VPFO Update | The week of Decmeber 12, 2022

Updates from UBC & VPFO

Our Strategic Plan

Get involved: How do you champion VPFO's strategic plan? 

What do VPFO’s Strategic Directions mean to you? How does our Strategic Plan help you grow personally and professionally? How does your work impact the university?

Through sharing about your work and people, you can help other departments gain a better understanding of what you do, how you connect to others in the portfolio, and how your team helps move the strategic plan forward.

Complete the questionnaire on the VPFO website to share your story and get involved.  

Thomas Straley, Accounts Payable Manager: Taking Accountability Personally

In this Q&A, Thomas shares why the VPFO’s strategic directions and values matter to him, and how he delivers his best for UBC through professionalism, commitment and accountability.    

Read more about how Thomas and his team connect to the VPFO strategic plan. 

Operations updates


Building Operations, Custodial Services, Customer Services & Informatics, Energy & Water Services, Infrastructure Development, and Municipal Services

  • Updated UBC Technical Guidelines: The UBC technical guidelines have recently been reviewed and updated for 2022. The Technical Guidelines play an important role in development and projects at UBC, and help to ensure that buildings and renovations are designed and constructed to optimize service life and minimize the whole life-cycle cost for the University.  Learn more


Comptroller, Finance & Operational Excellence and Treasury

  • Reminder to report employer-paid benefits by December 15, 2022: If your unit is paying for benefits/allowances on behalf of an employee, a reminder to report it to payroll by December 15, 2022. Learn more
  • Early payroll deadline to enter and approve time for December: The deadline for employees and timekeepers to enter and submit time (both absences and hours worked), and for managers to approve time submitted in Workday, is Wednesday, December 21, 2022. Learn more
  • Increase in CRA Prescribed Interest Rate effective January 1, 2023: The CRA Prescribed Interest Rate will increase to 4% as of Jan 1, 2023. This is the interest rate used to calculate taxable benefits for employees from interest-free and low-interest loans. Learn more 
  • Financial Operations service delivery levels – November: The October dashboards are now available to view on the UBC Finance website. Learn more
  • Quarterly update on UBC’s progress with Lean Six Sigma training: As of Dec 2022, a total of 750 certifications have been issued through the program. Click through to view your faculty or unit’s progress with Lean Six Sigma completion.
  • Delivering Operational Improvement roadmaps for UBC HR, IT & Finance: Funded and endorsed by the President’s Executive Management Team, this project supports UBC’s use of UniForum data across these departments to identify, prioritize, and pursue improvement opportunities. Learn more
  • Celebrating Lean Six Sigma Yellow and Green Belt Graduates: On November 24, Operational Excellence hosted its second ceremony event to celebrate our most recent Lean Six Sigma Yellow and Green Belt graduates. The full graduate list is available on the OpEx website.

Operations & Advising

Communications & Engagement, Human Resources, and Safety & Risk Services 

  • UBC Benefits end-of-year reminders: The end of the year is upon us, meaning we have a few more weeks to get the most out of our benefits and submit claims before the year-end deadlines. Learn more
  • Don't forget to use your health spending account: Eligible faculty and staff have access to a health spending account (HSA), which will help you and your dependents reduce the cost of healthcare. Learn more about your HSA

People of the VPFO

Shout outs

At the VPFO we love celebrating success! Join us every week in recognizing the great work our VPFO team members are doing to support the university. 


  • Municipal Services & Custodial Services – Special thanks to the teams for managing snow and ice and keeping our campus community safe during extreme weather. We appreciate you! 

Finance & Operational Excellence

  • Cynthia Bai, Functional Finance Analyst – Kudos to Cynthia for her great work on improving the response time of the Grants Ledger Summary Report by 70%. Through her analysis of the five sub-reports, Cynthia was able to identify and remove the performance bottleneck to the benefit of the research community that now experiences a 5-second response time versus the previous 35 seconds wait time. Well done, Cynthia!
  • Jeremiah Garcia, Buyer – Shout out to Jeremiah who not only demonstrates an in-depth understanding of procurement but always takes the time to patiently explain the process and answer clients' questions. Good job, Jeremiah! 
  • Shawn Shenfield and Leroy Lovell, Workday Security Administrators – Shawn and Leroy are an awesome pair and an asset to the ISC team. They have worked tirelessly to help the Operational Excellence team manage its complex and evolving needs for access and security to Workday over the past year. Your commitment and hard work are much appreciated!
  • Wesam Mostadi, Accounts Payable Team Lead – Congratulations to Wesam on passing her 2022 Common Final Exam (CFE), the last exam before becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). Great job, Wesam! 

