In pursuit of institutional excellence, through the ongoing administrative transformation, Virginia Tech continues to build on its capacity to deliver administrative and business services in the most cost efficient and effective manner possible, taking advantage of advanced technological systems and service delivery methods.
Projects Currently Underway
- Ongoing: Deploy intelligent mail lockers for residential mail delivery on the Blacksburg campus ahead of fall 2022 semester.
- Ongoing: Improvement and alignment of administrative and academic support services delivery in the Greater Washington D.C area and Blacksburg.
- Implemented and ongoing: Establish a transactional business center for university safety and security departments (Emergency Management, Virginia Tech Police Department, Environmental Health & Safety, Office of the Vice President for Enterprise Administrative and Business Services to standardize and streamline routine transactions.
- Implemented and ongoing: Implement an improved customer-centric work order system for on-campus maintenance and renovation requests (ReadyRequest system - now live).
- Implemented and ongoing: Boost the efficacy of capital planning, construction, and financing processes (with Division of Finance).
- Implemented and ongoing: Review and enhance the non-capital renovations delivery process to maximize cost-effectiveness and customer service for university constituents.
- In the new renovations project management model, project management will transition from an outsourced model to an in-house model.
- New model will boost cost savings, responsiveness, transparency, adaptability, more stabilized workforce.
- Complete: Conduct Virginia Tech Electric Service operating model analysis.
- Ongoing: Surplus property auctions go digital: In September 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Surplus Property team partnered with Matthews Auctions to host university surplus property auctions online. Approximately 11 online auctions have been hosted to date with a consistent increase in average revenue per auction and a lower expense total per auction.
- Ongoing: Auxiliary budget system: Implementation of new digital auxiliary budget system, enabling digital workflows, batch processing (e.g., rate changes), improved version control, cloud-based hearing materials, improved reporting, streamlined processes (e.g., integrated budget load).
- Replaces previously used spreadsheets.
- Joint development between the Office of Budget and Financial Planning and Finance Information Technology within the Division of Finance.
- System fully operational; utilized during 2021-22 auxiliary budget development process.
- Ongoing: HokieMart enhancements:
- There will no longer be “R” (External Req#) numbered requisitions that need to be tracked by departments while the procurement is being processed by central procurement/ITPALS.
- Departments will no longer need to call to find out which central procurement buyer has been assigned to their requisition; it will be visible in the HokieMart history tab.
- Communications between central procurement/ITPALS buyers and departments will now be handled through the internal comments feature on a requisition, enhancing transparency, and becoming a part of the permanent procurement record.
- Request for changes to ship-to-addresses can be submitted through a request form within HokieMart.
- Requests for central procurement assistance in the acquisition of a good or service (non-technology) can be made without submitting a requisition, utilizing a request form within HokieMart.
- It will now be easier for departments to track orders from requisition entry to invoice and payment.
- Ongoing: Standardize the reconciliations process through new tools that will leverage automation, technologies, and business intelligence.
- Ongoing: Implement robotic process automation (RPA) within the Bursar's office to quickly and efficiently process transactions, process and communicate late feel appeals, and post waivers to student accounts.
- Ongoing: Redesign budget and financial model to bolster transparency.
- Complete: Transition to new travel and expense management system.
Human Resources is focused on the following priorities to continue enhancing our employees’ experience and make Virginia Tech a Destination for Talent.
HR division directors: Continue to build the HR division director cohort, which positions senior HR partners to provide consultative HR services at the college or business unit level. As of 2023, the university has 12 division directors supporting administrative units and colleges. HR anticipates growing the cohort to 15 by the end of the calendar year.
HR division directors support and enhance strategic HR programs and builds consistency for HR policies and practices across the university. In addition to serving as an extension of the Division of HR, division directors coordinate and deliver comprehensive, strategically focused HR programs within their assigned senior management areas and business units.
Enhanced recruiting and retention strategies: Virginia Tech’s strategic goals continue to identify recruitment needs while the competition for talent is more intense than ever. In today’s market, which affords more flexible work options, we must compete for talent that may also be aggressively targeted by other employers.
As we seek to accomplish the mission of the university and make Virginia Tech a Destination for Talent, it is imperative that we attract and retain qualified and diverse talent through expanded recruiting services, review of recruiting practices, employing new and interactive recruitment strategies, and continue to enhance talent development offerings.
Administrative and Professional Faculty job architecture project: Currently there are over 2,400 A/P faculty positions with over 1,800 unique titles. This lack of structure creates inconsistent pay and titling practices - which can unintentionally create pay equity issues - as well as makes it difficult to benchmark salaries to the external market. Developing a job architecture structure for A/P faculty will allow positions to be organized based on functions, subfunctions, disciplines, classifications, and levels, allowing us to:
- Ensure faculty are paid equitably based on their role and contribution.
