After years of hard work and preparation UBC launched Workday as its new HR and Finance system in November, 2020. Many members of our VPFO team played key roles in this initiative, and following the success of go-live we are ready to continue modernizing our core business processes, improve how we are structured, and transform the way we do our work across our portfolio team.
In the Okanagan, we’ve carefully considered the needs of our campus and the structure of our finance group. Our goals are to add support, connect effectively with our Vancouver finance colleagues, balance workloads within the team, and enable excellence at UBC in line with the overarching strategy of the VPFO.
Effective June 1, Carri Lawrence is rejoining Okanagan Finance as Director, Finance Operations, following her three-year secondment with the Integrated Renewal Program (IRP). Carri will resume oversight of operational finance activities on UBC’s Okanagan campus, supporting priorities including Financial Operations and Operational Excellence. She will also provide important leadership and support for UBCO engagement with the IRP Student project and the Integrated Service Centre (ISC) — including serving on the IRP steering committee and supporting its development on behalf of the Okanagan campus.
The Okanagan Finance team will also realign to shift oversight of operational finance activities back to Carri, with Senior Manager, Finance Operations, Fiona Stirling and her team reporting in. Carri will also support local staff that are a part of ISC and IRP operations.
“I am thankful for the opportunity that was given to me to be a part of the Finance and HR system transformation,” says Lawrence. “The knowledge I have gained will be invaluable to continue to enhance UBC’s business processes and systems. I am looking forward to rejoining my Okanagan Finance team colleagues, though, and building connections with our cross-university campus partners.”
Reporting to Rob Einarson, UBC’s AVP Finance & Operations, Okanagan, Carri will also have a reporting line to Elana Mignosa, UBC’s AVP Finance & Operational Excellence, and be a part of her Vancouver-based leadership team.
Carri joins Manon Harvey, Director Integrated Planning and Chief Budget Officer, in leading the UBCO Finance team. Manon will continue her work leading financial reporting, budgeting, and financial strategy on the Okanagan campus, as UBCO continues to evolve and develop its plans towards Outlook 2040. This will include supporting the budget process for academic and administrative units across campus, overseeing medium- and long-term planning for capital plans, and working with Comptroller Karamjeet Heer as part of her university-wide team. Senior Manager, Finance Strategies, Valerie Nichol and her team will continue reporting to Manon.
“I am thrilled to continue leading the financial budgeting and reporting arm of the UBCO finance team,” says Harvey. “There is an extraordinary amount of important work ahead of us. We are a small but mighty team, and we look forward to continuing to build upon the great connections we’ve been developing with our colleagues in Vancouver over the years in service of UBC’s academic mission and vision.”
“As a team, Manon and Carri will support the financial and planning needs of the Okanagan campus in the coming years,” says Rob Einarson. “I thank Carri for her dedicated work during her secondment to the IRP HR and Finance project over the last few years, and look forward to her continued leadership on our AVPFO team. We’re excited to benefit from her knowledge gained through working directly on the IRP project, as well as her previous experience with Finance Operations to continue supporting development and change related to systems renewal and improvements at UBCO.”
On the Vancouver campus, Leisa Belanger, UBC’s Director, Finance Renewal, for the Integrated Renewal Program, is moving on to take an opportunity outside of the university.
Leisa has served the UBC finance community for 18 years in various capacities, both instructional — within the Finance Certification Program and the Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP), and operational — establishing finance operations for the College for Interdisciplinary Studies and restructuring operations for the Faculty of Dentistry, to name a few of her accomplishments. For the past four years, Leisa has demonstrated leadership, intelligence and commitment in her work for UBC as part of the Integrated Renewal Program, and we thank her for her contributions.
“It is with mixed feelings that I say farewell to UBC — I’m excited for my new adventure, but at the same time sad to say farewell to so many amazing colleagues that I’ve had the pleasure to work with across our world-class institution,” says Leisa. “I would like to extend a special thank you to the Integrated Renewal Program finance team members who worked so hard to deliver an outstanding experience for our community.”
The hard work of our teams through the launch of Workday has been fundamental to moving the university’s and the VPFO’s strategic priority of Systems Renewal forward. More information, including some recent stats on Workday at UBC, is available on the UBC Strategic Plan website.