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December update from the Interim Vice Chancellor

December 2, 2019

Greetings, Division of Finance and Administration Colleagues,

As we return from an extended weekend of big meals, Black Friday shopping and the kick-off of the holiday season, here are some updates I want to share as we wrap up the year and look forward to 2020:

What I’ve learned from visiting DFA staff meetings: I’ve had the good fortune to attend a number of department staff meetings these past couple of months. I remain incredibly impressed by how dedicated and hard-working our teams are as we come to the end of the calendar year. If you haven’t seen me pop into one of your department’s staff meetings yet, drop me a note. I try to fit them in where I can, but so far these past three months, I’ve been able to attend seven different departments, with the goal of attending more as we start the new year. I look forward to seeing you all soon!

UCPath portal going offline twice this month: Access to the UCPath portal will be turned off twice in December to accommodate the onboarding of UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz to the online benefits and payroll service. The portal will be offline from 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, to 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9, and from 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18 to 8 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 22. Go here for more information.

DCC staffing and workstation updates: As the Alpha Financials project ramps up for launch in 2020, the Division will welcome 24 new staff members whose roles will support the new financial system. In conjunction with Space Planning, we will be assessing DCC workstation needs for our new team members to maximizing our current workstation assignments for our various DFA departments. As we anticipate a number of workstation changes, including moves and sharing of workstations, we thank you in advance for your flexibility and understanding.

Holiday curtailment schedule: A reminder that UC Merced will close for seven days: Tuesday, Dec. 24, through Wednesday, Jan. 1. The closure consists of four paid holidays (Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1) and three unpaid curtailment days (Dec. 26, 27, 30). Staff can use vacation or compensatory time to cover the unpaid days. I hope everyone has an amazing holiday and enjoys this well-deserved break from your busy schedules.

A good time to donate to Bobcat Pantry: During the holiday season, Bobcat Pantry is accepting donations of food and basic-needs products for the graduate and undergraduate student community. The needs are many, but items can include canned goods, bread, rice, shelf-stable milk, toothpaste, and soap. Donations can be taken to Bobcat Pantry; through Dec. 20, they also can be brought to the DCC, along with COB 239, SE 370 and SE2 315.

Let’s have breakfast : All DFA staff are invited to welcome the new year with a Kick-off Breakfast hosted by the Division of Finance and Administration. We’re holding one on campus at the Pavilion on Jan. 15 from 6:30-8 a.m. and another at the DCC on Jan. 17 from 7-9am. Go here to RSVP no later than Friday, Jan. 10. We look forward to seeing everyone!

Give Tue UC Merced: Mark your calendars for Tuesday, Dec. 3, when the campus kicks off the 24-hour Give Tue UC Merced initiative as we aim to surpass 1,000 Donors in a Day in support of our remarkable student body. Thanks to the generosity of Foster Poultry Farms, there will be a 3-to-1 match on all gifts made to the Build the Future Scholarship Fund, up to a total of $100,000. The scholarship fund benefits undergraduate students at UC Merced, where 9 out of 10 students receive some form of financial assistance. With the help of students, staff, faculty, alumni, family and friends, every donor and every dollar will make a difference in building tomorrow’s future today! To learn more and to donate, visit

Paychecks for bi-weekly staff: Biweekly timesheets for pay cycle ending Dec. 28, 2019 must be submitted by noon Saturday, Dec. 21. Supervisors need to approve them by noon Sunday, Dec. 22. Work hours from Dec. 22 through Dec. 28 will need to be projected. Any corrections or adjustments will be done on the following pay cycle. Biweekly employees will be paid for pay cycle ending Dec. 14 on Monday, Dec. 23.

DFA Question of the Month: As a get-to-know-you portion of our upcoming monthly newsletters, we invite the DFA community to share your responses to the following question: Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? Submit your response by Friday, Jan. 3. Selected responses will be published in the next DFA Monthly Newsletter. The newsletter team reserves the right to edit responses for brevity. Looking forward to discovering more about our talented team members!

Do you have questions? Feedback you want to share? I encourage everyone to reach out via our Comment Box or by emailing us at


Mike Riley