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  • Welcome from Kurt Schnier
  • New Face Covering Rules
  • Farewell to Josh Dubroff
  • Lakireddy Named Advisor to Regents
August is typically a busy month for the university. This year we have several atypical elements added to the mix. Many of us are returning to some form of on-site work after nearly a year and a half of working remotely due to the pandemic. The main campus has changed significantly since with the addition of the final-phase Merced 2020 Project buildings. And we’re welcoming about 9,000 students to campus as we resume in-person instruction for fall semester.

The adaptability and nimbleness you’ve shown throughout this health crisis is equally important as we enter this new phase. Please continue to do your part to ensure that you and your co-workers feel welcomed and safe. I hope everyone practices self-care and patience during this transition. We’ve been through a lot. 

I have been fortunate to connect with many people in person: joining meetings in the DCC, meeting with our stellar Dining team and amazing Auxiliary leadership, or simply running into people at the Pavilion. It’s great to see new and familiar faces. 

Kurt Schnier 
Interim Vice Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer 
Under new guidance, all individuals, including those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, must wear a face covering indoors at all UC Merced-operated facilities, including the Downtown Campus Center. This document provides details about the new requirement, including exceptions in certain conditions.

Please note this face covering requirement does not change the phased plan for DFA staff members returning to on-site work. 
According to the UC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Policy, all UC Merced employees must have either proof of vaccination or an approved exemption or deferral to access a university site.

If you have submitted documentation, thank you for doing your part. If you have not: 
  • Take a photo of or scan your COVID-19 vaccination record card. 
  • Go to the Mobile-Med website and log in using your Single Sign-On authentication. 
  • Click “COVID Immunization Record” in the left-hand menu. 
  • Click “Choose File” and upload your record. 
  • Click “Submit.” 

Please go here for a rundown of UC Merced’s COVID-19 mitigation measures. Section IX, Appendices E and F of the UC vaccination policy contain guides for implementation. 

Other things to keep in mind as we return to on-site work: 
  • Before coming to a campus site, submit your required Daily Health Check-in using the app or morning check-in email. Download the ServiceNow to access the check-in on your mobile device. 
  •  If your regular work schedule includes off-site hours and you haven’t completed a telecommute agreement, please do so as soon as possible in coordination with your supervisor.    
  • Paid parking is in effect on the main campus. Get a parking permit or download WayToPark app for mobile hourly parking.   
  • Several units have changed locations on the main campus. If you’ve moved or were hired in the past year, work with your supervisor to update your access. Need a CatCard? Click here to obtain one online. 
Chief Procurement Officer Josh Dubroff, whose tireless efforts and strong leadership have strengthened the university's supply chain operations and shared services, is moving on. After nearly five years with UC Merced, Josh has accepted a position as system-wide CPO for the University of New Hampshire. The move also brings Josh closer to family he's had few opportunities to visit during his time in California. His final day at UC Merced is Aug. 20.

"Over a relatively short time, Josh led a tremendous effort to expand the abilities and increase the efficiencies of our supply chain and shared services units," Interim Vice Chancellor Chief Financial Officer Kurt Schnier said. “His promotion to the system-wide CPO at UNH clearly illustrates how successful he has been as a campus leader here, and this appointment is a wonderful opportunity for him.

"We will dearly miss his boundless energy, along with his friendship and dedication to UC Merced. We wish him the best of luck in his new role.”

In a message to supply chain and shared services staff, Josh said: "Knowing how strong of a team we have, how much our organization has grown, and how much we have accomplished together and will continue to accomplish in the future makes the decision to move on very difficult, but I leave with the sound knowledge that you will continue to grow and excel in supporting the campus." (Read his full message here.)

DFA plans to identify an interim CPO from within the Division. A nationwide search for a new, permanent CPO will be initiated in the near future. Division leadership will share details as they become available.
Please mark your calendars for the next DFA Open House, scheduled for 10-11 a.m. Sept. 24 (link to Zoom below). These events have been a great way to share Divisional information and to catch up with other. And the breakout-room icebreaker is always fun! 
Open houses are set to be held every other month. The following open house is scheduled for 3-4 p.m. Nov. 17
Videos and slides and Q&As from previous open houses are archived here

DFA Suggestion Box: If you have questions or ideas you'd like to be addressed, please share them here. All posts are anonymous. You also can reach us at dofa@ucmerced.edu
Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Kurt Schnier will hold office hours every other week starting Sept. 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. The office hours will provide an opportunity to connect with Kurt to discuss any topic of your choosing. Each session will be scheduled for 20 minutes.
To sign up for a meeting, contact Jasmine Peinado (jpeinado@ucmerced.edu) to reserve a date and time. 

Questions? Please send them to dofa@ucmerced.edu. 
The Downtown Campus Center is coming to life as Division staff members begin returning to the office. (DFA Update captured images of these colleagues Aug. 4, before the new face covering mandate was announced.)
Contracts Administrator Priya Lakireddy has been appointed staff advisor to the UC Board of Regents. Staff advisors are selected from staff and non-Senate academic employees throughout the UC system. In her non-voting role, Priya will have direct input into the regents’ deliberations and decisions. Priya has worked at UC Merced since 2014 and has been an active member of Staff Assembly, serving in several leadership roles. 
The Early Childhood Education Center had a muddy good time celebrating its 12th anniversary on June 29. There was an item about the event in the Aug. 2 Monday Memo, but we wanted to share more pictures here.

Children played outside and inside the center, getting good and messy with mixtures of earth and water. To quote ECEC Director Danielle Waite (who took the pictures): “Though we look a little different with COVID protocols and masks on our faces, we look forward to this new year with excitement and joy.” 
  • DFA News: Be informed about Division announcements and upcoming events. There also are links to previous DFA Update newsletters and other archived resources.
  • Campus Ready: Your primary source for information and updates about COVID-19 guidance and on-site work.
  • Vaccinations: Where to go to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and how to document your completed vaccination online 
  • Financial Responsibility: News and updates from town halls and other communications about the university's financial picture.
Each month, we turn the spotlight on a Division colleague to learn about their lives with UC Merced and beyond. Is there someone you would like to nominate for the monthly profile? Let us know

This month's profile is on TAPS Customer and Financial Services Supervisor Rosalva Barriga.
What do you do in your job? A little bit of everything! I supervise our administrative staff, enjoy providing excellent customer service to external and internal customers, administer our parking management system, process monthly parking deductions, participate in work groups, committees and teams involved in strategically planning for a variety of operational needs within the department as needed, and assist management with space allocation recommendations and the rollout of new programs such as Flowbird. I also ensure our financial processing functions are performed with accuracy and that daily operations run smoothly.
What do you enjoy the most about it? Everything! I’ve been in this department for 10-plus years and we have grown so much. We started in a trailer with three employees and makeshift parking lots (which still exist). There’s so much to parking; I learn every day. With the completion of the Merced 2020 Project we were able to bring resident parking back to campus and we’re currently working on zoning the new Bellevue Lot section.
What is one thing everyone should know about the TAPS team? We have a great team and we don’t just issue parking tickets. We’re always available to assist and offer other services such as jumpstarts, gas fueling, helping students get to their destinations with CatTracks or Route UC and, before the pandemic, cart shuttling. Our team can depend on one another to get the job done.
What is your favorite food? Mexican! Everything is good, but if I had to pick one it would be chicken rolled tacos.
If you could live anyplace in the world for a year, where would it be and why Mexico! As a child, I would spend summers with my grandparents in a small town called Garcia De La Cadena. About two years ago, I was fortunate to visit San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato and there so much history to learn. I was able to see old beautiful churches, and many structures from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Thanks to everyone who responded to last month's question: What do you listen to while driving to work?  There were 22 responses: 
This month's question:
What’s the best part about returning to on-site work?
Seeing colleagues in person
Getting more work done
Having lunch with friends
Getting out of the house
Do you have questions? Feedback you want to share? Something you want to put into the next newsletter? Reach out via our Comment Box or by emailing us at dofa@ucmerced.edu
DFA Update, a newsletter for the Division of Finance and Administration, is published monthly. Follow these links to catch up on news in earlier issues: