UW News

January 12, 2024

UW finance, planning and budgeting merge to better serve faculty, staff and students

Three business people head shots

Senior Vice President Sarah Norris Hall (center) will lead a newly configured Office of Finance, Planning and Budgeting. Reporting to her will be Vice Presidents Jessica Bertram (left) and Jason Campbell (right).University of Washington

President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Tricia Serio announced an organizational and leadership restructuring in the areas of finance, planning and budgeting aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of these areas’ service to the University community. The changes, which take effect Tuesday, Jan. 16, come after an external review determined a unified organization will better serve faculty and academic personnel, as well as staff and students.

The newly configured Office of Finance, Planning and Budgeting combines UW Finance with the UW Office of Planning and Budgeting. The UW’s payroll department will also move out of Information Technology and into Finance, Planning and Budgeting.

This new organization will be led by Sarah Norris Hall, who was named senior vice president and chief financial officer. Reporting to Hall will be Jason Campbell, the UW’s new vice president for Finance & Budget Strategy and deputy chief financial officer and Jessica Bertram, who will be vice president for University Business Services. Previously, finance and business services fell under Vice President Brian McCartan, who is retiring. Also reporting to Hall will be Erin Guthrie, associate vice provost for Institutional Analysis and University Data Officer, and Jed Bradley, executive director for Planning, Policy and State Operations; both functions were part of Planning & Budgeting.

The changes come after a comprehensive review of university functions identified the need to support broader finance needs, including working toward an integrated finance and planning strategy across the university and supporting and evolving new business processes that are part of the Finance Transformation program. The review also recommended working with units to provide training and resources to adapt to the changes. Importantly, the review noted that the UW’s peers had long ago aligned finance functions and budget planning operations under one leader.

“These organizational changes are designed to increase efficiency, which will both improve how we serve our faculty, staff and students and make us better stewards of the resources entrusted to us,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “I’m grateful to all of the talented UW leaders who are stepping into new roles as part of this restructuring.”

Hall, who has served as a vice provost of the Office of Planning and Budgeting since 2018, said the new organization will allow the university to better support students, faculty and staff.

“I am excited for us to pool our expertise, efforts and creativity as a new organization and build on our work in service to a great public university that is deeply committed to its student access, excellent teaching, public service, discovery and health missions,” Hall said. “Our respective offices often sought to answer the same questions, with different data, and methods. By integrating, we seek to bring value to the UW’s leadership, faculty, principal investigators and staff by fully utilizing expertise and the system investments we have made through Finance Transformation. We will build on our deep commitment to serving the University through this integration.”

One of the priorities for this new organization remains stabilization, then optimization of Workday Finance. An area of emphasis, Hall said, is to work closely with UW-IT and the Office of Research to provide researchers at the UW a smoother and simpler setup and budget management process for grants. That includes integrating SAGE data into Workday, simplifying award setup and budget management processes, and collaborating with Workday to address sponsor invoice issues and defining clear award closeout processes to improve the efficacy of these tools for principal investigators and research administrators.

Hall has worked at the UW since 2009. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the Teachers College at Columbia University.

Campbell joined the UW in 2017. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in accounting from California State University, Sacramento.

Bertram joined the UW in 2009. She received her bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University and a master’s degree in Clinical Informatics & Patient Centered Technologies from the UW.

Guthrie joined the UW in 2014, first on the UW Bothell campus. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Providence College and master’s degrees in Sociology and Data Analytics from University of Warwick and Southern New Hampshire University respectively.

Bradley joined the UW in 2013. He received both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in higher education leadership and policy studies from the UW.

Contact: Victor Balta at balta@uw.edu.