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August 2022: What's New
  • Open House Recap 
  • Accomplishments in 2022
  • How We Work 
  • Profile: Dana Bautista 
Division colleagues,
We are just a few days away from the start of fall semester. It’s a time of year I always enjoy – the sense of renewal, the hustle and bustle on campus, and the fun of seeing familiar faces and meeting so many new ones. I welcome the semester with a deep appreciation of everything you have done and continue to do to support the university.
The Division’s auxiliary teams are our boots on the ground, ensuring things like parking services, events and the University Store are running smoothly as campus activity ramps up. Over the summer, our financial teams put in countless hours and did incredible work to complete the FY2023 budget call process and close FY2022. Our support teams, meanwhile, have led the way in streamlining processes and transactions in our Oracle-based system. We are light years ahead of where we were a year ago.

I am proud and honored to call you colleagues. I look forward to seeing you soon on campus or at the DCC. 

Be well, 

Kurt Schnier 
Interim Vice Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer 
Open House Recap: Frozen Treats and Great Work Done 
More than 80 staff members logged on for the July DFA Open House. After the breakout-room huddles for favorite ice cream truck treats (Push-up Pops! Creamsicles! Drumsticks!), those gathered heard about the work our teams have done to support the university (more about this below). The agenda also touched on the How We Work initiative (more below) and key dates for fall semester (again, more below). Taps the buttons to see video and the slide deck from the open house (SSO required).

The next DFA Open House will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. Here is the Zoom link.
Getting Things Done: DFA Team Accomplishments in 2022
We're not even two-thirds of the way through 2022 and already the Division's departments and teams have logged a long list of accomplishments. DFA staff helped provide support to wildlife victims. They collaborated on an incredibly useful chart that points people to the best way to pay an individual for services to the university. They addressed and closed hundreds of ServiceNow tickets and processed thousands of invoices.

The various collaborations, innovations and milestones were cited at the July DFA Open House. We compiled everything into a list on the DFA site. Take a bow, everyone! 
Financial Transparency Town Hall Recap
Nearly 300 people attended a virtual town hall where Kurt Schnier and Associate Vice Chancellor of Financial Planning and Analysis Bianca Khanona outlined UC Merced’s budget call process for the 2022-23 fiscal year and painted a picture of the university’s financial future. Check out the event’s sights and sounds with these links (SSO required). 
Oracle Town Hall Set for September
Mark your calendar for the next Oracle Town Hall, a one-hour Zoom event scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19. The town hall is an opportunity to share with faculty and staff the remarkable progress we’ve made, in partnership with the campus community, to optimize the user experience in the financial management system.
Working on How We Work 
A report with recommendations, areas of concern and proposed next steps based on the How We Work feedback survey is available to read from the campuswide initiative’s webpage. Staff are encouraged to explore the feedback dashboard for a deep dive into the survey data. You can filter for your department to see where your team is in relationship to the broader campus.
Welcome, New DFA Colleagues 
We added more talent to the DFA team in the last couple of months. Welcome! 
  • Jas Birring, Financial Planning and Analysis 
  • Tessa Easley, Financial Planning and Analysis 
  • Aimee Tatum, Financial and Accounting Services 
  • Eli Vargas, Financial and Accounting Services 
Looking for New Team Members 
Various DFA positions are in recruitment. Visit jobs.ucmerced.edu for more information about them. Do you know someone who could be a candidate for these positions? Check out the Employee Referral Program
Schedule a visit with Kurt
Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer 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.
Mark Your Calendars
  • Wednesday, Aug. 17: Fall semester begins 
  • Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 18-21: Move-in weekend for students 
  • 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23: Scholars Bridge Crossing 
  • 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23: Staff welcome from Chancellor Munoz, Lakireddy Grand Ballroom 
  • Wednesday, Aug. 24: Fall semester instruction begins 
  • Monday, Sept. 5: Labor Day holiday 
  • Wednesday, Sept. 7: Faculty convocation 
  • 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29: DFA Open House (Zoom link
Staff Profile: Dana Bautista
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 Student Business Services Operations Coordinator Dana Bautista.  
Describe your job. What do you do? Student Business Services is a fast-paced department. It’s unique in that we serve students and parents by providing customer service support on student financial matters, but we also work closely with other financial departments to ensure the accuracy and integrity of financial data.
My position is Operations Coordinator but I’m required to wear many hats. Some of my duties include customer service, student accounting and reconciliation, managing and overseeing all aspects of collections, preparing internal and external communications, and ensuring the day-to-day operational tasks are completed efficiently and on time. I also serve as a subject matter expert to staff members regarding best practices and processes.  
You have worked more than a decade in SBS. What do you enjoy the most about it? I love being able to help others, whether that be a student, parent or colleague. It’s very rewarding when I can provide knowledge that helps them solve a problem or issue that they are dealing with. 
I also enjoy the camaraderie and the relationships I have built with SBS colleagues over the last 11 years. I have been fortunate enough to work with some great people who I’ve been able to easily collaborate and connect with. One of my favorite things about my department is that we work hard but also are able to share a good laugh. I think if you asked them, they would say some of my greatest qualities is to find humor in challenging times and put others at ease. 
What do you like to do to relax? I like to throw on some comfy clothes and lounge on the couch or chillax in the spa. If I can splurge, I will get a massage. And if I can really splurge, I‘m going to Disneyland (it may sound odd to others, but it’s an opportunity to be away from home and work). 
Are you a morning or evening person? It’s hard to say that I’m one or the other because I can be equally productive in the mornings and evenings. If you asked my family, they would probably say I’m a night owl because I have no problem binge-watching shows on any streaming platform.
You can have only three apps on your phone unrelated to your job. What are they? 
  • Facebook – To stay connected with friends and family plus, to be honest, I can be nosey sometimes. LOL.   
  • Starbucks – To order drinks that get me through the day.  
  • Words with Friends – I started playing it recently after my daughter downloaded it and now I’m addicted. 
It’s karaoke night. What’s the first song you sing? Hmm … I’m not much of a karaoke person. But maybe after a couple of drinks, I could do it and would probably sing “Hotel California” by the Eagles. 
Thanks to everyone who responded to last month's question: What mythical creature would you keep as a pet? There were 12 responses.  
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 this link for an archive of earlier issues: