Posts Tagged: budget
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.
As expected, California's response to the coronavirus pandemic and loss of tax revenues resulting from the disruption in business have dramatically changed the state's economic outlook.
Governor Gavin Newsom released his revised budget proposal for 2020-21 on Thursday, May 14.
The governor said California began the year with a projected budget surplus of $5.6 billion for 2020-21. The reduced revenue, combined with increased costs in health and human services programs and the added costs to address COVID-19, leads to a projected budget deficit of approximately $54 billion, he explained.
To balance the budget, he called for a number of actions, including withdrawing the 5% budget increase for UC ANR and 5% increase for UC in general funds he proposed in January. He also proposed a 10% reduction in support for the UC system, UC Office of the President, UCPATH and UC ANR. The Legislature is required to approve a budget by June 15.
“Let me remind you that this is a proposal,” said Vice President Glenda Humiston. “This could all change if the federal government provides funding to bridge the gap or the economy recovers more quickly. We will continue to work with our partners to secure adequate funding to achieve our mission.”
On May 18, President Janet Napolitano announced
- a systemwide freeze on salaries for policy-covered staff employees;
- a systemwide freeze on salary scales for policy-covered, non-student academic appointees. To ensure a stable faculty pipeline and to maintain our teaching and research enterprise, we will continue the regular academic peer-review merit advancement program;
- a voluntary pay cut of 10% for current chancellors and herself.
See Napolitano's full statement and FAQs at https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2020/05/president-napolitano-announces-systemwide-pay-freeze-for-policy-covered-employees.html.
During the May 28 ANR town hall, Humiston answered questions about the budget. A recording of the town hall will be posted at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/All_Hands.
“As we manage the budget situation, the top priority will be, as always, to take care of our people,” Humiston said. “Without you, the critical mission of ANR could not be delivered.”
In a public response to the governor's proposal, President Napolitano released a statement saying, “The University of California recognizes the unprecedented challenges California is facing in the wake of COVID-19 and regrets that Gov. Newsom was put into a position to steeply reduce the University's budget in response to the State's dramatically diminished revenues. Regardless, UC stands with the governor and the Legislature to help lift the State out of this economic crisis.”
proposed California 2020-21 State Budget, which was released Friday, Jan. 10.
"We welcome an increase of $3.6 million annually for UC ANR," said Vice President Glenda Humiston.
She noted that more people are recognizing and giving credit to the research, public service and outreach UC ANR does to help Californians improve their lives and businesses.
The trade publication Growing Produce reported that Nick Davis, southern valley vineyard manager of The Wine Group, the second-largest U.S. wine company, said, “We don't really have an R&D arm, so we really rely on George [Zhuang] and Cooperative Extension to provide viticultural knowledge and methods to help us achieve our production goals.”
"I am grateful for Governor Newsom's support for UC in his initial proposed budget," Humiston said. "You all do fantastic work and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in the year ahead."
UC Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez and UC President Napolitano issued a statement on governor's budget plan for UC as a whole, acknowledging that 'the governor's spending plan is an important step toward covering the funds necessary to meet UC's tripartite mission of delivering world-class education, conducting cutting-edge research and providing public service that benefits California and beyond.”
ANR's budget is tight this year, but we don't have a budget crisis, VP Glenda Humiston emphasized during the ANR town hall on Aug. 15. In addition to the budget update, Humiston discussed UCPath, which launches on Oct. 1, and answered ANR members' questions during the 78-minute online meeting that was scheduled for an hour.
ANR's budget remained at $72.6 million for FY 2019-20, the same as last year, while expenses including salaries and benefits have increased nearly $5 million. She shared the good news that President Janet Napolitano will provide ANR with $2.2 million to help cover some of the shortfall the flat budget has created.
Despite the tight budget, Humiston reiterated ANR's commitment to continuing salary equity programs.
“ANR people are our most important resource, they are our infrastructure, so to speak, because without our people we can't do extension, we can't do research,” she said.
