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Message from the Chancellor: Improving Financial Reporting

October 20, 2023

A message from Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.

Dear colleagues,
I have listened to concerns from faculty and staff about our financial reporting system and, as you may have heard in my annual State of the University address, have made these concerns a top priority.
Much work has already been done to improve our system’s capacity. The Division of Finance and Administration has improved procurement, reconfigured the financial system, conducted extensive data cleaning exercises, reconciled legacy data and revamped processes to stabilize the system. They also have offered training sessions, expanded staffing in critical areas of support and are working on a number of system enhancements.
Within Academic Affairs, the deans and schools have been working to hire 15 additional staff to support faculty locally in the schools and are providing enhanced training, in consultation with the Division of Finance and Administration, to support the local management of faculty accounts.
But it is clear we must do more.
Based on the recent feedback provided by faculty and staff, additional outreach and leadership is needed to address the campus’ support of faculty research.
For this reason I have charged Dr. Gillian Wilson, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, and Nick Dugan, Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer to join the Executive Sponsorship team and to lead the next phase of financial reporting improvements with the goal of significantly reducing impediments to research productivity. Dr. Kurt Schnier, Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer, and Dr. Marjorie Zatz, Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, will continue to be strong partners in this work, which will begin by identifying metrics, timelines and deliverables in concert with the Academic Senate.
They will report to me regularly to ensure we stay laser-focused on this vital task.
Thank you for your cooperation and for all you do, every day, for UC Merced and our students.