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Posts Tagged: August 2019

UC Blue & Gold HMO more affordable in 2020

Open enrollment news is coming early this year:

  • Employees who belong to Western Health Advantage HMO (health maintenance organization) learned Aug. 26 that the university will drop WHA as a medical plan option next year.
  • As a comparable alternative, the university will offer its existing UC Blue & Gold HMO (administered by Health Net) at rates that will come down to be among the lowest of all of UC's medical plan options. UC Blue & Gold's provider network includes UC Davis Health and UC Davis Medical Group, as well as Hill Physicians, Mercy Medical Group, Meritage, Woodland Clinic and St. Joseph Health.
  • Existing members of UC Blue & Gold HMO will also benefit from the cost reduction.
  • All other employees can switch to UC Blue & Gold HMO during open enrollment so they can also benefit from the cost reduction.

UC Blue & Gold and Western Health Advantage HMOs have nearly matching medical provider networks. So, if you move from WHA to UC Blue & Gold, you should be able to keep your providers with uninterrupted access — only your insurance card will change. See the FAQ for exceptions.

The switch will be automatic, unless you choose one of UC's other health plan options during open enrollment, Oct. 31-Nov. 26. WHA members to whom this applies include employees, retirees and their eligible dependents.

When open enrollment begins, you will see yourself enrolled in UC Blue & Gold HMO by default, in the online system. If you take no action by the open enrollment deadline, your switch to UC Blue & Gold will take effect Jan. 1. Or, you can choose a different plan — so long as you act before the open enrollment deadline.

Reason for the change

“UC Davis wants employees and their families to have access to the best care, the most innovative technology, and the best expert clinicians through the most affordable, cost-effective health plans,” reads an FAQ posted on a website dedicated to the transition from WHA.

“By making this change, we can bring down premiums and health care costs for our employees, while also ensuring more of our employees have access to the high quality of care provided by UC Davis Health or other providers in the UC Blue & Gold HMO network.”

UC Davis will subsidize UC Blue & Gold's reduced premiums for employees for the next five years “to help grow the (plan's) insurance pool and reduce the cost of health care for our employees,” the FAQ states. “Unfortunately, it is not possible to subsidize retiree premiums.”

See the complete FAQ.

Open enrollment booklets arrive in October

The annual open enrollment booklet — with complete information, including monthly premiums — will arrive by mail at home addresses toward the end of October. Open enrollment will open Thursday, Oct. 31, and close Tuesday, Nov. 26, two days before Thanksgiving. Information also will be posted to UCnet as open enrollment approaches.

Important notes for this year's open enrollment:

  • UCPath — Access to the open enrollment website will be through UCPath, which goes live Sept. 27 at UC Davis, UC Davis Health and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. For more information about UCPath, visit
  • Duo — To use UCPath, you must be signed up for Duo multifactor authentication. See “How to Move to Duo.” Need help with Duo? IT Express consultants are attending all Davis campus UCPath town halls in August and September. The consultants will answer questions about Duo and/or help people enroll on the spot. The town hall schedule continues through Wednesday, Sept. 25, with one town hall held weekly. See the schedule here.

IT Express is also glad to help with Duo support questions at other times. Call 530-754-HELP (4357), chat online or send an email


Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 11:56 AM
Tags: August 2019 (13), benefits (9), Open Enrollment (12)

Monthly paid employees must submit August timesheets Sept. 9-13

In preparation for UCPath, a new version of the time reporting system (TRS) will be deployed in early September for August monthly timesheets.  

  • Monthly paid employees will use the new TRS to report August vacation and sick leave 
  • Wait until Monday, Sept. 9, to log into TRS ( to enter your August leave usage
  • Submit your August timesheet by Friday, Sept. 13
  • Supervisors approve by Tuesday, Sept 17, 10 a.m.

If monthly paid employees submit their time before Sept. 9 in the old TRS, the timesheet WILL NOT be saved or processed!

Bi-weekly timesheets will process as normal during this time. Send questions to


Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 9:16 AM
Tags: August 2019 (13), Payroll (3), time reporting (2), UCPath (15)

ANR Learning & Development: Climate communication, people management & webinars


Check out the continuing learning opportunities through ANR Learning & Development. ANR Webinars are recorded and archived here.

Equitable Futures ToolKit Webinar
September 11, 2019
11am-noon PST

Register here
Brought to us by and Institute for the Future.

As wealth and economic inequality reach staggering heights, we face an urgent future. Inequality at current extremes around the world, including the United States, has historically sparked civil unrest. Now is the time to join together and move us toward a more equitable future. 

Who should participate:

A group of people who have a well-defined mission and are actively working together to build a more equitable world.
A group of diverse stakeholders who want to have a shared conversation about equity.

This webinar will allow for participants to enable their audio and video in Zoom to engage and converse with the facilitators.Register here

Social Café Drop-in Session
September 12, 2019 (and October 10, November 14, and December 12)

Join Rose Hayden-Smith for the ANR Social Café webinar, a monthly opportunity for drop-in conversations and questions about the effective use of social media and communications in Extension work. Each Social Café opens with a 5-10 minute “tutorial” of a new tool or feature on commonly used social platforms, or a brief showcase of an ANR employee who is using digital communications in innovative and effective ways. The remainder of the time is devoted to sharing best practices, discussion and Q&A.

Zoom access:
1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Webinar ID: 751 701 428 

Spotlight Webinar: Prescribed Fires in California
September 17, 2019
11:30am - noon

Join Lenya Quinn-Davidson and Jef Stackhouse to learn about how they are educating Californians on the use of prescribed fire as a preventative tool.

Zoom access:
1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Webinar ID: 751 701 428

Communicating Your Story: Twitter Basics


Sept. 18, 2019
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join Rose Hayden-Smith for this fast-paced webinar. We'll cover the basics of sharing your story, building an online community and engaging using Twitter. Topics will include:

  • What is Twitter and why should you use it?
  • Techniques and best practices to use the platform most effectively.
  • Finding your online community.
  • Tips to manage your Twitter account efficiently.

Participants will also be provided access to a range of resources and tools to support their Twitter efforts, including samples, tip and FAQ sheets, guidelines and more.

Zoom access:
1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Webinar ID: 751 701 428 

WebANR: UC Davis Climate
Communication Strategy: Impact Through Intersections.
September 19, 2019

Katherine Kerlin will show how UC Davis Strategic Communications used a cross-team strategy to highlight visual, focused storytelling and leverage climate expertise at the university. She'll talk about benefits and challenges of thematic approaches to digital storytelling and promotion.

Zoom access:
1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Webinar ID: 751 701 428

New Course! Building Volunteer Engagement Login instructions PDF, Video (1:32)
This new course will help equip UC ANR staff and academics to develop and manage systems in which volunteers are supported to lead projects, resulting in greater program efficiency and efficacy. 

Upon completion of this course, learners should be able to:

  • Describe the benefits volunteers provide to programs and organizations
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of those involved in working with volunteers
  • Identify the characteristics of an effective volunteer program
  • Use the 7-step ISOTURE model to build volunteer engagement

Along the way, learners will assess their own program, using self-guided activities and resources. As a result, course participants will develop a volunteer engagement action plan to enhance volunteer-related assets and address volunteer-related challenges. Login instructions PDF, Video (1:32)

Disability management for supervisors

UC Davis will offer disability management training on Oct. 7, 2019 and April 16, 2020. 

This three-hour, in-person course addresses what supervisors need to know regarding the requirements to accommodate employees with disabilities under federal and state law as well as university policy. Registration is required. If classes are filled, sign up for the wait-list. Register here

MSAP assessors make a difference

Laurent Ahiablame, Director UCCE San Diego
Thanks to all of our past ANR assessors and recently to Laurent Ahiablame, director of UCCE San Diego, ANR is able to support the UC-wide Management Skills Assessment Program (MSAP). This program is designed to strengthen the engagement and preparation of high potential UC supervisors, managers and professionals by offering an intensive, off-site, assessment center experience for early career supervisors.

Laurent, who served in April 2019, said, "I enjoyed meeting the amazing and high-potential managers from all corners of the UC system. During the one-week off-site assessment sessions, I was both a teacher and a student, observing, listening and coaching assessees while itemizing my own skill deficits and grow competencies as a manager. MSAP is an effective long-term tool to boost organizational performance of the UC system. Whether you are an assessee or assessor, MSAP provides a safe space for discovery and self-discovery."

ANR needs more experienced people managers like Laurent to serve as assessors in 2020 and beyond. Please let ANR Learning & Development know of your interest in serving as an assessor by contacting Jodi Azulai at

A successful UC People Management Conference

Marisa Neelon and Jim Downing, UC People Conference 2019

Marisa Neelon and Jim Downing were ANR's attendees at the third annual UC People Management Conference at UCLA's Luskin Center Aug. 6-8, 2019.

Both agreed that THE major take-home message was that we manage things, not people. People do not respond well to being "managed." Instead we manage ourselves and set an example that then influences others.

Marisa reflected, "I am thankful for the opportunity to attend the conference, tour the UCLA campus, meet other professionals from across the UC system, hear from dynamic keynote speakers and attend interactive workshops. Highlights included practice using a design thinking process to solve a problem in a collaborative manner, drafting a professional narrative to illustrate the impact of my work, and learning about supportive strategies to be an effective leader (managing self, influencing others and humility). Overall, the conference was upbeat and inspiring and provided me with resources to grow my skills as a leader in my current position."

Jim shared, "I can honestly say that this was the best management conference or training I've ever attended. Highlights included President Napolitano's session, super-inspiring as always; the closing keynote by UC Merced's Jonathan Grady; a very well-designed workshop on strategic planning; Courtney Young-Law's workshop on Creating Your Professional Narrative; and a short, delightful leadership seminar led by Paul Butler of New Leaf Consulting. Also, the conference hotel is right in the center of the UCLA campus, a lovely place to be for two days."

If you are interested in attending the UC People Management Conference, eligibility is based on completing one of the following programs in order to attend:

Join the 2019-20 UC People Management Series Certificate networking cohort. Participate in great discussions, share successes and ask your peers for people management advice. Fill out this interest survey if you'd like to participate and you will be contacted in the beginning of December.

UC Management Development Program calls for applications (Web page)
We invite managers who manage other supervisors and/or manage complex programs or projects to apply for the upcoming program. Thirty participants from across UC Davis Campus and UC Davis Health and UC ANR will be selected from those who apply. Please ensure you can attend all modules listed below prior to your submission. The program is free to ANR managers, but you will need to provide travel funds. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m., Sept. 6, 2019.

Module 1: People Management – Oct. 8
Module 2: Exercising Influence – Oct. 15
Module 3: Leading Change and Managing Transition – Oct. 22
Module 4: Employee Engagement – Nov. 5

Registration for the October 2019 Impact Collaborative Summit is open
Deadline to register: Sept. 20, 2019 Register here.
Oct. 15-17, 2019, Atlanta, GA

The Impact Collaborative Summit brings unique opportunities to create impactful results at the local level by increasing Cooperative Extension's organizational readiness and capacity for innovation and change, by connecting them with skills, tools, resources and partners that can expand and deepen their impact. 

We invite organizations to take advantage of their membership benefit by sending project and program teams to the Impact Collaborative Summit. Each member will receive 5 free registrations for a team to attend. Additional teams and team members are welcome to join. Community partners are welcome to participate on teams. We highly recommend sending teams that include three to five individuals focused on a project or program that is aligned with state/institutional strategic priorities.

SAVE THE DATE: Nov. 13 New Employee Orientation 
Who should attend: All UC ANR employees (academics, staff and affiliated staff on campuses, counties and RECs) who have not participated in an administrative orientation in the past. Priority will be given to those hired by ANR within the past year. The orientation will be at the UC ANR building in Davis.


SAVE THE DATE: Dec. 3-5, 
2019 NAEPSDP National Conference National Association of Extension Programs and Staff Development Professionals Annual Conference, Savannah, Ga.) Agents of Change, Creating Extension Connections.


Personal accountability. What is it and do I have it?
(article from Think, Plan, Launch)
Personal accountability can be defined as taking ownership of one's thoughts, behaviors, actions, and performance.

Someone who has developed a high level of personal accountability is resilient, resourceful, and honest. Importantly, you can count on them to follow through on the things they say they will do. They also tend to keep and maintain a positive attitude over time. Read more. Also, check out the LinkedIn Learning video Holding Yourself Accountable.

5 things NOT to say at work (adapted from Linkedin Learning Blog)
The world of work is about relationships. In most organizations, saying the right thing goes a long way in helping you gain support for a project, collaboration and new opportunities. On the flip side, saying the wrong thing, or what might cause harm to a relationship, can limit your career growth and hinder the team's ability to work together and reach optimal outcomes. Read more.

Everyone can learn something new.  

ANR Learning & Development
We are UC ANR

Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 9:03 AM

In memoriam: Hodge Black

Hodge Black
James Hodge Black, UC Cooperative Extension advisor emeritus, passed away Aug. 10, 2019, at the age of 83 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Black earned his B.S. in general agriculture in 1957 and his M.S. in entomology in 1961 from the University of Arkansas. Within a week of completing his master's degree, Black moved to Bakersfield to begin his career with UC Cooperative Extension.

As an entomology farm advisor, Black worked with Tom Leigh, a UC Davis entomologist he had met at University of Arkansas, to develop integrated pest management guidelines for cotton.

Lygus to square ratio

“Hodge was a key participant in development of the lygus to square ratio,” said Walt Bentley, who succeeded Black as the UCCE entomology advisor in Kern County when Black became the county director. “Lygus was and still is one of the key cotton pests in California.” 

Cotton is most vulnerable to lygus at pinhead square, the second stage of cotton development.
Before the ratio was developed to determine the need to spray for lygus, cotton growers were repeatedly spraying an organophosphate, which led to cotton bollworm outbreaks, requiring more sprays, Bentley explained. “The problems with cotton bollworm disappeared because sprays were not used as frequently. This allowed for beneficial insects to establish and feed on cotton bollworms.”

Pete Goodell, who was a certified pest control advisor in Fresno and Merced counties in the 1970s before joining UCCE as an IPM advisor, noted, “Hodge was one of the advisors who collected data and provided proof of concept. This was one of the first pest monitoring and evaluation methods available to PCAs.”

Pink bollworm

Bentley said, “Hodge also worked closely with the USDA in helping to stop pink bollworm from establishing in California.” To prevent the pest from becoming established, Black and his UCCE colleagues worked with growers on managing cotton for early harvest, instituting a mandatory plowdown statewide to ensure a 90-day host-free period and releasing sterile pink bollworm moths.

In 1977, Black was appointed director of UC Cooperative Extension in Kern County.

“As county director, Hodge managed the staff of 12 to 14 advisors extremely well,” said Bentley, who was a UCCE advisor in Kern County for 17 years. “He was well admired by the people he served in Kern County and the county government officials. He ran a smooth ship.”

Take the complicated and make it simple

In addition to his duties as an administrator, Black mentored farm advisors.

“Hodge was a big supporter of UC IPM and of me as IPM advisor,” said Goodell, who retired in 2017. “He was a patient mentor and found a way to work me into the Kern CE office. I will always be grateful for his folksy approach to extension. He taught me that my job is to take the complicated and make it simple. He was an excellent listener and a nonjudgmental advocate, providing science-based information tailored to the individual situation.”

