Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of the people of California, UC ANR, the University of California, and me, personally. We have had the opportunity to share our excellent research and education programming as well as initiate new and exciting programs and activities. I can't thank you enough for all the support that you have given me over the last 5 to 8 years. Never forget the incredibly invaluable role that you play in providing science-based information to decision makers, providing science-based solutions to new and/or vexing problems in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition, and youth development. Never forget that it is you who create educational programs that reach some of our most underserved communities and well as programs that improve our water quality, pest management options, conserve our natural and water resources, and serve our youth with programming in 4-H club, after-school and camp programs.
We have done a lot in the last few years, and some of the highlights include
- rebuilding our CE academic footprint by hiring some 90 new CE Advisors and Specialists with 45 new releases on the way, identifying priority positions with internal and stakeholder input.
- providing an active hub for UC ANR by purchasing 2801 Second Street, consolidating 145 of our programmatic and administrative staff into one location, and designing it for use by all of our folks across the state.
- purchasing another 10 acres adjacent to 2801 Second Street for UC ANR to expand and showcase our programs well into the future.
- insisting always that UC ANR be treated fairly within UC policies so that our academics have the same privileges as campus-professorial faculty, including access to Mortgage Origination Program loans, equivalent status, and compensation. We have different roles and foci, but we draw our academics from the same pools – only our academics make a difference working directly with Californians in communities throughout the state.
- strengthening our strategic initiatives by providing leadership and resources, through a competitive grants program and other means, to ensure that our resources are focused on sustainable agriculture, sustainable natural resources, water, endemic and invasive pests and diseases, and healthy families and communities.
- strengthening our statewide programs by ensuring excellent leadership and providing support, and strategically creating new statewide programs (IGIS, Master Food Preservers and Master Naturalist).
- creating two ANR Institutes: California Institute for Water Resources and the Nutrition Policy Institute, both directed by outstanding leaders in their fields, increasing ANR visibility as well as connections with our campus partners.
- working through the initial results of our work environment study, listening to employees and actively working to create a Staff Assembly Council to give our staff voice to administration and to the UC system.
- staying in the trenches with UC Path, continuing to work toward creating for a single unified business unit, which will increase efficiency enormously when we don't have to reconcile five different ledgers to answer even simple questions.
UC ANR has a unique role as a leader and coordinator of the Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension faculty and programs on behalf of our great California land-grant university. We conduct relevant, often cutting-edge, problem solving-focused research and education programs that make a difference to young and old across the state. UC ANR is a valuable contributor to the UC President's initiatives, bringing practical, local experience to bear on these statewide, nationwide and global issues. Our Research and Extension Centers are jewels in the crown of UC, where basic and applied research and education occurs with the guidance of highly professional and engaged staff. With a presence in every county in California, Cooperative Extension is the face of the University of California in most communities, and the programs that you deliver improve the lives of Californians every day.
Thank you for the opportunity to work with you, learn from you, and move forward with you. The future looks very bright; our partners both within UC and throughout the state are engaged with us, and together we can continue to make a difference for California and the world.
Barbara Allen Diaz
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