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  • Well-Deserved Appreciation
  • Milestone Profile: Regina Ranoa
  • New Guidance for Work Schedules
  • Upcoming Town Hall, Open House
Division Colleagues,
As we wind down the academic and fiscal year, I want to say again that you all are rock stars in my book. The incredible work everyone has done to serve the university and steer it through a worldwide health crisis, in addition to managing a new financial system and numerous staffing changes well, it's astounding. 

At the DFA Open House on May 11, we took time to acknowledge just a few of the many things our teams have done to raise the bar for UC Merced over the past two years-plus. We wanted to repeat that roll call here.

Before we get to it, I also want to encourage everyone to take time over the summer to refresh and recharge. Go to the coast. Visit family. Chill out in the backyard. Make time for yourself; you’re more than earned it.

I look forward to seeing you in person on campus and at the DCC over the summer. 

Be well,

Kurt Schnier
Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer 
General Accounting 
  • Improved recharge process and resolved ticketing backlog 
  • Reduced overall time for monthly closes from 12 business days to eight 

Payroll Services 
  • Implemented UCPath PeopleSoft Upgrade Manager in collaboration with FSS and OIT, increasing instances from 17 to 37 
  • Onboarded 800 undergraduate students in fall 2021
Center for Business Services and Solutions
  • CBS2 completed more than 35,000 ServiceNow requests since Oracle launch and nearly 23,000 in the current fiscal year
  • Established Faculty Support Center and deployed to schools for Oracle support 
  • Conducted more than 250 trainings 
  • Participated in creation of Procurement Task Force 
  • Assisted in revising and implementing processes for Small Business First and P-cards (with Procurement), software purchases (with Procurement and OIT), and chemical purchases (with EH&S)

AP, Treasury & Cashiering 
  • Implemented Payment Plus service for suppliers
Financial Systems Support 
  • Worked with OIT and Payroll on 10-month project that substantially upgraded UCPath 
  • Finalized UCPath Roadmap of further improvements, which include improved navigation and the lived name project 
  • Deployed multiple enhancements to Oracle to support the end-user experience 
  • Rewrote the PPM budget export to make it more reliable 
  • Made improvements in UCMPLAN Form 
  • Updated reports and created new ones to support ODIP

Tax Services 
  • Completed and filed numerous 2021 IRS tax documents with Oracle, independent of UCLA 
  • Assumed administration of GLACIER and implemented OneSource 2.0 
  • Filed property tax exemptions that resulted in refunds that saved the university up to $100,000. 
Student Business Services 
SBS staff had a strong, supportive presence at Bobcat Day, asking questions from students and parents. 

Supply Chain Logistics 
  • Consistently provided excellent customer service for receiving, delivering and locating missing packages. The Logistics team keeps our university running.  
  • Worked with departments to identify 15 years of stored equipment for use or surplus.

Travel & Expense Management 
  • Started the Concur system and ServiceNow tickets for the team while maintaining day-to-day functions 
  • Designed a new website 
  • Reduced travel audited from three weeks (under the legacy system) to one 
  • Created custom reports with detailed transaction information

Project Portfolio Financial Management
  • In partnership with General Accounting and AP, Treasury & Cashiering, developed Oracle training for expanded viewer access 
  • BFS and ORED Oracle user access and user experience working group 
Transportation and Parking Services 
  • Coordinated with Housing and Residential Education through several challenges triggered by the pandemic.  
  • As the university eased back into more normal operations, TAPS ensured parking and transportation were easily available for big events like Commencement Weekend and Bobcat Day.
  • Assistant Director James Nardello was the subject of an “I Appreciate” feature in Monday Memo.

Hospitality Services 
It’s been a dizzying couple of years for Hospitality Services, as the pandemic put plans for the new Conference Center on hold. The end of spring semester was a hub of various on-campus activities, with a busy summer conference season ahead – and a tip of the hat to Hospitality Services for staying atop logistics and coordination.
Financial Planning & Analysis
  • Identified need for efficiency on monthly staffing. Collaborated with FSS to create and implement mass budget adjustment form that resulted in increased accuracy, reduced processing time (from a month to a week) and allowed incorporation department staff in reconciliation process. 
  • Collaborated extensively with university department during the time of uncertainty, providing numerous one-on-one and group trainings 
  • Created standard financial report to address needs of department staff for budget management. 

Supply Chain Commodity Managers 
  • Made sure students came back to campus to beds, dressers and chairs 
  • Assisted Student Services to obtain hotel spaces for students 
  • Worked closely with Travel & Expense Management to pay the hotels for fall semester. 
Early Childhood Education Center 
Operating a facility for children is always a challenge; running it in the middle of a pandemic has been a huge lift. The ECEC team has worked closely with the CRC, county and licensing partners to ensure the health and safety of the children, parents and themselves. Earlier this month, ECEC celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week, then held a superhero-themed Spring Fling with our Bobcat kittens and their families. 

Supply Chain Contract Management 
  • Continues to make sure we are following UCOP and state policies for complying with AFSCME contracting-out requirements 
  • Worked successfully with Sustainability, POPD and Real Estate to bring in revenue for 13 electric revenue charging stations, with plans for 20 more stations 
Supply Chain Equipment Management 
  • Organized, sorted, cleaned, disposed of, donated and sold more than 500 pallets 
  • Prepared the Olive Avenue warehouse for a complete move-out
Division Support Team 
Gina Vieira and Christine Yap, along with Jody Murray for all things communications, keep the schedules, meetings and events organized and the information flowing, week in and week out. 

AFI Admin Team
Provides solid and consistent administrative support for auxiliary units on top of financial and staffing needs.
It was a capacity crowd (and then some) at the Staff Appreciation and Excellence event May 20 at the Dr. Vikram and Priya Lakireddy Grand Ballroom. Twenty-six DFA staff members were honored for milestones of service in the UC system, including Financial Analyst Regina Ranoa, who has reached the 20-year mark.

Here’s what interim VC/CFO Kurt Schnier had to say about Regina at the awards event: 
Two decades ago, Regina Ranoa was looking for some career stability after working for several private accounting firms. Since Regina was a resident of Oakland, a fellow room parent at her daughter’s school suggested she apply for a job at "YOU COP." Regina was initially puzzled, saying she couldn't see herself working in law enforcement. But it quickly became clear the parent was talking about the headquarters of the University of California system. 
Regina applied to UCOP and was hired in 2002, becoming a financial analyst for academic affairs. The UCOP office was an easy walk or bicycle ride from her home on the other side of Lake Merritt. Over the next decade and a half, she also brought her expertise in budgeting and finance to assignments that included the Division of Agriculture and President Janet Napolitano's office. 
There was brief stint when she left UCOP to take a job in the Dean's office in UCSF's School of Medicine. The work was great but the commute across the Bay Bridge was draining, so she returned to UCOP. She also moved across Lake Merritt to a home just a couple of blocks from the UC offices -- a five-minute walk to work. 
Then a new opportunity arose. Her mentor, Donna Jones, had become Assistant Vice Chancellor of Finance at UC Merced. Jones asked Regina to join her at the new UC campus in the San Joaquin Valley. Regina came aboard in February 2017. She initially commuted by car from Oakland to Merced, then started taking the train. Colleagues opened their homes to Regina, giving her a place to stay during the week and driving her to and from the Amtrak station. 
As you might imagine, the pandemic changed that schedule. But though she now works almost exclusively from her East Bay home, the emerging culture at UC Merced continues to inspire her. 
"I like to teach and I like seeing people learn," she said. "And as UC Merced has grown, I've helped with providing financial knowledge on both the academic and administrative sides, and that's been very gratifying." 
20 Years
Regina Ranoa

15 Years 
Emily Bustos 
Francisco Flores 
Lisa Mora 
10 Years 
Dana Bautista 
Jennifer Carrero 
John Holtz 
Brandi Masasso 
Andrea McDowell 
Megan Potts 
Chris Robinson 
Martin Sanchez Mendez 
Lorena Serrano 
Stacey Teixeira 
Nou Yang 
Christine Yap 
5 Years 
Cynthia Crestmore 
Jamie Dias 
Naomi Estrada 
Terri Harris 
Maria Higareda-Marquez 
Ken Masasso 
Samantha Mata 
Chelsea Pedretti 
Melissa Tessier 
Linda Wright 
At the May 11 DFA Open House earlier this month, it was announced that:
  • Until July 31, DCC-based Division staff maintain their current worksite schedule (two days on-site as determined by supervisor/manager. 
  • Effective Aug. 1, DCC-based Division staff on hybrid schedules 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.  

Tap the button for more details.    
When it comes to work, what works? If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the needs of the university can be met with a more dispersed workforce. How do we best balance in-the-office and from-the home time? UC Merced leadership wants to hear from the campus community regarding their experiences and professional judgements about what circumstances best support their work.

Please take 10-15 minutes to complete a “How We Work” survey. Submissions will be collected through Monday, June 13
Please mark your calendars for the Financial Transparency Town Hall 10-11 a.m. Monday, June 6 on Zoom. Interim VC/CFO Kurt Schnier will provide details from the recently completed budget process for the 2022-23 fiscal year and update the university's financial outlook.

The next DFA Open House is scheduled for 2-3 p.m. Thursday, July 28. Catch up on Division news and updates. Are we hear there's a cool breakout-room question lined up! 
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.
Thanks to everyone who responded to last month's question: Which of these would be hardest to live without? There were 18 responses.  
This month's question:
Which mythical creature would you keep as a pet?
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: