Posts Tagged: July 2020
President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The new members include
- Patricia Carrillo, executive director of the Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association
- Wade Crowfoot, secretary of California Natural Resources Agency
- Paula Daniels, co-founder and chair of Center for Good Food Purchasing
- Ismael D. Herrera, Jr., director of regional stewardship for California Forward
- Soapy Mulholland, principal of Sopac & Associates LLC
- Sharon Nance, assistant state conservationist for management & strategy in California for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Alejandra Sanchez, corporate social responsibility marketing manager for
- Stuart Van Horn, chancellor of the West Hills Community College District
- Mary-Ann Warmerdam, senior legislative advocate for Rural County Representatives of California and managing director of Milkshed Partners, LLC
Crowfoot will serve in an ex-officio position similar to that of the California Department of Food and Agriculture secretary. “We are very excited to expand and enhance our partnerships with the various departments within the Natural Resources Agency,” said Vice President Glenda Humiston.
“A big thanks to those PAC members who have long been advocating for our budget – our California delegates on the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET): Bill Frost, Mike Mellano, Dina Moore and Jean-Mari Peltier,” Humiston said.
Napolitano steps down
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve with this dynamic leader for the past five years,” said Humiston. “Janet Napolitano's vision has catalyzed UC's leadership in carbon neutrality, food security, innovation, student support and so much more.”
In her final board presentation, Napolitano said,“The foundation of this university is unshakable. And its fundamental values – access, opportunity, the pursuit of knowledge and a vibrant exchange of ideas live on. It's these values that have guided my presidency and much of what we have accomplished together. In fact, when I reflect on the past 7 years, one of the things I'm proud of is UC's persistent willingness to stand up as a community when things just aren't right.”
She urged state leaders and the general public not to take the University of California for granted.
Drake named first Black UC president
Michael Drake will return to UC as its 21st president in August. Drake, who served as the president of The Ohio State University, UC Irvine chancellor, UC vice president for Health Affairs, and past board chairman for the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, understands the importance of our land-grant university mission and Cooperative Extension outreach to communities.
Regent John Perez recently interviewed Drake about his vision for UC.
As you know, the University is experiencing severe fiscal challenges across all locations because of COVID-19 and its economic fallout. UC ANR is facing a possible 12.7% budget reduction for the 20-21 fiscal year. The University is hoping for a supplemental federal appropriation from Congress which may help to reduce the budget cut.
“Congress wanted to pass the fourth COVID supplemental package before August, but they weren't able to come to an agreement,” said Anne Megaro, director of governmental and community relations. “Many of them are still in D.C. working and it could take several more weeks of negotiation before the bill is finalized.”
Until we know more about our fiscal position for the coming year, we are implementing measures to ensure that we are able to continue to deliver the UC ANR mission. As these fiscal challenges become more apparent, many of you have expressed concerns about continued job security and what's next.
UC ANR's strength lies squarely with its people. We have a strong commitment to our employees and seek to implement this by being proactive, transparent and innovative wherever possible. In addition to this ongoing commitment, we will prioritize protecting programmatic goals and current positions. Layoffs will be considered only as a tool of last resort to address the fiscal challenges.
We will approach this situation as we have faced many other challenges - thoughtfully, strategically and with our employees and mission in mind. To do this effectively and equitably across UC ANR, we are implementing a series of strategies.
To achieve the above we initiated a hiring freeze effective July 1 and deferred funding requests for new staff positions and expenditures. Staffing requests will only be approved by exception based on compelling priorities. This hiring freeze will remain in effect for 12 months, unless the budgetary condition improves. Additionally, we are:
- Ensuring a high level of flexibility to reassign current staff to critical positions using the current Redeployment program, wherever possible.
- Approving reasonable use of the voluntary Employee Initiated Reduction in Time (ERIT).
- Proactively considering other UC systemwide strategies for actions to reduce costs such as voluntary reduction in time and voluntary early retirement.
- Working to grow and diversify the Division's revenue streams, prioritizing the development of contracts and grants, gifts, and other independent revenue sources.
- Maintaining programmatic delivery and continuing to invest in key areas, including those identified in the strategic plan, to strengthen delivery of extension and operational efficiency to further our mission.
Our hope is that the hiring freeze and other cost-cutting measures will be short-lived and that Congress will provide the necessary funds to minimize cuts to the University. UC has initiated an advocacy campaign to encourage Congress to support state funding as well as supplemental research and cooperative extension funding.
