Skip to content

October Update: Leadership Searches, Strategic Plan, Halloween Contest

Greetings, Division of Finance and Administration Colleagues,

Fall is in full swing, and October brings crispness to the air, pumpkin spice in your coffee, and Halloween spider webs to your porch.

As we approach the halfway point of fall semester, here is some news to pass along:

Fall Update and Strategic Plan: The latest edition of Inside UC Merced contains important updates about the Division. I encourage all of you to review our Strategic Plan, which captures the 61 projects and initiatives that are a priority for our Division.

Search for AVC for Financial Planning and Analysis: We brought to campus three excellent candidates for the position of Assistant Vice Chancellor of Financial Planning and Analysis. The last on-campus interview was held Sept. 20. Many thanks to those who participated in open forums with the candidates. We are reviewing feedback from interview participants and I aim to conclude the search process early this month.

I want to extend my deep appreciation to the AVC for Financial Planning and Analysis Search Advisory Committee for their active participation in the search process for this critical position. The Search Committee was involved in screening and conducting interviews with qualified candidates. The members of the search committee are:

Jill Orcutt, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Dean of University Extension and Summer Session; Student Affairs

  • Michael Clune, Interim CFO and Associate Vice Chancellor, Budget and Resource Management; UC San Francisco
  • Annette Garcia, Assistant Dean for Faculty Support; School of Natural Sciences
  • Debbie Reagan, Chief of Staff; Physical Plan and Operations
  • John Jackson, Director of Operations and Chief of Staff; Office of Research & Economic Development
  • Viola Kinsman, Director of Administrative Budget & Policy; Financial Planning and Analysis
  • Sonal Gadre, Research Compliance Analyst; Office of Research and Economic Development
  • Kurt Schnier, Associate Provost of Academic Budget and Planning
  • Gerry Elizondo, Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice Chancellor of Finance & Administration

Auxiliary Enterprises and Fiscal Innovation Transitions: As Associate Vice Chancellor Alan Coker’s last day is Oct. 15, I am working closely with AFI leadership, along with many campus partners, to develop a transition plan that maintains the stability, professionalism and user-friendliness of affiliated services while we prepare a search for his successor. I welcome your feedback and thoughts.

Staff Meeting Drop-Ins: Starting this month and continuing through the academic year, I will be attending unit staff meetings throughout the Division. I recognize the importance of transparent communication and accessibility, so it’s important to hear directly from folks, collectively and individually, and to answer questions about the Division, current and future projects, and anything else of concern.

DCC Parking Update: As a follow to a July communication, note that the university and the City of Merced still are finalizing details about dedicated parking in the garage adjacent to the DCC. We anticipate details will be finalized in spring 2020, as the city is currently updating parking maps in the surrounding area. We will notify well in advance of any changes taking place.

Gearing Up for Halloween: In anticipation of Staff Assembly announcing its annual Halloween costume and workstation contest, I look forward to seeing the creative outfits and décor throughout campus (check out these photos from 2018). Last year’s winner was DFA’s very own Executive Support Team (Trolls theme) , and I hear the defending champs are looking to repeat.

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


Michael Riley

Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer

Finance and Administration