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Beginning Our Work Together

Dear Colleagues,

Though the calendar says November, I have that sense of excitement and anticipation that comes with the first day of school. Today is my first official day as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (EVP-COO) at UVA and I am thrilled to be here with you.

Since President Ryan and the Board of Visitors announced my appointment in early August, I have been fortunate to spend time in Charlottesville and begin to learn the landscape of the University. I’ve been doing background research and participating in meetings related to multiple key initiatives. As you know, the University is a thriving and busy place and there is a lot to learn, absorb, and understand!

Though I am new to UVA, I am not new to public higher education. For the past five and a half years, I served as Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance at George Mason University, where I oversaw many of the same functional areas that are part of my portfolio here. Prior to that, I was Vice President for Finance and Administration at the University of Delaware for five years. I also served in several roles in Delaware’s state government. My experiences at George Mason and in Delaware give me a solid foundation, and I look to our entire team to help me understand the processes and traditions at UVA.

Across the board, everyone I met throughout the interview process and during my transition has talked about the strength of the units within the EVP-COO portfolio. Some of your work is visible every day in the beauty and activity across the Grounds, and some of it is essential behind-the-scenes work that keeps the University running smoothly. The Ufirst project is at an important stage with final preparations for the Workday launch in January, and the Finance Strategic Transformation has just kicked off. In addition to continually improving the services we provide today, our team plays a vital role in long-term planning to ensure that the University has the financial, capital, technological, and human resources necessary to support its priorities. Without a strong EVP-COO team, UVA would not be among the top universities in the nation. I am excited to take on this important work with all of you.

I will have offices in both O’Neil and Madison Halls, and I am temporarily living on Grounds until my husband and two children join me in Charlottesville in 2019. Though they haven’t moved here yet, I can assure you that their wardrobes have recently expanded to include a lot more orange and blue! We’re all looking forward to getting settled in Charlottesville and becoming part of the wonderful UVA community.

This is an amazing opportunity, and I am determined to work hard for you, our team, and our University’s continued success.

Very truly yours,

J.J. Davis
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

(email distributed to Operations team on 11/5/18)
Date Posted: 
Monday, November 5, 2018