ANR is renewing the Qualtrics license for another three years. The 2015 pilot year was successful, resulting in more than 60 new accounts or accounts transferred from other university accounts, said Kit Alviz, Program Planning & Evaluation analyst. Surveys have been created for research, administrative, needs assessment and program evaluation purposes.
Unique Qualtrics features include the ability to create mailing lists and schedule individualized invitations and reminders, create display/skip logic so that questionnaires can be tailored to each participant and utilize Qualtrics' many options for response types and scales.
To register for a Qualtrics account, ANR staff and academics can complete this survey. For more information about ANR's Qualtrics account, please visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/CEprogramevaluation/Get_Qualtrics_through_ANR.
ANR has purchased the Offline Surveys feature, which will allow Qualtrics users to download surveys to smartphones and tablets for offline data collection. Learn more about the Offline Surveys feature by clicking on this link.
Technical assistance will continue to be provided by Qualtrics at (800) 340-9194 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Qualtrics has online trainings and tutorials that you can take at your convenience.
- Visit Qualtrics' Getting Started website to “Learn Qualtrics in 5 Steps” via five short, recorded webinars
- Their Support website lists even more training offerings, including weekly live webinars and recorded sessions.
The University of California Board of Regents today (March 24) approved a new retirement program for future UC employees proposed by President Napolitano, as part of a broader effort to maintain the university's excellence and sustain its long-term financial health.
The new retirement program will apply only to UC employees hired on or after July 1, 2016. Current employees and retirees are not affected by these changes because accrued pension benefits are protected by law and cannot be reduced or revoked.
The new program, which is consistent with the 2015 budget agreement with the state, will bolster the long-term financial stability of UC and its retirement program, while providing critical funding for many university priorities through savings generated by the plan and through additional funds UC will receive from the state.
Under the 2015 budget agreement, UC is receiving nearly $1 billion in new annual revenue and one-time funding over the several years, including $436 million to help pay down UC's unfunded pension liability. As part of the agreement, UC is implementing a cap on the pensionable earnings of future employees, mirroring the limit on pension benefits for state employees under the 2013 California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act (PEPRA). The university expects to save on average $99 million a year by implementing the pension cap, over half of which will go toward further paying down UC's unfunded liability.
“When we approved the budget agreement between the governor, the Legislature and this body, we did so committing ourselves to proactively developing a set of retirement options that are financially prudent, are oriented toward the long-term sustainability of the university and that allow us to effectively recruit and retain the very best faculty and staff,” Regent Monica Lozano said. “The [retirement] options on the table go a long way toward meeting those three very important objectives.”
Under the proposal approved by the regents, future employees will be offered a choice between two options:
- Option 1 – Pension + 401(k)-style supplemental benefit: The current UC pension benefit capped at the PEPRA salary limit (currently $117,020) plus a supplemental 401(k)-style benefit for eligible employee pay up to the Internal Revenue Service limit (currently $265,000), or
- Option 2 – New 401(k)-style benefit: A new stand-alone 401(k)-style plan with benefits-eligible employee pay up to the Internal Revenue Service limit (currently $265,000).
Maintaining a pension benefit — along with a 401(k)-style supplement (Option 1) — is important to attracting and retaining the caliber of personnel needed to maintain UC's excellence, especially faculty for whom the university often competes against elite private institutions that can often pay more than UC.
At the same time, UC's workforce is highly diverse and people have different retirement needs and goals. The new stand-alone 401(k)-style retirement benefit (Option 2) may be attractive to employees who work at UC for only a few years and want a portable retirement benefit they can take with them, and/or who prefer to personally manage their retirement savings.
The vast majority of future staff would not see any difference in their benefits compared to current employees. Based on current data, 79 percent of current employees would not be affected by the PEPRA cap.
You can read more details about the approved retirement benefits here.
Other elements of employee compensation were also discussed, including employee salaries and the university's ability to recruit and retain quality faculty and staff. President Napolitano noted for the regents that employee salaries remain an issue for certain employee groups and that she intends to propose ways to address competitive employee pay at future regents' meetings.
In addition to new retirement options for future UC employees, the president's plan will:
- Focus on overall employee compensation by (1) allowing UC to budget for regular pay increases for faculty and staff, and (2) making merit-based pay a regular component of systemwide salary programs to reward employees based on performance.
- Help preserve UC's quality by devoting resources to assist campuses in attracting and retaining faculty and key staff, and improve the student experience.
