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  • March 9 Open House 
  • Telework Extended 
  • CFO Search Update 
  • New CBS2 Website 
Dear Division Colleagues,

It’s difficult to believe it’s been nearly a year since the pandemic upended our lives. We’ve had to make tremendous adjustments, including the continuation of core on-site services for a smaller on-campus population and pivoting to a telecommute work environment.
Months passed as we’ve reimagined how to do our jobs in this new “normal.” We’ve had to be flexible in an ever-evolving environment, and continue to be so as we prepare for in-person instruction for fall semester. We are inspired by your professionalism and resilience.

As the warmer days of spring approach, we’re seeing signs of hope. The COVID-19 numbers are improving in Merced County, California and beyond. Tests are easily available, with quick turnaround times. Vaccinations throughout California are ramping up. The university announced that those currently working remotely will start transitioning to in-person work in July.
Meanwhile, we continue our efforts to be transparent about the pandemic’s financial impact on UC Merced. Kurt and Luanna hosted a campus-wide town hall in February that laid out the fiscal picture. Archived video and other content from the meeting can be found here.
We will talk about all of this and more at this month’s DFA Open House (details below). Hope to see everyone there! 
Be well, 

The DFA Leadership Transition Team:
Gerry Elizondo 
Luanna Putney 
Kurt Schnier 
The next DFA Open House is scheduled for Tuesday, March 9 from 2-3 p.m. Join us on Zoom to get updates from the Division leadership transition team and to indulge in our breakout room topics (at February’s open house we learned most of us prefer comedy movies).

Please make sure you have the latest version of Zoom. You can download updates here: https://zoom.us/support/download

Let’s hear from you: If you have questions or ideas you'd like to be addressed at open houses, please share them here. All posts are anonymous.
Coming up: The next open house is scheduled for 11 a.m.-noon Thursday, April 22.
Catching up: Presentation slides and video of earlier open houses are here.
As announced Feb. 25, telework agreements for staff have been extended from March 30 to June 30, 2021. No action on your part is needed for this extension. 

Beginning July 1, staff will start returning to in-person work. The pace at which this occurs will depend on public health conditions and guidelines. Details and timelines will be shared as they become available. These moves align with plans to conduct fall semester with increased in-person instruction and more on-campus residents. 
We look forward to giving everyone opportunities this month to meet finalists for the chief financial officer position. Details about virtual gatherings are being worked out and will arrive in your inbox soon. We encourage you to be engaged in this process and take the time to meet the finalists. Your input in the search process has been and will continue to be invaluable.
A fresh, new website for the Center for Business Services and Solutions (CBS2) launched Feb. 23. CBS2 provides administrative assistance for campus in the areas of Procurement, Travel and Entertainment, Finance and Human Resources. Head to the new site to learn more about CBS2 and their services. (Note: the CBS2 site is an upgrade of the ACT site; bookmarks for the latter will go automatically to the former). 
Can we talk? There’s a blog on the Human Resources website that dispenses fresh wisdom weekly about how to get along with each other, be more effective co-workers, and be good humans in general. Communication Playbook is written by Luke Wiesner, the university’s Conflict Resolution Coach. Recent posts have tackled imposter syndrome, setting respectful boundaries, and building bridges in problematic relationships. 
My UC Career, a service provided by UC Systemwide Talent Management, provides tools to help you learn more about your strengths, skills and career opportunities. The service is free. All you need is your UCMercedID to set up an account. Search for jobs, sharpen your interview skills, and develop your resume and elevator pitch. 
Thanks to everyone who responded to last month's question: If you could travel in time, what would you do? There were 30 responses: 
This month's question:
Is coffee required to start your workday?
Are you kidding? YES
I prefer tea or water
I need nothing to get me started
Each month, we turn a 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

NOTE: The month's responses are presented in English and Spanish.

What is your job title? Senior Custodian
What do you do in your job? I provide guidance and training to custodial staff. I help oversee custodial services in Housing/Dining. I fill in when we are short-staffed to help complete the work in the assigned buildings. I also make sure all custodial closets are stocked with supplies.
What do you enjoy the most about it? I enjoy the daily interactions I have with my co-workers. I also really enjoy talking to the students and giving them advice about life.

What’s one thing you want everyone to know about the Custodial Services team? Housing has an incredible custodial team. They are amazing, dedicated and very hard-working. They are the best team in the Housing Department. 
What do you like to do to relax? I love to spend time with my family. I also like to go on road trips and do sightseeing.
Who is your favorite singer or musical group? I don't have a favorite. I enjoy a variety of music and artists.
If you could live anyplace in the world for a year, where would it be and why? I would love to live in Hawaii because it has beautiful weather. The islands and beaches are beautiful and seem so relaxing. It's a different place that I have never been to.
¿Cuál es su profesión? Custodio Senior

¿Qué haces en tu trabajo? Brindo orientación y capacitación al personal de conserjes. Ayudo a supervisar los servicios de conserjería en Vivienda/Comedor. También completo cuando tenemos poco personal para ayudar a completar el trabajo en los edificios asignados. También me aseguro de que todos los armarios de conserjes estén equipados con suministros.

¿Qué es lo que más disfrutas al respecto? Disfruto de las interacciones diarias que tengo con mis compañeros de trabajo. También disfruto mucho hablar con los estudiantes y darles consejos sobre la vida.

¿Qué es lo que desea que todos sepan sobre el equipo de servicios de custodia? Housing cuenta con un increíble equipo de conserjes. Son increíbles, dedicados y muy trabajadores. Son el mejor equipo del Departamento de Vivienda.

¿Qué te gusta hacer para relajarte? Amo pasar tiempo con mi familia. También me gusta hacer viajes por carretera y hacer turismo.

¿Quién es tu cantante o grupo musical favorito? No tengo un favorito. Disfruto de una variedad de música y artistas.

¿Si pudieras vivir en cualquier lugar del mundo durante un año, dónde estaría y por qué? Me encantaría vivir en Hawaii porque tiene un clima hermoso. Las islas y las playas son hermosas y parecen muy relajantes. Es un lugar diferente en el que nunca he estado.
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: