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  • DFA Communication Survey
  • Open Houses and Town Halls
  • New Role for Riedeman
  • Profile: Cindy Roberts
Division Colleagues,
Spring semester is nearing its end but big things are just getting started.
An in-person Bobcat Day on the main campus is set for April 23, followed by not one, not two, but three in-person Commencement ceremonies May 13-15 (staff volunteers are needed; see below), and capped by Staff Appreciation Week May 17-20, which will include in-person activities.

DFA’s Auxiliaries teams will do what they do best, making campus regulars and visitors feel welcome and at ease, even as they gear up for summer conferences and events. And the ECEC staff and their Bobcat Kittens are enjoying more time in the sunshine as they days grow warmer. 

Meanwhile, our work to stabilize users' experience in the Oracle-based financial management system kicked into another gear this week with the launch of a focused push to reconcile all out-of-balance projects. My deepest thanks to task force members Dana Bautista, Jennifer Corgiat, Gurpartap Dhaliwal, Maria Higareda-Marquez, Amanda Johnson, Brandi Masasso, Kelli Maxey, Kristi Morales, Amanda Preston-Nelson, Sean Pamer, Eddie Torres, Meagan Torres, and Elias Vargas.
Our Financial Planning & Analysis team and other DFA staff are deep into facilitating the university budget call process. Friday, April 15, marks the deadline for divisions and schools to submit budget proposals. You can learn more about the process here, and I will lay out details of the final university budget in a virtual town hall set for June 6 (see below).
In short, there's a lot going on. Which is why I encourage you to take time for yourself. Enjoy the company of your family. Take a vacation. Self-care is equally important as getting work done.
It’s an exciting, transformative time for DFA and UC Merced. I’m so proud of what you do to make it happen. 

Be well, 

Kurt Schnier 
Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer 
Please take a couple of minutes to complete an anonymous survey about DFA’s communication channels. We have the bi-monthly DFA Open Houses and the monthly DFA Update newsletter. In addition, Kurt invites staff to meet with him one-on-one to discuss any subject. How are these channels working for you? What do you want to hear and talk about? The survey will help us provide what you need and improve our dialogue.  
Let’s get together! In person! We’re firming up details for DFA appreciation events at the DCC and on the main campus in May. Watch your inbox for more information.  
The Early Childhood Education Center does an amazing job with its young charges while providing a unique service to university employees and the Merced community. With Teacher Appreciation Week coming up May 2-6, a tip of the cap to the ECEC teachers:  
Director Danielle Waite 
Jennifer Carrero 
Angelique Jabson 
Diedre Johnson 
Zina Kumetat 
Maribel Lugo 
Samantha Mata
Linda Murillo 
Amanda Pia 
Rosalva Rico 
Mouang Saechao 
Lorena Serrano 
Nou Yang 
The next DFA Open House is scheduled for 11 a.m.-noon Wednesday, May 11. Open houses have been a great way to share Division news and catch up with each other. Tap the button below to save the Zoom link.

Later, Kurt will hold a Financial Transparency Town Hall 10-11 a.m. Monday, June 6. This gathering will focus on reviewing the FY2022-23 budget call process, which is scheduled to wrap in late May. We encourage everyone to join in.

Thanks to everyone who joined the March DFA Open House. Feel free to crack open a box of Samoas Girl Scout cookies and browse the meeting’s video and slide deck 
Interim Vice Chancellor and CFO Kurt Schnier is holding office hours every other week 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, send an email to dofa@ucmerced.edu to reserve a date and time.
Jennifer Riedeman has accepted the role of Interim Director of the General Accounting team. Jennifer has been with UC Merced for more than eight years, including the last six as Director of Treasury, Accounts Payable Disbursements & Cashiering. Her new responsibilities began April 1.

We will conduct a full recruitment to fill the permanent role of Director. We also continue to work to fill other vacancies on the accounting team and have started reviewing and documenting all tasks related to General Accounting. If you have questions about the transition process, please reach out to Controller Amanda Preston-Nelson or Assistant Controller Kelli Maxey.
A reminder that we’re in the midst of the employee appraisal process. Employees’ summaries of accomplishment were due April 4. Next up: completion of manager appraisals, due April 18. Managers are encouraged to use clear statements about the impact made, the work completed, and the innovations instituted. Check the full calendar of the employee appraisals cycle, which covers April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022.   
The largest Commencement in UC Merced history is next month, and External Relations put out a call for staff to volunteer time to support our graduates. There are three ceremonies, and help is needed for all of them. Please sign up by Wednesday, April 27

Shift times are: 

  • 4 - 9 p.m. Friday, May 13: Classes of 2020 and 2021 
  • 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14: School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts 
  • 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sunday, May 15: School of Engineering and School of Natural Sciences 
Tap the button to access a participation form and join the Commencement Squad! 
Each month, we turn a spotlight on a DFA colleague to learn about their lives with UC Merced and beyond. This month’s profile is on CBS2 Supervisor Cindy Roberts.
Describe your job. What do you do? As the Purchasing Supervisor for the Research and Academics team in the Center for Business Services and Solutions (CBS2), I oversee a group of dedicated, hard-working individuals who process all requisitions and invoices for the university’s three schools, as well as for the Office of Research and Economic Development and the Health Sciences and Sierra Nevada research institutes. We love working with the faculty and knowing we play a small part in the amazing research and other initiatives going on around campus. 
You’ve been at UC Merced for nearly 14 years. What are some memorable changes over that time? I have seen the campus grow significantly in many ways, from the landscape footprint to new systems for everything. The campus has truly evolved from the “baby campus” we once called it. One of the greatest things I’ve seen in my time here is the growth of our students from undergraduates to colleagues. I’ve actually supervised a few individuals as student employees who are now staff members. It’s truly wonderful to watch!

What’s one thing everyone should know about CBS2?  We are here to serve and we want to partner with folks to find ways to streamline processes and work smarter, not harder. We have a great team with tremendous customer service and can-do attitudes. If you need something, we’ve got you!

What do you like to do to relax? I’m kind of a homebody. I like hanging out with my family and watching movies.
Name one thing that always makes you laugh. My grandson. He’s a hoot!
You can keep only three apps on your phone that aren’t related to your job. What are they?   
  • Laudate for my spiritual connection 
  • Facebook for my social connection 
  • Amazon for my everything-else connection
It’s karaoke night. What’s the first song you sing? “Daddy’s Hands.”

If you could live anyplace in the world for a year, where would it be and why?  Italy. I love the relaxed atmosphere, the food and there is so much to see and do!
Thanks to everyone who responded to last month's question: If age is just a state of mind, how would you describe yourself right now? There were 12 responses.  
This month's question:
Which of these would be hardest to live without?
Your favorite drink
Your phone
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: