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Posts Tagged: President Napolitano

PAC discusses ANR Advisory Committee recommendations

President Janet Napolitano thanked Don Bransford and everyone who provided information to the UC ANR Advisory Committee. She announced she would be moving forward on the committee's recommendations.

The UC ANR Advisory Committee, appointed by President Janet Napolitano to consider options for UC ANR's structure, governance and funding, submitted its recommendations to her, Don Bransford told the UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources (PAC), which met Dec. 18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Berkeley.

PAC Chair Bransford, who also served on the UC ANR Advisory Committee, said the committee saw opportunities to strengthen governance, increase budgetary transparency, provide more stable and predictable funding models and enhance collaborations between UC ANR and UC's broader academic and research enterprise.

The committee, which included deans Kathryn Uhrich of the UCR College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and Michael Lairmore of the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, consulted internal and external stakeholders, then conducted its own analyses in consultation with UC ANR leaders.

The committee made four key recommendations:

  1. Maintain UC ANR's status as a systemwide program within UCOP, reporting to the president.
  2. Create a UC ANR governing council for oversight and to promote greater understanding of UC ANR across the university.
  3. Create a funding model using a combination of the “set-aside” and “corridor” models.
  4. Retain campus oversight of and reporting responsibility for state Agricultural Experiment Station funds.

Napolitano told the PAC she would be moving forward on the recommendations because she thinks they will ensure ANR greater budget stability, a broader understanding of ANR across the UC system and create more opportunities for collaboration between ANR and campus academics. She issued a statement Dec. 19 on her decisions for UC ANR.

Uhrich said she sees the governing council as an “opportunity to educate, integrate and be inclusive” to have people from across the UC system and outside of UC participating.

UC expertise

In other discussions, Napolitano commended ANR employees for their responses to the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire, noting that employees and volunteers lost homes in the devastating wildfires.

At a recent meeting with some legislators to discuss automation and the future of work, wildfire, health issues and homelessness, Napolitano said the policymakers told her they want to hear more from UC experts to help them think through policy challenges.

One commissioner commented, “We're going to have more fires, more foodborne illness outbreaks. Let's have our folks out there to talk to media and have them wearing a UC shirt.”

Napolitano replied, “I like the idea of folks wearing UC garb when they're on TV.”

Budget

During her budget presentation, Humiston said ANR must slow its use of reserve funds and develop new funding sources.

Humiston and Tu Tran, associate vice president for business operations, briefed the PAC on ANR's budget. Administrative costs are up this fiscal year to invest $4 million to join UCPath, the new systemwide payroll and personnel system. UC ANR has begun the transition and will go live in March-April. “Ultimately UCPath will save us money, but it's costing us now,” Humiston said.

Due to budget constraints, Humiston explained that UC ANR isn't offering competitive grants nor announcing UCCE positions to be filled in 2018-19. Recruitment for previously approved positions is ongoing and new hiring will begin as resources become available to make the long-term commitment to support positions.

In her budget PowerPoint presentation for the PAC, Humiston listed actions ANR has taken in the past to compensate for budget cuts and steps that will be taken in FY 2018-19.

Tran explained that UC ANR relies on six sources of funds – state, federal, county, extramural, endowments and income from gifts, patents, investments and program fees. State funds, which constitute the largest portion of the division's funding, pay for employee salaries and benefits. He noted government funding is highly volatile so “we are trying to raise money in other ways.”

California Agricultural Resources Archive

UC Merced's librarian HaiPeng Li, project archivist Lisa Valens and project director Emily Lin gave a presentation on the California Agricultural Resources Archive or CARA. The UC Cooperative Extension archive project, which was launched after UC Cooperative Extension's centennial in 2014, started with UCCE in Merced, Humboldt and Ventura counties. The team has been digitizing annual reports and historical photos to make them accessible to the public and researchers.

“The data isn't just history,” Humiston asserted. “There are notes on research that may hold the key to something like huanglongbing.”

Mining the data, advanced analysis and linking to other information might open new avenues of research, she said.

UC ANR is seeking partners and trying to raise funds for the archive project. Jim Downing, publications director, will assume leadership of the project to succeed Jan Corlett, chief of staff to the vice president, who plans to retire in July.

Deans' updates

The School of Veterinary Medicine is planning to build a Livestock & Field Services Center.

To help students with career planning, Helene Dillard, dean of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said she seeks UCCE advisors to show students the research and outreach being done in the counties and planning a course on Cooperative Extension to introduce students to career options. She is in talks to partner with UC Davis medical center on health research such as the connection between diet and disease.

David Ackerly, dean of the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources, announced the recent hiring of new Cooperative Extension specialists Ellen Bruno for policy analysis and Rob York for fire and policy, and that he is striving to create new faculty positions that will not depend on state money. He also announced that UC Cooperative Extension specialist Adina Merenlender received a $5 million gift to train California climate stewards through a program similar to California Naturalist. Ackerly also noted that Giannini Hall is closing temporarily for seismic upgrades so faculty and staff are packing to move out during construction.

Katherine Uhrich, dean of the UC Riverside College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, announced CNAS has hired 24 faculty this year including two Nobel laureates – Richard Shrock and Barry Barish. She also announced that Givaudan, a Swiss company that creates fragrances and flavors, is donating funds to cover UCR's citrus variety collection, to protect the trees from pests and diseases.

Michael Lairmore, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, announced that his veterinary team worked tirelessly treating animals injured during the Camp Fire, taking in 70 animals, most of which have returned to their families. About $2 million has been donated to offset the costs of treating the animals. Veterinarian Jamie Peyton covered burns on cats and dogs with tilapia skin to help with healing and has a provisional patent for the fish skin treatment. Lairmore also announced the school is planning to build a Livestock and Field Service Center. “We are in need of donations and there are naming opportunities for interested individuals or companies,” Lairmore told PAC members. He also announced the hiring of Emmanuel Okello, the new UCCE specialist in antimicrobial stewardship.

The PAC, which meets twice a year, will meet next in the spring.

Advisory committee examines UC ANR structure, funding

As part of the University of California Office of the President restructuring effort, President Napolitano appointed an advisory committee to determine a set of recommendations regarding UC ANR. The committee has been asked to explore structural, funding and associated governance options that will best support UC ANR and the University of California.

The committee is chaired by David Marshall, UC Santa Barbara executive vice chancellor, and consists of UC chancellors and deans, as well as representatives of the UC Board of Regents, UC Academic Senate, UC President's Advisory Commission on ANR, and the Executive President's Advisory Group.

The advisory committee has met a few times and has received background materials on UC ANR, said VP Glenda Humiston. Future meetings will delve into how UC ANR allocates funds and prioritizes program delivery. The advisory committee will begin interviewing UC ANR stakeholders in the next few weeks.

The advisory committee's goal is to bring final recommendations to the president and UC Board of Regents before the end of the year. 

PAC discusses strategic plan and urban agriculture

At the recent President’s Advisory Commission meeting, President Napolitano praised UC ANR’s work in “areas of critical importance.”

Downtown Oakland was the site of the biannual UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources (PAC) meeting on Aug. 9, which included a Q&A session with President Napolitano, program presentations from UC Cooperative Extension county directors Rob Bennaton and Igor Lacan, and updates from deans Helene Dillard (UC Davis), Keith Gilless (UC Berkeley) and Kathryn Uhrich (UC Riverside), as well as Executive Associate Dean John Pascoe (filling in for Dean Michael Lairmore, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine). 

In her opening remarks, UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston introduced Mark Bell, the division's new vice provost for statewide programs and strategic initiatives. Bell spoke about the strength of the UC system, the diversity of programs offered by UC ANR statewide, and his plans to leverage the strong volunteer and staff base of programs like UC Master Gardeners and 4-H.

Humiston also offered updates on the division's strategic plan and the significant progress made in implementing its key goals. Associate Vice President Tu Tran then gave a presentation on the division's financial situation, which he titled “A Fiscal Plan for Success.” Tran addressed UC ANR's place in the state budget and its revenue projections through FY 2021-22, which includes significant growth in major gifts and fundraising.

Jerry Lohr, right, congratulated fellow PAC member Grant Davis on his new position as director of the state Department of Water Resources.

Bennaton and Lacan both gave spirited and enthusiastic presentations that were received well. Bennaton, who serves as county director for Alameda and Contra Costa counties as well as UCCE urban agriculture advisor for the Bay Area, discussed the benefits of urban agriculture and the assortment of activities going on in community development, habitat restoration and youth programming.

Lacan, also a UCCE environmental horticulture advisor for the Bay Area and co-director in San Mateo and San Francisco counties, talked about the diverse and richly rewarding work he spearheads in urban forestry. His work currently focuses on sustainable management of urban trees and urban water.

