- Author: Deanne Meyer
June zoomed by in a whirlwind. We're all excited to welcome Brent Hales as AVP for Research and Extension. Brent hit the ground running on Monday. His schedule is filled with meeting direct reports, getting to know Academic Human Resources team members, and getting his emails to work. As many know, the key item is to have a functional email. Thanks to everyone who did the pre-arrival onboarding both his ANR and UCOP emails work! This is a BIG reminder to everyone who is onboarding employees to start the email acquisition process as soon as possible so people. A huge shout out to IT Kathy Eftekhari and IT for making this all happen! I'll work with Brent over the next two months as he settles in.
I'll do a combination of June summary and July adventures over the next few weeks.
June 29 was the magical day for Advisors Jim Downer, Cindy Fake, John Harper, Craig Kallsen, Rachael Long, Brian Marsh, Fe Moncloa, and Marisa Neelon. We congratulate them on Emeritus title, wish them well in retirement and look forward to seeing them working on their emeritus workplan beginning August 1 as they finish up projects. Combined these colleagues shared over 200 years of service. Simultaneously, Specialists Alan Mchughen (housed at UCR) and Specialists Loren Oki, Stephen Kaffka, Elizabeth Mitcham, and Dan Putnam (housed at UCD) retired with 143 years of combined service. Their impacts will be realized for decades to come! Meanwhile, July 3rd marked 50 years of service (fifty, it is not a typo) for David Zilberman, Professor, Robinson Chair and CE Specialist at UCB. Congratulations one and all on incredible accomplishments and milestones!
As our academics know, the merit and promotion season ended in June. There were 68 dossiers. A huge thank you to the members of the PRC, Ad Hoc committees, and Personnel Committee for their thoughtful analyses of each dossier. This remarkable group of academics makes the process run. Thank you, Steven Worker who worked with Vice Provost Obrist, in managing the process and to Michelle Leinfelder-Miles for her leadership with the Personnel Committee. We have a remarkable group of academics who dedicate time to make this happen. A special congratulations and thank you to Daniel Obrist who championed his first merit and promotion cycle and Vanya Woodward who gathered the many letters of evaluation from external evaluators. My takeaway from reading 68 dossiers: we have impactful work occurring statewide! It's impressive. A few suggestions to all academics: 1) take time to read the eBook long before you start assembling your dossier; 2) attend trainings regularly during your first 6 years as your responsibilities in the first three terms change; 3) prepare your dossier in advance to request input from peers and your CD; and 4) view dossier preparation to reflect on your work. Since academics are proud of their work it stands to reason time is invested to assemble a fabulous dossier to share.
- Author: Deanne Meyer
By now academics and their supervisors are aware the deadline for Project Board and merit and promotion dossier is December 8. We've moved the date for two reasons. First, the Federal Report is due earlier, so we had to move the Project Board deadline. December 8 is now the deadline for everyone (campus and ANR). Program Planning and Evaluation needs sufficient time to harvest information out of Project Board for our Federal Report. Second, the compressed time frame for merit and promotion dossier reviews is unreasonable. Ask anyone who is on the Peer Review Committee, and they'll let you know. My suggestion was November 1. In a compromise we went with December 8. This due date can be tried for a year or more. In a few years, this date may need to move to November 1 with all our extra academics. You can expect trainings to come earlier. Stay tuned for additional information.
Last week Vice Provost Daniel Obrist and I spent a few hours with Anna Lee and Steven Worker to run through discussions related to PRC activities. Before we know it, it'll be time for our debrief in August.
I am so impressed with the scholarship, scholarly activities, ideation, and general superb work that is done throughout ANR. We have great work that makes a difference to Californians daily.
Saturday was the State 4-H Field Day and Fashion Review at Wellman Hall on the UC Davis campus. I took a break from writing merit and promotion decisions and comments to drop over. The 4-H members, leaders and support teams were in full force. Club members were in their uniforms doing presentations. Although I missed some of the events, I was able to see the great skills members gain. Presentations take organization and courage. For some, presenting to a group of people requires bravery. Everyone was happy to be back to in-person events. And it was a beautiful day! Ryan Cleland, Gemma Miner, and Carolyn Warne were busy answering questions and helping people at the ANR table. Countless others were engaged in making the event happen. Kate Lynn Sutherland (Program Support Unit) was a volunteer wrangling sound equipment proving that 4-H youth give back to their community. Way to go Kate Lynn! The day was complete when I ran into a friend who is a volunteer leader in Hilmar. It's a small world!
