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  • DCC Tips and Reminders
  • Open House Coming in July
  • New Faces in DFA
  • Profile: Debbie Henderson
Division Colleagues,
Summer is a time to recharge and reset. I hope everyone takes opportunities to step away from your UC Merced responsibilities and have fun with family and friends.

My deepest thanks to Division colleagues working hard to make the university more comfortable and efficient with the Oracle-based financial system. I am impressed by the various ways we have made inroads in establishing ownership by users across campus in the process of improving the system.
We also are moving closer to the scheduled date when DCC-based staff will see more of each other – face-to-face – each week. Please look over the tips and reminders below as we approach the Aug. 1 start date.
Be well, 

Kurt Schnier 
Interim Vice Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer 
Effective Aug. 1, Division of Finance and Administration staff on hybrid schedules and based in the Downtown Campus Center will work on-site at the DCC or other university locations on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The remaining three days of the work week will be conducted on a flex schedule agreed on by staff and supervisors/managers. 
As this transition means more extensive use of the DCC by Division staff, here are some helpful DCC tips and reminders: 
Help maintain the DCC’s security. 
  • It might seem thoughtful to let others into the building or other spaces. However, doing so for someone you don't know can lead to security issues. Ask those you don't know to check in with the front desk security officer or use their own CatCard to access the building. 
  • When you leave your desk, lock your computer screen and secure sensitive materials (including personal items like purses and wallets) in a locked file cabinet.  
If you feel ill, stay home. 
  • Illness can spread quickly in shared spaces. If you feel ill, let your supervisor know you plan to work from home if you feel well enough, or use a sick day. As for COVID-19, the university’s Campus Ready website has relevant guidelines for protecting against the transmission of coronavirus. 
Manage use of DCC rooms and shared spaces. 
  • DCC conference and meeting rooms must be reserved via EMS for use (login required to reserve a room). Helpful EMS reservation tips and tricks are available here. Should a meeting be canceled, please release the room reservation.  
  • Clean up after yourself in shared spaces, including huddle and focus rooms along with kitchen areas. In kitchen areas, do not leave your food items in refrigerators for more than a week. Refrigerators will be cleaned out monthly, with advance notice to staff. 
On the phone or in a Zoom meeting? Be courteous. 
  • Use a meeting room or take a walk if the conversation needs to be loud. Consider the volume of conversations when discussing confidential matters. 
  • Set your phone on vibrate to while you’re in the DCC. 
  • Use regular or noise-cancelling headphones to listen to music or other audio and to ensure a reasonable volume so others around you are not disturbed. 
Minimize offending smells from food and personal hygiene products. 
  • Individuals have different thresholds for smell, and this can be difficult to communicate to others. Out of consideration to others, use the breakroom cafe eating areas on each floor to eat your food. 
  • Avoid strongly scented personal hygiene products like perfumes, colognes, and lotions. 
Should a problem or dispute arise, handle it calmly and respectfully. 
  • Be open to feedback and discussing concerns with your co-workers. Give feedback in a constructive manner. 
  • Discuss on-going problems with your supervisor. 
  • If you have ideas about making the workplace better, discuss them with your co-workers and/or your supervisor. 
If you are having issues with: 
  • Printing, scanning, faxing or copying, contact Sara Tinoco (Print Services). 
  • Conference room technology, contact the OIT Service Desk
  • Wi-fi connectivity while moving within DCC, disconnect wi-fi on your device, then reconnect so it can link to a nearby router. 
  • Access to DCC, contact Pam Taylor.  
  • A shortage of supplies in the DCC third-floor supply room, contact Christine Yap
Is your issue or concern not noted here? Contact [email protected].
The next DFA Open House is scheduled for 2-3 p.m. Thursday, July 28. Catch up on Division news and updates. We hear there's a cool (hint, hint) breakout-room question lined up! 

Kurt plans to hold a Financial Transparency Town Hall that focuses on the university budget and incorporates factors from the latest version of the California state budget. A date and time for the Zoom event will be communicated to the university when it is available.
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 [email protected] to reserve a date and time.
We added more talent to the DFA team in the past month. Welcome!
  • Julie Morgan, Payroll Services
  • Alyssa Del Toro, General Accounting
  • Rahil Chadha, General Accounting
  • Jared Knittel, Contracts and Real Estate
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 Hospitality Services Director Debbie Henderson.  
Describe your job. What do you do? Plan and execute campus events in the Conference Center, the California and Crescent Arch rooms, and all exterior locations. Work with Facilities, Fire, Public Safety and EHS to administer and confirm all event logistics. Manage our guest housing program for incoming staff and faculty – we’re basically their Air transition housing, basically their Airbnb! We also are the summer conference team that turns residence halls into a conference destination.
What’s one thing everyone should know about Hospitality Services? We assist everyone in bringing events to UC Merced. We are a one-stop shop conference planner for most departments and for campus clients who do not have an event professional in their area. We handle all meeting and event details, including venue selection, meeting room needs, AV/IT requirements, catering, parking, conference registration and planning excursions to Yosemite!  
How did the pandemic affect Hospitality Services? Oh boy, that’s a big one. I Iiken it to planning a major wedding and then on the day of … the groom bails! We debuted in January 2020, then the world shut down. It has been one of the biggest challenges of my career to restart this department and put it back together piece by piece. But it’s a blessing because I know we are going to build a better operation than the one I designed and imagined so long ago! 
What do you like to do to relax? I don’t know if I call it relaxing, but I jumped on the Peloton bandwagon during the pandemic and though it’s a daily struggle to keep getting back on that bike, it has been transformational in helping me manage stress. To actually relax? I like to travel, near and far … weekends away at a resort hotel with a great pool and better poolside bar service and a full-service spa! 
It’s karaoke night. What’s the first song you sing? I belt out “Like We Never Loved at All” by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, but I need a partner! 
In May you enjoyed a commencement of your own. Tell us about it. Yes. Going to the University of Oklahoma for graduation weekend was exciting and the culmination of a challenging program for a master’s degree in human relations with a focus on inclusive leadership. Finally meeting my cohort in person was amazing, emotional and full of pure joy, and being able to share this achievement with family and friends who came from California was overwhelming. OU is a family legacy and I wanted to honor my father, who passed in 2018, so as I was filling out my name on the reader card I made a last-minute adjustment to include my maiden name. I couldn’t graduate from OU and not hear my dad’s name ring through the arena.  
Thanks to everyone who responded to last month's question: What mythical creature would you keep as a pet? There were 12 responses.  
Thank you for participating in our DFA Pulse polls. We are putting Pulse on pause as we prepare other features fror the newsletter. Stay tuned!
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 [email protected]
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: