What's News

  • November Open House
  • New DFA Colleagues
  • Conference Center Hosts Gala
  • Staff Profile: Danielle Waite

Division colleagues,

As DFA staff based at the Downtown Campus Center return to on-site work in our new hybrid model while remaining predominantly remote, I appreciate the opportunity to connect with many of you in person in recent weeks and to do so more over the coming months. Though we have found working remotely can be effective for a number of our job duties, nothing compares to the energy and spontaneity of meeting face to face.

We’re just getting started on this new phase of hybrid work and I’m sure we’ll learn as we go. Please feel free to chat me up about it the next time you see me at the DCC.

Every team in DFA continues to do incredible work. We’re well into managing the 2022-23 fiscal year and laying the roadwork for years beyond. I’m proud of how teams from across the division – BFS, FP&A, CBS2 and Supply Chain of Excellence – continue to work diligently to streamline access to and use of our products and processes. That includes, of course, our Oracle system; we keep pushing to be better even as it appears the heaviest seas are behind us.

A special shout-out to Hospitality Services and TAPS, who played key roles in a game-changing event Oct. 22 at the Conference Center (see below).

Finally, as the holiday season approaches, I hope you will take time to be with family and friends, and to rest and recharge. You all have certainly earned it.

Be well,

Kurt Schnier

Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer 

November DFA Open House 

The next DFA Open House will be held 9-10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 21 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. 


Welcome to Our New DFA Colleagues

We have had several additions to our teams in the past month:

  • Michele Amador (CBS2)
  • Yureni Aguilar (CBS2)
  • Donaldo Salazar (CBS2)
  • Brittanny Holmes (CBS2)
  • Anna Coffman (Contracts and Real Estate Services)

Welcome aboard, everyone!

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. 

On-site Work Plan Has Begun

DFA's in-person work plan for staff based in the Downtown Campus Center is in effect. Staff on hybrid work schedules are expected to work at the DCC or other university locations two days a week: every Tuesday and on either Wednesday or Thursday.

Teams are encouraged to keep Mondays and Fridays meeting-free. Managers and supervisors must give at least 48 hours of notice for in-person meetings or events.

Kitchen tips: To keep DCC's food areas clean and sanitary for everyone, please remember to not leave dishes and utensils in the sink and to load such items in the dishwasher. Please label and date food stored in the refrigerators; markers and sticky notes have been placed nearby. Refrigerators will be cleaned out once a month.

Conference Center Hosts Fundraising Gala

On Oct. 21, a gala to mark the launch of UC Merced's first comprehensive fundraising campaign was centered at Lakireddy Grand Ballroom. "Illuminate" was a signature moment for the Conference Center and the Hospitality Services team, who worked with External Relations, TAPS and other campus partners to deliver a beautiful and memorable experience for the university's philanthropic partners.

"We were so excited to be part of the event the first of its kind at this campus," Hospitality Services Director Debbie Henderson said. "We were able to see the conference center dressed up and seeing its amazing potential come to life. We look forward to bringing more of these kinds of events to campus." 

Just to Remind You ...

  • UC’s Open Enrollment period for 2023 benefits has begun. It ends at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. 
  • UC has extended until Dec. 31 the time to use remaining Emergency Paid Sick Leave from 2021 and 2022. There is no increase in EPSL allotment. Details and access to an EPSL request form.
  • Staff should, by Dec. 2, file in the WorkHealth Solutions Portal that they have complied with UC policy on COVID-19 and flu vaccinations. Staff can attest they have been vaccinated or note they have declined. For COVID-19, an approved medical/religious exemption is required (lean more).

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

  • Through  Nov. 18: UC Open Enrollment
  • Friday, Nov. 11: Veterans Day holiday 
  • Nov. 17, 10 - 11 a.m.: Monthly Staff Assembly meeting (Zoom link)
  • Thursday/Friday, Nov. 24-25: Thanksgiving holiday

DFA Pulse

It's back – DFA Update's informal (and totally fun) questions about ... well, anything. All responses are anonymous. Results will appear in the next newsletter. Want to suggest a question for DFA Pulse? Drop us an email: [email protected]

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DFA Profile: Danielle Waite

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 Danielle Waite, director of the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC).  

Describe your job. What do you do?  As director of the Early Childhood Education Center, I am lucky enough to work with young children each day. Since 2009, ECEC has serving children as young as 6 weeks old until they are off to elementary school. In my role, which I assumed in 2008, I am responsible for the business of the program, from the daily classroom interactions to the budget. There’s never a dull moment and the bonus is if I need to take a break from the computer, I can go interact with infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Tell us about your team you. My team are a group of professional early educators. Most have worked at ECEC for a number of years and have experienced working in all the different age classrooms. Working with young children is not for the individual who likes to work at a desk or at the computer. They are moving throughout the classroom and playgrounds, sitting in short chairs or on the floor, getting glitter in their hair or paint on their pants, and enjoying supporting each child’s learning and development.

What’s the best part about working with children? That I get to do it every day and I get a full night’s sleep afterward. Each age group is so enjoyable to be around. Each child has such a unique personality and temperament. No day is monotonous. I enjoy noticing the changes in their development and a conversation with any age is never boring.    

Describe your communication style in three words. Verbal, non-verbal and touch. 

What do you like to do to relax? I like to spend time outdoors. Riding Zephyr (pictured with Danielle), a horse I’ve been given the opportunity to ride five days a week, is my primary means of relaxation lately.

You can have only three apps on your phone unrelated to your job. What are they?

Facebook: It keeps me connected to friends and family whom I don’t see or talk to often enough.

Weather: I’ve been a weather watcher for many years. I need to know the best time for a ride and whether I need to blanket the horse.

Yelp: I use it to find out business hours or to check out new places to explore.

You're walking out on a stage. What's your entrance song? Anything by Adam Ant. I’ve been a die-hard fan since the early '80s.

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.