Skip to content

DFA Staffing and Organizational Updates

Dear Staff and Faculty,

The Division of Finance and Administration is excited to share important organizational updates.

New AVC for Financial Planning and Analysis

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Bianca Khanona as Assistant Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Financial Planning and Analysis. Her appointment will begin Nov. 13. 

Bianca earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Stanislaus. She comes to the university after nearly 15 years with E. & J. Gallo Winery where she served as the company’s Senior Financial Analyst of Operation Finance.

With extensive experience in financial planning, analysis and review, Bianca brings the talents needed to guide growth of systematic process improvement. Bianca has Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification for project management, which complements the recent certification of 25 UC Merced staff members in OIT, Registrar’s Office and Finance and Administration.

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. The committee was involved in screening and conducting interviews with qualified candidates. The members of the search committee were:

  • Jill Orcutt, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, 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 to Vice Chancellor Michael McLeod, Physical Operations, Planning and Development
  • John Jackson, Director of Operations and Chief of Staff, Office of Research and Economic Development
  • Viola Kinsman, Director of Administrative Budget and 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, Finance and Administration

I also want to extend my thanks to the many people who participated in the final interview process. Your comments and feedback were invaluable.

New Financial Systems Support Department

The Alpha Financials Project is a comprehensive reorganization of UC Merced’s financial system. To guide this transition, we have created a Financial Systems Support department to support applications (i.e. UC Path, Cashnet, as well as TRS, Glacier and Human Relations systems OnBase and TAM) that will feed information through the Oracle-based system. 

Emily Bustos oversees the team as executive director of Financial Systems Support, reporting to Interim Controller Kim Groesbeck. John Holtz, Lisa Hua and Natalie Hibdon, all previously in System Analysis & Support under the Center of Institutional Effectiveness, complete the Financial Systems Support team. 

Auxiliary Enterprises and Fiscal Innovation (AFI) Transition

We are continuing to work with AFI units and various campus partners on a leadership transition plan and will provide updates in a future communication.

If you have any questions or feedback, please share via our Comment Box or by emailing us at

Thank you,

Michael Riley, CPA

Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer

Division of Finance and Administration