Update on Status of Award Setups


As you are aware, in late January Finance Grants and Contracts (FGC) encountered a major issue in processing roughly 500 award setups that were in the que .  Given that typically a block of this size could take 2-3 months to set up in the system we quickly realized that would create a significant financial impact on faculty’s research funding and work, so we got to working on a better solution.

As of last Friday February 10th, all 500 awards have been set up and Notice of Awards have been sent out!  We are now back to a steady state of processing 60 awards per week.

How did we do it?

Under Bill Lambert’s leadership, the Finance Grants & Contracts team quickly worked to assemble a seasoned, high performance team made up of FGC, the Office of Sponsored Projects, Office of Tech Transfer and the Finance COMPASS Project Team.  Through collaboration and innovative thinking we:

  1. Quickly assessed the system improvements as a result of the compass upgrade to leverage the new    automation and workflow
  2. Leveraged the compass system’s ability to set up multi-year awards versus annual
  3. Moved the quality assurance check process to the end of the cycle for award setup versus throughout
  4. Used automated queries to verify quality assurance as a compliance function to ensure proper setup
  5. Used the job aide check list to train and transfer award set up knowledge to employees

Through integration and ideation, we accelerated two months of work into 10 days ensuring that issuance of the 500 award setups is complete and the important work coming out of your units may continue uninterrupted.

While this was an exception and we will continue to work towards refining our process, we want to assure you that we are always here to find solutions and different ways of working so that you can continue to meet your mission.



Carol Dillon Kissal

VP for Finance and Chief Financial Officer

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