UC ANR recognizes the importance of helping employees manage a work/life balance. During the COVID 19 pandemic, it is understandable that some employees may wish to temporarily reduce their appointment time to address priority family and self-care needs. UC ANR is providing opportunities for flexible work schedules and reduced time appointments through programs such as the Employee-initiated Reduction In Time program (ERIT).
For academics, approvals for one year or less will be considered and are subject to renewal consideration. All requests to reduce the appointment time must be supported by supervisors. Final approval rests with AVP Wendy Powers. The academic or supervisor may end such approved arrangements with a 30-day advanced notice.
Salary, monthly sick and vacation leave, and UCRP service credit accruals will be calculated on the reduced appointment percentage. You are also encouraged to contact the UC Davis Benefits Office to discuss the implication of healthcare coverage for any such reduced appointment.
Academics who are interested in seeking a voluntary reduction in time, please complete the documents listed below and submit to Tina Jordan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Staff employees may, with the approval of their department, reduce their working hours and corresponding pay between 5% and 50%. For more information about the Employee Initiated Reduction in Time (ERIT) Program, please visit the website or contact John Fox or Bethanie Brown.
UC ANR employees made their voices heard through the 2020 ANR@Work survey. The survey received a 73% response rate with over 74% of respondents stating that they are a “satisfied” or an “extremely satisfied” UC ANR employee.
The inaugural ANR@Work survey was distributed to academics, staff and county-paid employees between March 17 and April 3, 2020. The goal of the anonymous survey was to obtain feedback about the work environment at UC ANR.
“Your responses tell us the top strengths of UC ANR include feeling valued by your department, feeling welcomed in your workplace, and feeling your department supports your work-life balance,” said John Fox, executive director of Human Resources.
Two of the top-scoring issues (4.4 out of 5 on the scale) show that respondents feel their supervisors treat them with respect and that their supervisors are supportive of their personal issues.
We hear you.
“Overall, while scores were not low, employees shared opportunities for improvement, which included wanting to have more of a voice on how to improve UC ANR, and wanting to hear more from senior leaders about long-range goals and strategic direction,” Fox said. “Another opportunity to improve was in the area of feeling more valued by the organization.”
Fox will review the overall ANR@Work survey results during the Town Hall Zoom meeting on Thursday, Aug. 20, at 1:30 p.m.
“We plan to repeat the survey annually for at least five years,” Fox said. “The 2020 survey results establish a baseline for continually assessing UC ANR's work environment.”
See more about ANR@Work Survey results at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Diversity/ANR@Work_Survey_741. Questions or comments about the survey? Contact email@example.com.
Building a resilient food system: Webinar series is off and running
Worried about our food system? Healthy Families and Communities and Sustainable Food Systems Strategic Initiatives are encouraging continued discussions on how to reimagine them. Sign up below and join us for Food System Resiliency webinars on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, through at least November, to continue the discussion.
Please let us know if you're interested in providing leadership or participating in a webinar for this series. Contacts: Deanne Meyer (SYS SI leader) and Lynn Schmitt McQuitty (HFC SI leader). The six-part series covers:
Webinar #1 - Food Safety and COVID-19 (July 14) See Slides (PDF)
Webinar #2 - California Food Systems: Partnerships and Resources(July 28) See Slides (PDF)
Webinar #3 - The Ins and Outs of Niche Marketing Meat (Aug 11) register here
Webinar #4 - Beef Supply Chain and Market Disruptions (Aug 25) register here
Webinar #5 - TBD (Sept 8)
Webinar #6 - Victory Gardens Then and Now (Sept 22) register here
Visit the Spotlight webinars page to see recordings.
Growing Reach and Impact by Enhancing Our Virtual Skills
We continue to explore and develop materials to help us better use virtual tools. Visit the UC ANR Learning & Development Site (UCANR.edu/L&D) to learn more about:
- Integrated Web Platform (IWP). See the summary ideas for our emerging Integrated Web Platform project
- Online courses. Check out the recently developed Checklist: online course minimum standards
- Video. Develop your "How-to" video making skills
- Virtual Consultations. Get some Virtual consultation tips
- Webinars. Pick up some pointers from the engaging webinars checklist or explore deeper to develop your webinar skills
All of these materials have been developed with input from many, many colleagues. Let us know what skills or tips you found useful and what more you'd like to learn.
For more on the SIs and their activities, contact:
Jim Farrar (EIPD)
David Lewis (Water)
David Lile (SNE)
Deanne Meyer (SFS)
Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty (HFC)