Safety & Risk Services 

  • Ligia Gheorghita, Advisor, Environmental Protection, Bang Dang, Kenneth Cheng and Valeriy Kichenko, Technicians, Environmental Services – Shout out for the terrific work in the Hazardous Waste Compliance Audit required by our permit. Great job! 
  • Nick Sagliocco, Community Safety Zone Manager, Sam Stephens, Director, Campus Security, and Campus Security – Kudos to Campus Security for their collaborative efforts supporting the annual tree chipping at UBC Botanical Gardens between Dec 26 – Jan 6. This by-donation event helps to support East Van school garden programming. Learn more   

Well done! Want to give someone a shout out in the next edition? Submit your kudos in your local recognition program or email communications@vpfo.ubc.ca

People in motion

  • Taylor Bohn has joined Privacy and Information Security Management (PrISM) within Safety & Risk Services as Information Security Risk Advisor.  

Read more about our people on the VPFO website.

Job Openings 

All positions at UBC are available on the UBC HR Careers website, or through the career application in your Workday account. Please note that applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on the day prior to the posting end date. The following VPFO positions are currently open:

  • Labourer 2 (JR10120) – ongoing
  • Labourer 3 (JR8504) – ongoing
  • Finance Director, VP Research & Innovation (JR10624) – 12/16/2022
  • Functional Finance Analyst (JR10725) – 12/17/2022
  • Night Service Worker (3 Positions) (JR10810) – 12/17/2022
  • Head Service Worker (JR10809) – 12/17/2022
  • Evening - Full-Time Service Worker (2 Positions) (JR10811) – 12/17/2022
  • Service Centre (ISC) Representative (JR9446) – 12/18/2022
  • Service Centre Senior Manager (JR10816) – 12/30/2022
  • Patrol Officer II-2 (JR10764) – 01/12/2023
  • Data Systems Administrator, Capital Projects (JR9432) – 01/15/2023 

Don't forget to apply as an internal candidate! Please review the Apply for an Internal Job Posting guide in the Workday Knowledge Base for instructions on how to apply. Reminder to attach a copy of your resume when you apply for a career opportunity in Workday.

Other notable updates

ISC Year in Review: 2022

To mark the end of 2022, Elana Mignosa, Associate VP, Finance & Operational Excellence, and Harjot Guram, Senior Director of the Integrated Service Centre, share highlights from the past year, from system improvements to increasing knowledge of Workday. Learn about the progress the ISC has made over the last 12 months with the support of their partners and the UBC community.

Read more

Second-hand gifts, new experiences: shaking up holiday gift giving

Researchers in the UBC Sauder School of Business share creative ideas for sustainable gift giving, to help save money and build a sustainable circular economy.

Read more

Give yourself the gift of rest and recovery

Speaking of gifts, you are invited to take some time for rest and recovery — not just because it is the giving time of year, but because relaxation is proven to be a powerful way to improve many aspects of our lives.

Learn more

Helpful news

Some interesting news articles our team members have found informative, helpful, or fun! These are provided for information and entertainment only. Unless noted, UBC doesn’t specifically endorse or supply this content.

  • At a time when celebrations, traditions and togetherness abound, the holidays can be challenging for those who are grieving. Here are 8 strategies to help your cope with grief this holiday season.
  • The holidays are about spending time with your loved ones…and who do we love more than our pets?​​​​​​​ The Dog Network shared its list of fun holiday events you can do with your dog in BC, and in Metro Vancouver, there are lots of opportunities to bring your dog some holiday cheer.

Managing your mental health

HR has collected mental health resources to help you manage your ups and downs. To view workshops, webinars and events visit the HR event listing.

Our VPFO HR staff is always available for a confidential conversation. Refer to this service map to connect with the HR Advisor supporting your area. 

If you are feeling anxious or stressed about this upcoming holiday season, you aren’t alone. Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) offers an extensive suite of services to support you – from providing wellness coaching or advising on family issues to offering legal support. 

Access the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) confidential services, through LifeWorks, by calling 1-866-424-0770. 

The VPFO Update is a weekly snapshot that captures important university updates, work across VPFO departments, and relevant resources.

This will be reposted, along with past issues, at vpfo.ubc.ca/news

Questions, news or feedback?

© Copyright The University of British Columbia