About FAB

Hello and welcome!

The Vice President of Administration & Finance, Michael Reid recently announced that the budget functions of OPBA have transitioned to the Fiscal Affairs and Budget team (FAB). I write to outline the team's objectives and creed, and to introduce you to our FAB team. 

New operating procedure note:

Effective next year, budget owners may process budget changes without having to wait for the September Board of Regent’s meeting.  In the future, there will be a short window of time once the budget is loaded when changes can’t be made.  You can find budget change forms on the Budget Planning Resources page of this website.

FAB Objectives:

·         Dedicate ourselves to changing the service landscape on campus

·         Conduct listening sessions 

·         Investigate budget and fiscal planning and reconciliation practices to develop a toolkit of solutions that can be executed across a broad range of needs

·         Develop communication strategies centered on processes and timelines

·         Create online self-paced fiscal and budget tutorials

·         Conduct campus presentations on budget and fiscal affairs

·         Educate, educate and re-educate ourselves, each other and the campus

·         Establish and strengthen relationships on campus

·         Create an interactive and engaging web presence

·         Prepare budget models reflective of campus allocation needs, specifically in Academic Affairs

·         Implement budget and fiscal planning technology solutions


·         Balance execution of people-based service and creative solutions with regulatory compliance

·         Identify and implement efficient and effective technology and processes

·         Provide accurate, open and trusted information to the campus community

·         Become a national model of operation for service and processes

·         Become a trusted, established resource for effective and accurate fiscal solutions for unanticipated financial fluctuations

Brief Introductions:

The opportunity to support the University in budget functions is the highlight of my career.  I’m excited to serve the institution in this capacity.  I have over two decades of experience in managing complex administrative systems with extensive experience in creating, managing and leading budget functions.  One year ago, I began my service as Associate VP. I will be an informed resource, I will connect resources to ensure collaborative solutions, I will offer and implement creative solutions, and I will increase capacities.  In addition, I will:

·         Actively listen and learn on an ongoing basis

·         Creatively collaborate to solve problems, including less obvious stakeholders

·         Exercise sound planning and help others to do the same

·         Create a culture of engagement within A&F and at UM

·         Execute a sound service of being people-centered, fiscally accountable, leadership-centered and UM-wise

-Beckie Christiaens, Associate VP for Administration and Finance

I bring to this position an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that I gained from my work as a banking center manager for several years and later as an accountant for a Fortune 500 company. I supplemented this private sector knowledge with experiences gained in fiscal management within the University setting, including budget preparation and projection experience in grants and contracts. Seeking to gain a broad understanding of the field, and to serve as a superior resource to faculty, I became a Certified Research Administrator in December 2015. I will add value to the Office of Fiscal Affairs and Budget by providing world class service to campus and external partners as we improve budgeting processes and practices in collaboration with one another.

-Sasha Lawson, Fiscal Support Specialist

EXCITED! The word I use to describe my new opportunity at the University. I come to this position after serving as the Director of Fiscal Operations and Personnel Services for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. There I helped realign financial resources to operate more effectively and efficiently. I have over 20 years of financial, budgeting, forecasting and management experience, with almost 10 years in higher education and over 8 years in local government.

I look forward to working with and supporting my campus colleges in redeveloping, redefining and recreating sound fiscal and budget practices, procedures and reports. I want to build on the great relationships I already have on campus and cannot wait to establish new ones, which I believe will be possible as we establish confidence, trust and professionalism.

-Jill Johns, Fiscal Support Specialist