In addition to the one-time $2.2 million supplement, ANR will also receive $19 million to help with deferred maintenance.
“This is a huge increase over the roughly $700K we typically receive per year,” Humiston said, noting that the $19 million designated for capital projects cannot be spent for anything else. “We will also have access to more funding for this critical need as part of the General Obligation Bond that will be on next year's ballot.”
She also addressed concerns about the number of UC Cooperative Extension academics.
“Despite a 20-year slide in funding from the state and federal government, we have been able to retain academic numbers through partnering more on shared appointments and redirection of administrative funds to programs. I'm very proud to say that the graph of our academic footprint has not been dropping the past 4 years.”
She pointed out that the state had been cutting funding for the entire UC system. The campuses are able to increase tuition fees to make up the difference while ANR depends on contracts, grants, private giving and other new funding sources. Humiston encouraged everyone to work with Development Services for support in securing more funding. She also urged everyone to tell stakeholders about the value of ANR's work for California.
“There is nothing, nothing good about being the best kept secret out there,” Humiston said.
“All of you do fantastic work. We've got to let our stakeholders know that and we also need to let them know about our budget situation.”
UCPath launches Oct. 1
John Fox, director of Human Resources, reminded everyone that UCPath will officially launch next month. As part of the transition, the AYSO website will become view-only for personal information, tax withholding, and benefits on Aug. 30; all future changes will have to be made in the UCPath portal when it goes live Sept. 27.
The first paychecks from the new UCPath system will be issued on Oct. 1 for monthly paid employees, and on Oct. 2 for bi-weekly paid employees. Fox emphasized that meeting timesheet deadlines is critical in ensure accurate and timely pay in the new system.
As UCPath goes live, the UC ANR Beehive – a team of people who have been involved in the project – will be available to academics and staff to help troubleshoot.
Visit the UC ANR UCPath website at http://ucpath.ucanr.edu to preview the employee self-service portal and get answers to frequently asked questions. Comments and questions can be addressed to email@example.com.
Q & A
The following are some questions that were asked during the town hall:
Can you provide the actual budget numbers behind the charts and power point slides that were shared by Glenda to the CDs in January as well as current budget numbers?
Yes, we can provide the numbers. See the pie charts at the bottom of the one-page budget handout. We will post more budget information in a separate story.
When will we find out about professional development funds?
At the time of the call, AVP Wendy Powers had not received her budget letter. She expects the amount of professional development funds to be the same as last year and to announce within the next two weeks.
Did (or will) the ANR budget challenges impact decisions on academics' merit/promotion/accelerations?
No. While the budget situation may impact the amount of money for salary equity programs or the increase to base scales (3% for CE Advisors and CE Specialists), it does not influence the merit and promotion decisions. Every year the percent of successful merits and promotions varies, as does the number of requests submitted and what requests are made. High level data suggest that this year's success rate is within the range since 2016. That high level data will be shared with the Academic Assembly Council for broader distribution.
When is leadership going to update and improve ANR maternity leave policy, same for paternity leave. When will leadership begin to better align vacation for staff with vacation for academics?
UC ANR leadership does not have the authority to unilaterally change leave policies for our employees. We are part of the UC system. Policies for academics and staff are consistent across the system, and changes generally would have to be approved by the President or the Regents.
When will we see/hear about the new communication strategy being created by our new communication leader?
A working strategic communications plan has been developed. Strategic Communications and Publishing are embarking on a combined strategic planning effort in September to develop longer-term strategies.
Why do we not have a map of specialists and advisors that serve our state on our website?
Informatics and GIS has created two maps. The storymap at http://arcg.is/0yWGfj can be used to quickly see where academic personnel covering specific subjects are located around the state. The UCANR Personnel Filtering App at https://arcg.is/0XHSXb can be used to query and visualize the data more fully. A short video (https://goo.gl/dzykqK) walks through the different features of the UCANR Personnel Filtering App.
How can we attract and retain talent for co-funded advisor positions when they have no indefinite status? How can co-funded academics maintain academic freedom when their position is tied to specific funding partners and their priorities?
