After taking over as the University of Virginia's executive vice president and provost in September, John Simon didn't take long to discover who the "go-to" person was in his office.
That would be vice provost Anda Webb, his chief financial adviser. Simon is the seventh provost with whom she has worked.
As he wrote in his nomination of Webb to receive the 2012 Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award, she quickly became "an integral part of my daily activities and is an integral part of the Office of the Provost."
The U.Va. Women's Center will present Webb with the Zintl Award – given to a female employee at U.Va. who exhibits high degrees of professionalism, creativity and commitment that characterized Zintl's significant contributions to U.Va. – at a reception on Sept. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library. Zintl, an accomplished writer and journalist, served as chief of staff in the Office of the President at the University before her death in 1997.
Simon and others who supported Webb's nomination described her as a master of collaboration and consensus-building, and said she is thoroughly knowledgeable about policies and financial practices. She has often been the one to glide in to help with unexpected problems.
Anne Kromkowski, associate dean for finance and administration in the School of Medicine, offered an unusual example of Webb's ability to make things happen. When the 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, medical faculty wanted to take leave right away to go there and volunteer their expertise. Webb helped get the paperwork through expeditiously. "Her knowledge of the University and existing policy, and her astute assessment of the situation allowed us to react quickly and in the best interests of all," Kromkowski recalled.
Other academic administrators lauded Webb's professional skills and generous mentoring.
When Roseanne Ford, a professor of chemical engineering for 15 years, took the position of associate vice president for research and graduate studies at U.Va., it was a challenging transition, she said. "Anda provided excellent counsel and guidance in navigating this process. I also have to say that coming from a male-dominated discipline like engineering, it was very refreshing to have a woman as a mentor in my professional development." Now Ford chairs the chemical engineering department.
When Kim Tanzer, dean of the School of Architecture, was left without a financial officer on short notice, Webb stepped in. "She worked with me weekly, and more often when needed, literally keeping the school's finances in order until we found a new associate dean."
Gertrude Fraser, vice provost for faculty recruitment and retention, said she appreciates Webb's collegiality and warm personality. "Anda mentors through stories and leads through listening, and I think that's why she is able to gain the confidence and esteem of a broad cross-section of people from different walks of life."
Webb goes beyond her job duties: She chaired the Women's Leadership Council, a standing presidential committee, from 2002 through 2005. She also mentors students through a program in the Office of African-American Affairs.
Webb can be described as a "homegrown" administrator. She joined the U.Va. staff in 1987 as a computer programmer and moved two years later to the provost's office as a systems analyst.
She has led the development of critical programs, including the implementation of the student information system and the establishment of bachelor of interdisciplinary studies degree, the University’s first part-time degree program for adult students.
Webb served as associate dean in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies from 1997 to 2001, working closely with then-dean Sondra Stallard, who reformed the division to become U.Va.'s 10th school.
Now Webb is heading up the effort to establish the new activity-based budgeting model. "There is not a more far-reaching effort under way at the University," Simon wrote.
"Webb has made contributions that stretch to every corner of the University, and has done so with a high degree of professionalism, creativity and commitment," he said.
The Zintl Award is made possible through the support of the late David A. Harrison III, a friend of Zintl's and one of the University's greatest benefactors. The award carries a $1,000 prize for the honoree to use for professional or personal development.