What's News

  • September Open House
  • STAR Award Nominations
  • New BFS Directors
  • Staff Profile: Kristi Morales

Division colleagues,

Another academic year is well underway, thanks in no small part to everyone in the Division of Finance and Administration. From payroll to parking to procurement and everything in between, you are and will continue to be crucial to fall semester running smoothly. 

I want to give a special thanks to our financial team, who successfully completed the closing of Fiscal Year 2021-22 earlier this month. It is a huge task, and everyone carried it out with professionalism and care. Along the way, the team instituted regular checks on data consistency that will aid the university in the years to come.


This month’s DFA Update features great news about people with new responsibilities who will move the division and UC Merced forward. It’s important to me that we continue to build up our workforce while continuing to find efficiencies that help us serve the campus better.


As always, thank you for everything you do. As the holiday season approaches, I hope you are planning to take time off to relax and recharge with family and friends. You have certainly earned it.



Kurt Schnier

Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer 

September DFA Open House 

The next DFA Open House will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 via Zoom. These events have been a great way to share Division news and catch up with each other. Tap the button below to save the Zoom link. Be sure to have the latest Zoom version so you can enjoy all the open house’s features. 


STAR Award Nominations Due Soon

It’s time to submit nominations for the annual STAR (Staff Appreciation and Recognition) Awards. The program recognizes extraordinary contributions above and beyond an employee’s established day-to-day job responsibilities. Employees can be nominated by a supervisor, manager or department head. Please submit completed nomination forms to [email protected] no later than COB Monday, Oct. 3. 


Two New Directors for BFS

We are happy to announce the appointment of two directors in Business and Financial Services. Christie Harvey (left), who has held several key roles at UC Merced, has been named Director of Accounts Payable, Travel and Tax. Carol Dinuzzo (right), a Merced native with an extensive background in financial management, has joined the university as Director of Financial and Accounting Services.

These appointments are the result of an organizational assessment last fall aimed at aligning similar bodies of work to streamline processes and improve service to the university.

"I am thrilled to welcome Carol and Christie as leaders in the DFA team!” said Amanda Preston-Nelson, Associate Vice Chancellor and Controller. “Both bring a wealth of knowledge to UC Merced and I am excited to have them help with the maturation of our financial reporting and related procedures." 

Adam Miller Joins Hospitality Services Team

We are pleased to welcome Adam Miller as assistant director for conference and event services. Adam brings more than seven years of event experience, most recently as UC Merced’s assistant director for enrollment management events (he’s a familiar figure at commencement ceremonies and Bobcat Day). Adam is a Certified Meeting Professional, a credential recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the events industry. 


Hospitality Services handles conference and event services for meeting and event spaces, including exterior locations on campus. The department also manages an overnight summer conference program and serves as the on-campus host for transitional guest housing for staff and faculty. 


Welcome, Adam! 

Looking for 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. 

Oracle Town Hall Set for October 

Mark your calendar for the next Oracle Town Hall, a one-hour Zoom event scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10. 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. Kurt and Amanda will co-host. 

Tap the button to register to attend.


Two Opportunities for Professional, Personal Growth 

Chancellor’s Leadership Academy runs through the academic year and provides participants with the opportunity to focus on their future at UC Merced while building on the skills and competencies to lead and advance their careers at the university. The academy will award participants $750 toward their professional development. Interested individuals should apply or submit your nomination for a colleague or direct report by Wednesday, Sept. 14. 


The Institute for Inclusive Excellence is an educational and skills-building experience for UC Merced faculty and staff presented by the Division of Equity, Justice and Inclusive Excellence. Five modules are planned across the 2022-23 academic year on topics such as underrepresentation and anti-racism, consequences of underrepresentation, identifying and launching actions and interventions, and changing systems and accountability. A final session will be devoted to delineating campus projects that advance the division’s goals. Submit your CV/resume and a cover letter by noon Friday, Sept. 16. 


Schedule a Visit with Kurt

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.

Mark Your Calendars

  • 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29: DFA Open House (Zoom link
  • 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10: Oracle Town Hall (Register
  • Friday, Nov. 11: Veterans Day holiday 
  • Thursday/Friday, Nov. 24-25: Thanksgiving holiday 

DFA Profile: Kristi Morales

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 Procurement and Contracting Services' Kristi Morales.  

Describe your job. What do you do? I am the Professional Services Commodity Manager. In addition to my full-time position, I'm also the campus procurement card (Pcard) administrator and a part of the logistics team for our campus Emergency Operations Center (EOC). I draft, negotiate and execute contracts for professional service needs on and off campus. I work closely with multiple departments on large- and small-scale events.  

Over the past 14 years working for the University, I also have been a financial analyst for both Campus Dining (2008-2014) and Design & Construction (2020-2021). 

Tell us about the team you work with. I am blessed to work with a fantastic group of amazing people. My team comes to work daily equipped with pixie dust and wands, ready to make magic happen for our campus. We pride ourselves on making the impossible happen, from complicated purchases to complex contracts. If I could give each team member a superhero cape, I would; they deserve it. 

You have been with UC Merced for more than 14 years. What changes over that time stand out for you? Watching the campus grow with the 2020 expansion project is breathtakingly unique. When I started in 2008, our student population was only roughly 4,500; this semester, our total enrollment is 8,544. The growth with both the 2020 project and student enrollment is impressive. What has also stuck with me is the work-life balance the university offers. I am the mother of a large family, and work-life balance has allowed me to be the professional businesswoman and mother I am today.  

Describe your communication style in three words. Don't call me. 

What do you like to do to relax? If I'm at home, you will find me snuggled on the couch, watching TV with a blanket. If I need to hit the reset button, you will find me camping by a lake in the mountains. 

You can have only three apps on your phone unrelated to your job. What are they? Amazon, Facebook and Pokemon Go. 

You're walking out on a stage. What's your entrance song? "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys.

Let's Hear From You

Do you have questions? Feedback you want to share? Something for 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. Here's an archive of previous issues.