Blake Sanden, UCCE farm advisor emeritus, recalled Black's advice to newer farm advisors delivered in his disarming Arkansas accent. 

“He'd make a point in a meeting, then stop, say nothing for maybe 10-15 seconds while looking around the room into people's eyes, and then say something like, ‘I saw a few glazed-over eyes out there, so in case that last point weren't clear – here it is agin!'” Sanden said.

Leveraged growers

“When I knew him as our county director, he had spent more years in California than in Arkansas, but he never lost his honey-suckle drawl and used it to good advantage. He was a force and knew how to leverage his important growers to strong-arm Oakland when he wanted a position approved.”

Frank Zalom, former director of the Statewide IPM Program and emeritus UC Davis professor, also worked with Black.

Honesty, integrity and intense loyalty

“Hodge had already been Kern County Cooperative Extension director for 3 years when I joined Cooperative Extension as part of the Statewide IPM Program,” Zalom said. “In hindsight, I was amazingly naïve, but he was always respectful and supportive. What I admired most about him was his honesty, integrity, and intense loyalty to Cooperative Extension and the Kern County agricultural community. He was not only a forward-looking administrator, but a solid entomologist as well. He had a natural scientific curiosity and was open to new technologies and really quite innovative.”

After Black retired in 1996, he and his wife, Mary Alice, moved back to Mt. Ida, Ark. A skilled wood carver, Black spent his retirement years carving and woodworking in his store “Splendid Splinters,” which was featured twice in Southern Living magazine, according to his obituary in the Bakersfield Californian

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Alice Black; daughters Teresa J. Dodd (Dan) of Colorado Springs and Charlotte A. Johnson (Warren) of Monument, Colo.; sons J. Robert Black (Tammy) of Bakersfield and B. David Black (Beth) of Searcy, Ark.; brother Lowell L. Black (Jill) of Sun Prairie, Wisc.; eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. 

A celebration of his life will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 19 at Mt. Ida First United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mt. Ida FUMC/Hodge Black Fund for wheel chair accessibility, PO Box 607, Mt. Ida, AR 71957.




Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 10:39 AM
Tags: August 2019 (13), Hodge Black (1)

Academics sought to serve on Program Council

Academic Assembly Council is seeking self-nominations to serve on the ANR Program Council. The ANR Program Council advises the Vice President on Division-wide planning and delivery of programs and develops recommendations for allocation of Division resources.

More information about ANR Program Council can be found at

We are seeking academics with well-established programs, who can commit to monthly two-day, in-person meetings (scheduled dates below), most often held in Davis. Attendance at all Program Council meetings is mandatory and missing one or more meetings will result in removal for non-performance of the position. Please note that Program Council does not have a budget to support travel (meals during meetings will be provided). 

A list of all interested individuals will be sent to the Associate Vice President, who will review self-nominations with current ANR Program Council members on Oct. 1 - 2 to make the selection. We are seeking interest in two positions, both beginning January 2020.

Please complete this survey by Sept. 27 to express your interest. If you have already completed the survey, your self-nomination will be reviewed in October as well.

Scheduled meeting dates (Beginning 3 p.m. on Tuesday and ending at 3 p.m. on Wednesday):

  • January 7 & 8, 2020 (Davis)
  • February 4 & 5, 2020 (Davis)
  • March 17 & 18, 2020 (tentative)
  • April 7 & 8, 2020 (Davis)
  • May 5 & 6, 2020 (Davis, possibly offsite)
  • June 9 &10, 2020 (Davis)
  • July 7 & 8, 2020 (Davis)
  • No meeting August 2020
  • September 1 & 2, 2020 (Davis)
  • October 6 & 7, 2020 (Davis)
  • November 3 & 4, 2020 (Davis)
  • December meeting tentative, dates TBD


Katherine Soule
Academic Assembly Council President

Wendy Powers
Associate Vice President

Posted on Monday, August 26, 2019 at 3:54 PM
  • Author: Katherine Soule

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