workforce
  • Eliminates a waiting period to market vacancies externally


QUESTIONS? Please contact the HR Service Center at (434) 982-0123 or