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Research Newsletter Updates 10/28 & 11/4

November 4, 2022

Updates from interim Vice Chancellor and CFO Kurt Schnier:

Nov. 4 update: Our team has started a Requisition Workflow Optimization project to improve the processes associated with financial transactions. We will soon discuss this effort with the Oracle Advisory Committee to determine the best approach for obtaining faculty input.

The targeted improvements are focused on process refinements and policies that improve the system workflow. Should these changes impact the faculty user experience, we would like to receive input on the process.

Outside this effort, we are continuing to hear concerns regarding contract/grant invoicing. The temporary staff we hired to focus on this effort are making good progress on the reconciliation of your invoices. We hope you will start to see the benefits of this effort in the near future.

Oct. 28 update: On Oct. 21, our team participated in a systemwide meeting at UC San Diego to discuss Oracle implementation with our fellow campuses. Our team members did a wonderful job explaining how we rapidly changed our design structure and internal workflow to address many of the issues that have been found since we went live nearly two years ago. We also have been partnering with our colleagues at UCSD on many of the same concerns that have been raised on our campus, most of them around how contracts/grants are incorporated into the system.

The Oracle systemwide meeting helped to provide a stronger support network for the campuses that have launched Oracle, campuses that will be doing so soon, and campuses that are considering when to implement it. We anticipate that over the next few years, this collaboration will help improve our campus’s experience as well as our transition from a system stabilization process into a complete campus support phase.

An area that has continued to be difficult for our team is invoicing, which required us to complete the Oracle Data Integrity Project (ODIP) before we could address it. Now that ODIP is complete, we are pleased to announce that we have hired temporary staffing support who are solely focused on reconciling invoices. These staff members have made considerable progress over the past few weeks, which will accelerate the clean-up of our invoicing process. I greatly appreciate the hard work they, as well as our financial and budget support teams, have done to support the campus.

Lastly, we thank all of you who joined us for the Fiscal Transparency Town Hall held on Oct. 26. We had over 200 join the town hall and received a number of thoughtful and important questions regarding UC Merced finances. Should you wish to see the video and presentation slides, please use this link .