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Changes to Leadership Duties During CFO Transition

October 7, 2020

Re: Vice Chancellor/CFO Transition Update

To: All campus

Oct. 7, 2020

Members of the Campus Community,

As we announced in an earlier update, Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration/CFO Mike Riley will be leaving UC Merced Nov. 1 to begin a new position at UC Berkeley.

As the search advisory committee performs its due diligence to find the best fit for the CFO vacancy, we wanted to keep you apprised of the temporary transition of Mike’s duties to other colleagues and departments.

As of Nov. 1, the following changes will take place:

  • Financial Planning and Analysis (Budget) and Controller’s Office (Accounting): Kurt Schnier, the associate executive vice provost for academic planning and budget, will function as a liaison between the Chancellor’s Office and the respective units. Bianca Khanona, assistant vice chancellor for financial planning and analysis, and Kim Groesbeck, interim controller and assistant vice chancellor, will also continue to liaise with their counterparts at the Office of the President.
  • Procurement and Contracting will be led by Chief Procurement Officer Josh Dubroff and report directly to the Controller’s Office but will continue to meet regularly with Kurt Schnier on key projects, agreements and initiatives of campus-wide priority.
  • Center for Institutional Effectiveness will permanently transition to the academic planning and budget office under Kurt Schnier.
  • Human Resources will be temporarily transitioned to Chief of Staff Luanna Putney, who will set aside some of her current duties in order to fulfill this role (see below).
  • Auxiliary Services and Fiscal Innovations will be led by Gerry Elizondo, chief of staff to the CFO, in partnership with Vice Chancellor Charles Nies, who will also serve as a liaison with the Chancellor’s Office.
  • Financial Administrative Services Team: Gerry Elizondo will continue to partner with each member of the Finance and Administration leadership to ensure continuity of administrative services provided.

Changes to Luanna Putney’s role as chief of staff

In order to dedicate more time to her primary role as chief of staff, with oversight for Human Resources, Risk Services, Chancellor’s Immediate Office and the Ombuds Office (for administrative purposes only), and to maintain a separation between roles that could suggest a conflict of interest, Luanna Putney will be transitioning out of the following duties as of Nov. 1:

  • Ethics and Compliance Program: Sheryl Ireland will serve as the chief ethics and compliance officer and serve as liaison to the UC office for all ethics and compliance functions.
  • Whistleblower Program: Viola Kinsman will serve as the locally designated official, liaising with the system office, and will continue to report to Sheryl Ireland.
  • Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination will be moved under Viola Kinsman

If you have any questions about these changes, please direct them to Chief of Staff Luanna Putney.

Our intention is to provide a seamless transition and continuity of services to the campus community. We appreciate your support of our colleagues as they transition into these new roles and responsibilities.


Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.