- Enhance the ability to recruit leading talent with competitive salaries and defined career paths.
- Create accurate and consistent job titles that are appropriately aligned to roles and responsibilities.
- Create defined career paths so employees, candidates, and managers can help navigate careers.
- Establish salaries that are informed by what our peers and competitors offer.
- Achieve transparency in pay and pay practices.
The project is a multi-year effort that will provide a structure for titling, hiring, career pathing, and compensating positions and related job families across the university.
Enhanced HR technology: Since 2019, HR has launched seven new technology enabling systems for university leaders and employees. These systems include applicant tracking system, onboarding and new hire compliance, learning management, performance management for university and classified staff, customer service management, and a system to collect and track flexible work agreements. HR will continue to optimize these systems and make improvements to ensure an effective user experience.
Over the past three years, HR has successfully retired more than 60 paper forms by either eliminating the need for the form or reinventing the form electronically. The division will continue to look for opportunities to eliminate forms and optimize processes by transitioning to electronic methods.
- Established and ongoing: Establish University Data Governance Council to set standards and expectations for university-owned data as a valuable asset and increase confidence in its use by enhancing quality, security, ethical accessibility, and sharing.
- November - December 2021: The University Data Council is actively working on 3 main thrust areas: 1) Data access, risk, and compliance; 2) Data dictionary and metadata; and 3) Data literacy, tools and training. Each of these areas has a working group of 7-13 university data stewards and other experts dedicated to making advancements and completing deliverables between now and the end of the academic year.
- The University Data Governance Council is in it second year of existence.
- Four working groups have been established and are focusing efforts on specific topics within the overall framework of data governance. They are engaging the university community through a number of surveys and a system of record inventory, which are currently being compiled and evaluated for the next steps.
- A website has been published containing information about those working groups and other initiative details.
- Ongoing: Explore implementation of new technologies and platforms related to intelligent business process management.
- Ongoing: Deploy flexible and agile data delivery architecture and expand data analytics services that reflect the university’s data security standards.
- Ongoing: Enhancing university-wide data analytics capabilities and operational reporting.
- November 2021:
- Ongoing 2021 MicroStrategy upgrade training sessions are helping Virginia Tech analysts deliver compelling dashboards at the executive level. Over 50 analysts across campus have attended at least one session.
- There are over 1,200 active unique MicroStrategy users per month - a 50 percent increase from 3 years ago. This highlights how efforts to engage divisions in the adoption of centralized analytics have made significant progress.
- Previous updates:
- August 2021:
- Major upgrade of MicroStrategy software and hardware complete. This is the primary reporting tool used by Virginia Tech across the majority of the domains. This upgrade allows Virginia Tech to scale analytics services to new platforms including mobile and additional reporting tools.
- Creation of applications, integrations, operational reports, and analytic dashboards around vaccine reporting for all Virginia Tech employees.
- July 2021:
- Efforts included new partnership among multiple teams within the Division of IT; the Division of HR; the Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities; and the Division of Finance to create the FRBI Committee to standardize and expand department-level reporting.
- Implemented Ellucian Analytics proof of concept for student, admissions, financial aid, HR, and finance-related data.
- New project delivered within Virginia Tech data lake by Division of IT/TLOS to analyze Zoom data which supported the analysis of usage statistics during the pandemic and operational reporting needed by colleges.
- Modernize HR analytics: The Division of IT and the Division of HR worked together to make budget versus allocated salary expenses more transparent.
- August 2021:
- November 2021:
In support of the university's academic, research and outreach missions, Virginia Tech must build on its capacity to deliver administrative and business services in the most cost-efficient and effective manner possible, taking advantage of advanced technological systems and service delivery methods. We will acknowledge areas where we are best-in-class and continue to identify opportunities to improve. Further, we will identify areas where change is needed and manage that change with purpose, clear direction, and strategic alignment.
We will deliver services that are responsive, nimble, and best-in-class. We will transform our work to achieve the following:
- Eliminate barriers, unnecessary work flows, and duplicative and/or redundant efforts at all levels within the university
- Use best practices in service delivery
- Leverage technology to automate and simplify processes, reducing transaction times
- Professionalize work environments
- Develop and use cost effective and administrative efficient operating principles
- Lead a culture of excellence and continuous improvement
- Ensure the administrative and operations work is aligned with strategic priorities
- Deploy leading change management principles to navigate new systems, processes, and structures