Following lunch, UC President Napolitano offered glowing remarks about UC ANR's contributions and the long-term strategy reflected in the division's new strategic plan. She said she was particularly impressed by ANR's recent work in water, childhood obesity, nutrition education, and Asian citrus psyllid, calling them “areas of critical importance.” She also praised Humiston's leadership in the area of tech innovation and partnerships.

During a Q&A period, the president engaged PAC members on various issues such as potential public-private partnerships that could involve UC ANR, targeted approaches to advocacy and deferred maintenance needs for UC writ large but also for UC ANR and its research and extension centers system, specifically.

The deans gave updates on research and activities occurring at their respective colleges and school.

The next PAC meeting is scheduled for December, also in Oakland. 

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 5:06 PM
  • Author: Mike Janes

UC ANR recruits for final round of UCCE positions approved in 2014

UC ANR is in its sixth and final round of hiring for Cooperative Extension advisor and specialist positions released in December 2014. The 43 positions were released for recruitment in phases over time to enable Human Resources to accomplish the search and hiring process in an orderly fashion and to allow leadership to evaluate ANR's resources on a real-time basis, deal with unexpected changes in staffing and address unanticipated issues as they arise. 

Round 6 (Fall 2016)

  • Area Desert Livestock Advisor (Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino)
  • Area Forestry & Natural Resources Advisor (Sutter-Yuba, Butte, Nevada)
  • Area Livestock & Range Advisor (Ventura, Santa Barbara)
  • Area Dairy Systems Advisor (Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino)
  • Biometeorology Specialist (College of Agricultural and Environmental Science, UC Davis)

For the 2016 call for UCCE positions, Program Council has reviewed the 138 positions proposed and forwarded its recommendations to VP Glenda Humiston, who will announce in December the future rounds of hiring. The approved positions will be announced in ANR Update.

To see the 2016 Call for Positions and the review process, visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Divisionwide_Planning/2016_Call_for_Position.

Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 11:56 AM

UCANR raises funds and visibility on #GivingTuesday

On Nov. 29, ANR is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of our social network. Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season. 

“We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to raise some funds for our ANR programs while raising the visibility of the ways Californians benefit from your work,” said VP Glenda Humiston. 

VP Humiston's #GivingTuesday sign says she's donating because "I care about California."
It's as simple as a tweeting a photo with “What are you thankful for? Take part in #GivingTuesday today to give back to your community! #UCANReach @ucanr http://ucanr.edu/sites/GivingTuesday.”

You don't use social media? No problem, email your friends. They probably wonder what you do for work. Tell them what your role is in this magnificent organization that's making life better for Californians and invite them to support our efforts by donating, sharing our message or volunteering.

A website has been created with links to all of ANR's programs, Research and Extension Centers and extension offices: http://ucanr.edu/sites/givingtuesday. It invites donors to designate the program or location to which they wish to donate.

The website also contains a toolkit for county offices and programs to participate. It includes:

  • A customizable letter to send to stakeholders
  • Templates for “unselfies.” Donors may take photos of themselves holding an unselfie sign and share on social media how they are giving.
  • Sample tweets and social media posts
  • Sample thank you note

Mike Janes wrote that he's giving because "I'd like all Californians to have access to fresh produce."
Last year, the 4-H Youth Development Program and UC Master Gardener Program successfully participated in #GivingTuesday campaigns.

“#GivingTuesday is a wonderful opportunity to gain support, donations, increase awareness and generate a buzz about UC ANR and all of our programs,” said Missy Gable, UC Master Gardener Program director.

“We are excited to be participating in the movement this year and hopeful that the results will be even better than the success we saw in 2015,” she said. “UC Master Gardener volunteers are passionate about how we serve our communities and the incredible impacts we are making. #GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to highlight the impacts we are making, build relationships and thank those who have supported us along the way.”

The UC Master Gardener #GivingTuesday website is at http://mg.ucanr.edu/Support/GivingTuesday.  

4-H also has its own website http://4h.ucanr.edu/GivingTuesday. Last year, 4-H programs in 17 counties participated.

“Our goal for 4-H was to raise $10,000 and we exceeded our goal with donations totaling over $13,000,” said Andrea Ambrose, acting director of Development Services. “UCCE  Placer County collected the largest amount for the 4-H Youth Development Program. We'll see which county collects the most this year.”

Although not as widely recognized as the shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday appeals to people swept up in the spirit of giving at the end of the year.

“By joining the #GivingTuesday campaign, people involved in all ANR programs will have an opportunity to supplement their funding with private donations and have some fun,” said Ambrose.

 

Posted on Monday, November 28, 2016 at 6:07 PM

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