- Author: Wendy Powers
Which button do I push to have someone else do my work for me while I'm on vacation? I have been back a week now. Despite reading and responding to email while I was away, I just finished addressing all of the emails. I spent the weekend catching up. I wasn't able to catch up last week, and it appears there won't be time to catch up on anything this week. In the meantime, Mark Bell seems committed to reminding me how much fun it was to see dogs enjoying the beaches in Australia.
Today's a relatively normal day, full of hour-long meetings. Tomorrow starts the same, but I meet with the Academic Assembly Council for a block of time midday. Traditionally the approach to that meeting is to discuss concerns voiced by assembly members; tomorrow looks to be the same. On Wednesday the Peer Review Committee and the AAC-Personnel Committee meet. I have an hour or so to talk with them about the upcoming process despite the current year outcomes remaining incomplete for a few cases.
Over the weekend I blocked out some time in March to review dossiers. I can't believe I am already thinking about where I will find 200 hours for my part in the 2020 merit and promotion process. We need something that is far less time consuming and with better outcomes for all. The other, related activity I did over the weekend was to review and assess a promotion package for another institution. I still have one left to do next weekend before wrapping these up for the year. I suspect more requests may appear over the next couple of weeks. It is up to me to say 'no' if I don't feel I have the time or don't want to take the time away from personal time. I do these reviews during non-UCANR time and with seven total this summer, I think I've done my share. I am glad I reviewed the one that I did this weekend; it was perhaps the best-assembled document I have read in a long time. It was 34 pages and focused on the program impact highlights with supporting evidence. Included were only vital activities that supported impact statements and provided proof of recognized scholarship. I have no doubt it took considerable time and effort to assemble the document. Time spent was reflective of the need to convey program trajectory and reflect on program accomplishments, rather than compile tables and address formatting. For privacy reasons, I can't share the document with the meeting participants on Wednesday. I can discuss the approach; it mirrors an example document I assembled quickly for Wednesday's discussion.
I look forward to the conversation and the possibility of de-stressing the document assembly and review process.
- Author: Wendy Powers
I ended up having to wash my car the traditional way. But what was surprising was a conversation I heard that revolved around the challenges that small bit of rain we had would create for farmers. I still haven't fully acclimated to the climatic differences between my new home and past venues. Sure, when Florida received 8 inches of rain over the course of a business day there were challenges (i.e. sinkholes) but who would have thought that in other locations an hour of light rain might wreak havoc.
I've started into reviewing 73 merit and promotion packages and while the time commitment to thoroughly review is a bit daunting, it is so rewarding and impressive to read about the accomplishments of the UC ANR academics! No doubt I would be violating confidentiality policies to share anything specific but I wish there were some mechanism for all of us to readily see just how much cool stuff happens across the division. You've probably seen for yourself that there are amazing people in UC ANR accomplishing incredible things; demonstrating leadership and commitment.
Speaking of cool things, as I flew over Tahoe this morning I recalled seeing some of Joni Rippee's photos from last weekend when she flew in a C17 Globemaster III to observe a refueling exercise. It was part of a ‘Bosslift' event at Travis AFB with SMSgt Michelle Hammer Coffer (a reserve mechanic). Thanks to Michelle for her service and to Joni for supporting Michelle in her work!
I think we've wrapped up the regular budget call meetings for the new fiscal year. Jennifer and Yuhang spent a ton of time with unit directors preparing requests and keeping everything straight as versions worked their way through the various review groups. This was my first time through such an intensive review process for making budgetary decisions. Now Jennifer's team has the task of preparing all of the letters. Given fiscal close is upon us, it will take considerable effort on their part to get letters out in early July. I suspect the only way to move letters earlier next year would be to advance the submission deadline into January; an option for sure but regardless of when it is, there's always many other things on everyone's to-do list making no timeline ideal.
I've got to get working on the Town Hall webinar presentation in between merit and promotion packages and a several meetings next week. It seems like I haven't been out in counties too much lately; need to get back to that and see what might fit into the summer calendar.
I hope everyone's got plans for some R&R this summer, now that it is about to feel like summer again!