Re: Status of On-site Work at DCC
To: DFA staff
July 12, 2022

Division colleagues,

The university-wide requirement of indoor face coverings, a result of Merced County’s COVID-19 risk level, will affect the Division of Finance and Administration’s on-site work plan.

According to criteria set by the federal Centers for Disease Control, Merced County’s COVID-19 community level is “high.” Under UC Merced guidance, the indoor face covering rule is enforced as long as the county is at that level.

The DFA plan calls for staff on hybrid schedules and based in the Downtown Campus Center to work on-site at the DCC or other university locations on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with the remaining three days of the work week conducted on a flex schedule agreed on by staff and supervisors/managers.

This plan, scheduled to take effect the week of Aug. 1, is now adjusted to respond to university guidance and ensure our mutual health. While Merced County’s community level is “high,” the Wednesday-Thursday on-site requirement is suspended and staff can work remotely on those days.
CDC updates its community level data on Thursdays.

Uncertainty has been a consistent feature of the pandemic, as has the UC Merced community’s ability to remain nimble in the face of change. I am confident a consistent work plan is the best path for all of us and I look forward to when we can fully enact the plan. Meanwhile, we will share new information as it becomes available. I also will be happy to answer questions at our next DFA Open House, scheduled for Thursday, July 28.

As working from home continues to be our predominant work mode, I would like everyone to add Microsoft Teams to your communication toolbox (if you haven’t already). The platform in general, and the chat feature in particular, provides simpler real-time interaction than Zoom while avoiding the clutter of an Outlook inbox.

Some guidelines for using Teams:

1) Log in to Teams at the start of your workday (tip: update your Teams settings to sign in automatically when you log in to your computer.

2) Set your Status message to your location (on-site + DCC, on-site + main campus or off-site)
  • To find Status message, clicking on your initials or picture circle icon at the top right-hand corner of the screen and select Edit status message.
  • Check Show when people message me. This allows others to see your status message when they chat with you.

3) Teams synchs automatically to your Outlook calendar. However, if you need to turn off notifications temporarily, use the Availability settings in Teams. If your availability doesn’t mirror your Outlook calendar, follow these steps to adjust your Team settings.

4) Please monitor your Teams chat so you can respond in a timely manner. If you are unable to answer a question immediately, provide the estimated time needed to research and respond.

5) Refer to your direct supervisor for guidance on what items can/should be communicated through Teams vs. other modes (e.g. email, phone call, SMS text, Box).

6) Log out of Teams when your scheduled workday ends.

Questions? Please send them to [email protected].

Thank you to everyone for your invaluable work and your support of UC Merced.


Kurt Schnier
Vice Chancellor and interim Chief Financial Officer