Open Enrollment will take place from 8 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, through 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
UC is offering the same high-quality health plans as last year, with minimal increases in premiums — ranging from $0 to $12 per month. There are a few important changes you should know about, including increases to some medical plan cost-sharing amounts, a new administrator for Flexible Spending Accounts and enhancements to legal insurance benefits.
Correct (and lower!) medical plan rates for UC ANR employees
Next week you can expect to receive information in the mail about UC's annual Open Enrollment. As you review the benefits information booklet mailed from UCOP, please note the health plan prices in the UCOP booklet aren't for UC ANR employees - the UC Blue & Gold rates for UC ANR employees are lower than those published by UCOP.
UC ANR and UC Davis are part of a pilot program for the next several years so UC Blue & Gold rates in the UCOP booklet are NOT the rates for UC ANR employees. The correct, lower rates for UC ANR employees are reflected in the UC online benefits portal (when you log in to sign up for your benefits) as well as the UC Davis Human Resources Open Enrollment website.
These pilot-program rates apply to employees in the ANR Business Unit, which currently doesn't include UCOP-based ANR employees and CE Specialists based at UC Riverside.
Explore the Open Enrollment website at https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/oe to find more information about the changes and your benefits plans.
Virtual benefits fair
UC's systemwide Benefits Fair opens online at http://ucal.us/benefitsfair on Oct. 27 and is available 24/7 until Open Enrollment closes on Nov. 24. Explore virtual booths with resources and videos, and representatives available to answer your questions.
UC welcomes all employees to UCPath
In a milestone for UC, all faculty and staff across the system will be enrolling for benefits on UCPath this year. Whether you're new to UCPath or a long-time user, check out an Open Enrollment webinar for tips on navigating the enrollment process and an overview of this year's choices and changes. Then, sign into your personal account at UCPath to make your changes. You have until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, to make changes.
New administrator for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Discovery Benefits is the new FSA administrator, offering one account, one card and one mobile app for your Health and DepCare FSA — simply snap a photo with your phone to submit a claim or documentation.
Don't forget: unlike your other benefits, you need to re-enroll in your Health and/or Dependent Care FSA each year.
New Diversity and Inclusion services are being added to further support the needs of UC's diverse population, including domestic partnership agreements, funeral directives, hospital visitation authorizations, and gender identifier changes on government-issued documents.
Lower premiums for Supplemental and Expanded Dependent Life Insurance
Premiums for Supplemental and Expanded Dependent Life Insurance are decreasing an average of 7%.
Premium increase for Voluntary Long-Term Disability
Premiums for Long-Term Disability are increasing an average of $10.50 per month. Costs vary depending on age, earnings and date of hire.
UC ANR leadership has opened an internal call for those interested in assuming the role of County Director (CD) for Riverside County beginning Jan. 2, 2021. This call is open to all UC ANR employees regardless of staff or academic status. Employees will be expected to take on this role as a partial appointment in addition to their current role, and will be compensated accordingly.
The county director is responsible for the coordination and overall operation of Cooperative Extension programs in Riverside County. Responsibilities include leadership and oversight of all extension and research programs including effective management and supervision of all staff and academic personnel – oversight, evaluation (annual evaluations, merit and promotions), mentoring, coaching and discipline. Additionally, the director will be responsible for maintaining effective collaboration and communication between the University of California and the administrative officers of Riverside County. Maintaining and enhancing Riverside County CE budgets, serving as an advocate for CE and all its programs, and developing and maintaining good working relationships with public and private agencies in Riverside County is paramount to the success of the CD role.
The county director is expected to:
- Provide vision, inspire and motivate others with attitude and actions; set a high standard for excellence; innovate and foster positive change; model and support a good team working environment; and encourage and be open to exploring new ideas and innovative changes, and provide active, ongoing advocacy and support for UC ANR programs.
- Understand and uniformly apply UC and county administrative policies; provide useful and timely feedback; take timely disciplinary action within UC and County procedures, if necessary; and work with staff in advance of deadlines for required records and reports.
- Successfully secure county resources, as well as other sources of support; effectively manage and equitably allocate resources among programs and established priorities; monitor the use of resources and comply with all relevant policies; and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external partners to form strong support networks for UCCE.
