May 14, 2020
Our great public University is almost 160 years old and we have endured for so long in part because we have been willing and able to adapt ourselves to the changing landscape around us, staying in step with new technologies and evolving norms and expectations. Now it is our turn to ensure that the UW can continue to thrive long into the future as responsible and forward-looking stewards of this citadel of learning, discovery and patient care.
An essential part of that stewardship is the process of modernizing our financial accounting infrastructure through the UW Finance Transformation (UWFT) program. It’s my pleasure to launch this new blog, Transformation Insights, which will provide updates and information to our community about UWFT. It will also include tips on how to work within the new finance infrastructure as well as insights from program leaders and collaboration partners from across the University.
UWFT is a major undertaking for our institution, involving a thorough redesign of our finance policies, processes and systems. Some of these systems are decades old and fragmented, which creates inefficiencies and reduces all of our effectiveness. Our University’s public service mission depends on our ability as a huge, complex and multi-faceted organization to make real-time and well-informed financial decisions – this transformation is our pathway there.
Right now, we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed the way we work and dramatically altered the way that our University conducts business, including how we will manage our finances in order to fulfill our mission. As we look ahead, the importance of having a modern and efficient finance infrastructure has become even more clear, and both Provost Richards and I remain firmly committed to keeping up the momentum for this important institutional priority. As a psychologist, I recognize how hard change can be, but by adapting to this new finance infrastructure, we will ultimately benefit as a community.
Finally, I want to thank the incredible team of professionals who are charged with guiding us through the implementation of this ambitious and critical program, and I want to praise all the stakeholders from across the institution who are contributing to this work while still doing their “day jobs.” The program’s guiding principles of transparency, integrity and synergy reflect the fact that they are leading with their values, which is intrinsic to the UW. I hope you will join me in returning often to see what news and progress is shared here and I know we all look forward to the successful completion of our finance transformation.