- Offer enhanced retirement counseling and education for all employees, including new hires, as part of UC's commitment to helping employees successfully plan for retirement.
Last summer after the 2015 budget agreement was finalized, President Napolitano convened a task force to recommend options for the new retirement benefits. The task force presented her with its recommendations in December 2015.
In January and February, the president solicited feedback on the recommendations from the UC community. She received comments from more than 300 faculty and staff, which she used to help inform the proposal she brought to the regents.
Brittan's career in crop research began with a fascination with bugs as a boy growing up in Bakersfield. Brittan studied insects at San Jose State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1977. After graduation, Brittan joined UC Cooperative Extension as a staff research associate studying cotton at the USDA Cotton Research Station in Shafter until 1982. From 1983 to 1995, he worked with the vegetable crops specialist at UC Davis while attending graduate school.
In 1995, he earned a master's degree in vegetable crops at UC Davis and became a UC Cooperative Extension advisor for Sacramento County, later adding Yolo and Solano counties. He worked with growers on small grains, corn, safflower, canola and sunflower seed production and was instrumental in starting triticale grain production in Northern California. When local growers were losing over a million ears of corn to ear rot, he began screening the plant material and losses to the disease consequently dropped from 30 percent to less than 2 percent.
Brittan also evaluated potato varieties and shares a plant variety patent for a fresh white potato. He also evaluated tomato varieties to select those that make the finest tomato paste. In his retirement story, Brittan noted with pride, “There's a reason why California is a world leader, producing more than one-third of the tomato paste in the world, and UC Cooperative Extension is it.”
In retirement, Brittan remained involved in UC Cooperative Extension, doing research and giving talks to UC Master Gardeners.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on April 30 at Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, 27074 Patwin Rd, Davis CA 95616.
To read more about Brittan's career, see http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=8875 and the Davis Enterprise.
Waller was a long time 4-H youth advisor for San Joaquin County. Even as a youth, he was active in 4-H and was named as a California Diamond Star Winner in 1947. Waller was one of the first three Californians to serve as state instructors for 4-H shooting sports. Bob McNulty, 4-H advisor in Sutter County, received his certification in shotgun; Wally Tyler, 4-H advisor in Shasta County, was certified as a rifle instructor; and Waller became certified as an archery instructor. They planned and implemented the first California 4-H YDP Shooting Sports Training Workshop in 1984 in Stockton to train 4‑H adult volunteers and staff.
After he retired, Waller volunteered with 4-H programs and served on the San Joaquin County 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees.
Waller was preceded in death by his wife Judy, who was a 4-H volunteer, and son Timothy, who was working for UC Cooperative Extension when he died in 1985. Waller is survived by his second wife Donna, daughter Mardy White (Dean), son Michael Waller (Bonnie), and three grandsons.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Judy Waller Memorial Fund or Tim Waller 4-H Memorial Scholarship Fund through UC Cooperative Extension in San Joaquin County.
To read Waller's full obituary, visit http://www.recordnet.com/article/20160315/OBITUARIES/303159995.
On January 29, ANR VP Humiston announced revisions to the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment and a new training requirement for UC employees. The training for non-supervisory employees is now available through the Learning Management System. The course should take about 50 minutes to complete.
For ANR employees paid through UC Davis payroll, technical difficulties delayed UC Davis' planned February launch of this training. As a result, the deadline for completion has been extended to May 9.
If you are required to take the course, you should have received an email message from email@example.com with the subject line: UC Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Non-Supervisors assigned to [your name]. The message includes hyperlinks and instructions to complete the requirement. Please look for the announcement and complete the training.
If you didn't receive the email from firstname.lastname@example.org, and you are not a supervisor or an academic, please send a message to ANRstaffpersonnel@ucanr.edu.
If you supervise other ANR employees, please talk to your employees and make sure they are aware of this requirement.
This is a new training for staff who do not have supervisory responsibilities. “Non-supervisors” will be required to take this training annually.
We understand some employees may not be able to fulfill the training requirement through the Learning Management System, due to language, limited Internet/computer access, or other legitimate reasons. If you or an employee who reports to you is unable to complete the training online, notify HR immediately by emailing ANRstaffpersonnel@ucanr.edu.
Thank you for your cooperation in fulfilling this important training requirement, and for your part in preventing and responding to sexual violence and sexual harassment.
Executive Director, Human Resources