- Be an effective listener and communicator; takes responsibility for his/her own actions; motivates others; keeps commitments; and cultivates political and industry support for UC ANR.
- Demonstrate concern for all staff; effectively manage all personnel supervision, oversight, annual evaluations, merits and promotions, and take appropriate disciplinary actions; make effective use of staff expertise to strengthen the team; and invest in improving all staff expertise and supports professional development.
The add-on appointment will be for a two-year term, and is subject to renewal, renegotiation, or termination. As with all administrative appointments, county director appointments are at the discretion of the vice president and may be terminated at any time.
If you are interested in being considered for this county director position, please address your letter and position questions to Vice Provost Mark Lagrimini at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate your motivation to serve in this capacity; the key strengths you will bring to this position; and your approach to balancing the demands of this appointment with your current responsibilities. Submit your letter of interest to Pam Tise at email@example.com by Nov. 23, 2020.
UC ANR academics are invited to apply for the Sustainable Natural Ecosystems Strategic Initiative leader position. The position plays a key role in helping us connect by unifying, communicating and advocating to strengthen UC ANR's research and outreach agenda and as a participant in Program Council.
Given the evolving role of the UC ANR Strategic Initiatives (SI), we will again conduct an open search from across the breadth of expertise in the division.
“The SI leader position for Sustainable Natural Ecosystems is becoming available as our current leader David Lile is scheduled to rotate off at the end of 2020,” said Mark Bell, vice provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs. “David has been a valued team member and contributor and has helped the SIs significantly evolve in their role.”
Who can apply? The positions are open to all UC ANR academics, including Agricultural Experiment Station faculty and Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists as well as academic coordinators and administrators. Strategic Initiative leaders are appointed by the Associate Vice President on a rotating basis for three years, with the possibility of extension.
Current SI leaders
- Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases: Jim Farrar
- Sustainable Food Systems: Deanne Meyer
- Sustainable Natural Ecosystems: David Lile (through 12/31/20)
- Water Quality, Quantity and Security: David Lewis
- Healthy Families and Communities: Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty
Role of the SIs. The SIs help us make connections. They lead efforts to Unify, Communicate and Advocate for what we do. See UC ANR Strategic Initiatives for more information. SI leaders are increasingly leading discussions on critical topics important to the future of UC ANR – both the focus of our work and how we implement our work. They are also decision-making members of Program Council.
How to apply. To apply for the SI leader position, complete the form at https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=32332.
Applications will be accepted until Nov. 20.
Applicants will be contacted for interviews in late November or early December.The target date for Zoom interviews is Monday, Dec. 14 (morning). The new leader is anticipated to start Jan. 4, 2021.
For information regarding the roles and responsibilities of the Strategic Initiative leader position, see the Terms of Reference for Strategic Initiative Leaders. If you have questions, contact Mark Bell or one of the SI leaders.
Russell L. Rustici Rangeland and Cattle Research Endowment funding is available to University of California personnel to support problem-solving research that will benefit California range cattle producers. The goal of this program is to promote collaboration and strengthen the network among research faculty, Cooperative Extension specialists, county-based Cooperative Extension advisors and range cattle producers, and to ultimately provide practical answers to critical issues and challenges facing the industry.
Annual research proposals for 2021 are due by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Extension activity proposals are accepted year-round at email@example.com.
The full request for proposals and more information about this funding opportunity can be found at http://rangelands.ucdavis.edu/rustici/research-endowment.
The virtual 2020 UC Master Gardener Mini-Conference was held Sept. 29–Oct. 1 online. It was a livestream success. All nine sessions streamed directly to the statewide Facebook and YouTube channels, which made for lively comments and instant access to recordings.
The UC Master Gardener Program recognized 52 of the 6,000 volunteers from across the state as "Gardeners with Heart" in celebration of the program's 40th year.
If you did not get a chance to join the conference live, or you just want to re-watch a session, they are all conveniently available on the statewide UC Master Gardener Program's YouTube channel.
Read Lauren Snowden's UC Master Gardener blog post for a wrap up of the virtual 2020 Mini-Conference at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=43853.