Search This Site

Holiday Message from J.J. Davis

Holiday Message from J.J. Davis to all EVP-COO Area Employees


November 5th marked my one-year anniversary at UVA – what a year it has been! As I look back on the last 13 months, I am profoundly grateful for the ways that each of you enrich our University community every day and I am thrilled to be part of this team. Together we accomplished so much in 2019. In a year of amazing UVA athletic success (Go Hoos!), we have many achievements to take pride in across our operational units. I've listed a few highlights from our year below. Perhaps most important in 2019, we strengthened partnerships with our academic colleagues through shared governance of key decision-making processes and cross-unit collaborations.
The highlights below are important and reflect the labor of many of you, but the work that each of you does every single day matters just as much. You bring professionalism, experience, and dedication to your roles, and that is a vital part of what makes UVA so special. Whether it is going the extra mile to help a colleague, answering a question with patience and kindness or taking extra care to be sure that your work is of the highest quality, you contribute to the University’s standing as a remarkable institution.
I am especially grateful to our staff who will provide essential services throughout the holidays. Many of you work throughout the year when others are off for inclement weather, weekends, and holidays. Thank you for your important contributions that keep UVA running.
My family and I send our warmest wishes to you and your family for a wonderful holiday season and terrific New Year. I look forward to hearing new ideas and celebrating many more achievements with you in 2020!
Very truly yours,

Jennifer (J.J.) Wagner Davis
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


2019 Highlights from the EVP-COO Area

  • Completed three bond deals to save the University millions of dollars, breaking two records in the process
  • Participated in the development of Great and Good: The 2030 Plan and developed a financial framework to support the University’s strategic priorities
  • Kicked off the Finance Strategic Transformation
  • Launched Workday across the Academic Division, Medical Center, University Physicians Group, and College at Wise and continued to make great strides to enhance HR services
  • Retired the legacy identity system and successfully completed Phase 1 of the new Identity and Access Management (IAM) System including integration with Workday
  • In partnership with the University Registrar and input from students, launched a new interface for the Student Information System (SIS) to improve student user experience. 
  • Procured and deployed tools that support access and collaboration, including Eduroam and guest WiFi and Zoom video and audio conferencing.
  • Continued to secure our IT environment, most notably for end-users, deploying Duo 2-step authentication and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for Office 365
  • Announced a new $15 an hour base wage for University employees and negotiated with our major contractors to do the same for their full-time employees working on Grounds
  • Successfully advocated for state funding for the Alderman Library renewal project and renovations to Gilmer Hall and the Chemistry Building
  • Opened a new upper-class residence hall with members of our Facilities Management team providing critical support to contractors to prepare for student move-in and a new administrative building that now houses Human Resources, Communications, and Advancement staff
  • Worked on renovations to existing facilities (residence halls and academic buildings), made significant headway on constructing new ones (Memorial for Enslaved Laborers, Ivy Mountain Musculoskeletal Center, hospital expansion, softball stadium), and planned for the future (Open Grounds at Emmet-Ivy, Brandon Avenue, Athletics master plan)
  • Reached our carbon footprint reduction goal six years ahead of schedule and established ambitious new sustainability goals to be carbon-neutral by 2030 and fossil fuel-free by 2050
  • Restructured the Department of Safety and Security to better integrate police, emergency management, threat assessment, compliance, and safety & security technology
  • Renewed emphasis on University Police outreach and recruitment
  • Implemented a new Youth Protection Policy and created procedures and training to protect minors participating in covered University programs
  • Facilitated connections with local, regional, and state partners to address issues collaboratively, grow emerging industry clusters, develop talent, and promote healthcare and technology initiatives
  • Provided support for pan-University projects and initiatives spanning a variety of administrative processes
  • The team at UVIMCO settled into their new office space near the Downtown Mall, negotiated new Deposit and Management Agreements with University Associated Organizations, launched shareholder webinars, and collaborated with the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, UVA Health Foundation, and University Advancement to share inspiring stories about students, faculty, and programs supported by endowed funds.
  • Our partners at the UVA Foundation managed important real estate transactions for the University, further developed the North Fork Research Park, completed renovations at Boar’s Head, began work on new UVA tennis facilities, and made significant progress on the redesigned Birdwood Golf Course.


(distributed via EVP-COO Area News on 12/17/19)

Date Posted: 
Tuesday, December 17, 2019