For some time now, UC ANR has had two CE Advisors who are very talented and do not have indefinite status. We have successfully retained those individuals. More recently, we have attracted six more talented CE advisors into co-funded positions. All of these positions were filled upon the initial search.
Senior leadership is proud to have these people in these key positions, as are our funding partners. They are here now and there is no evidence that retention is an issue. There is no evidence that academic freedom is compromised. All of our academics are expected to work with stakeholders to identify their priority needs.
Are ANR staff encouraged to contact their local legislative representative to discuss ANR's contribution to California's leading ag industry?
You may and should educate and inform elected state and federal officials and their staff of the work you do in their districts. As UC employees, we cannot take positions on bills or ask for budgetary support without the expressed consent of the UC Office of the President. For more information, please contact Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations, and read the one-pager at http://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/293044.pdf.
A recording of the 78-minute town hall is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62WrjR1Il7w.
Nouri named UCCE orchard systems advisor for San Joaquin County
Mohamed Nouri joined UC Cooperative Extension on July 1, 2019, as an orchard systems advisor serving San Joaquin County. Nouri will address production and pest management issues in walnuts and sweet cherries, as well as apples, oil olives, and several smaller-acreage crops. Because San Joaquin County is the statewide leader in both cherry and walnut production, Nouri will become a regional and statewide leader within ANR for these crops.
Prior to joining ANR, Nouri worked for UC Davis as a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center from 2015 to 2019. Working closely with UCCE specialists, UCCE farm advisors, pest control advisers and farmers, Nouri studied fungal diseases of major fruit and nut crops, including olive, pistachio, sweet cherry, citrus, almond and grape. He oversaw the plant disease diagnostic services for perennial fruit and nut crops in California and management tasks for the laboratory.
Conducting his research in California, Nouri earned a Ph.D. in plant pathology from University of Tunis El Manar, where he also earned an M.S. in microbiology and plant pathology and a B.S. in life and earth sciences. Nouri is fluent in Arabic and French.
Nouri is based in Stockton and can be reached at (209) 953-6115 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matias joins UCCE as nutrition specialist
Susana Matias joined UC Cooperative Extension on July 1, 2019, as an assistant specialist in the UC Berkeley Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology. She has several years of experience in public health nutrition and a profile that blends nutrition, epidemiology and psychology. Her research interests include maternal and child nutrition, immigrant health, food security, obesity and diabetes prevention, and nutritional and behavioral interventions. Her extension efforts focus on promoting healthy nutrition at the regional and local levels, and on expanding the role of nutrition within the delivery of primary care.
Prior to joining UCCE, Matias was a research scientist at the California Department of Public Health and a specialist at UC San Francisco. From 2013 to 2018, she worked as an assistant project scientist at the UC Davis Department of Nutrition. Matias, who is fluent in Spanish, has authored an extensive list of scientific papers and technical reports.
She earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology with designated emphasis in international and community nutrition from UC Davis. She holds a M.A. in educational psychology and a B.A. in psychology from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
Matias is based in Morgan Hall at UC Berkeley, and can be reached at (510) 642-0980 and email@example.com.
Eftekhari named chief of staff to VP
Kathy Eftekhari joined UC ANR as the vice president's new chief of staff on Aug. 19, 2019.
As chief of staff, Eftekhari will provide leadership and managerial support to the division and will be a member of the UC ANR Core Leadership Team. Her professional experience includes more than 25 years successfully managing programmatic, financial and human resource operations within higher education, and in private and nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and abroad. She has considerable experience in economic and community development.
Eftekhari comes to UC ANR from the Strategy and Program Management Office at the UC Office of the President, where she has served as a senior organizational consultant for the past six years. In this role, she was responsible for the development and facilitation of the UCOP strategic planning process and has also successfully led a number of UCOP and systemwide initiatives. Co-facilitating UC ANR's strategic planning process in 2016, she became familiar with UC ANR's high-level goals and challenges.
She holds a B.A. in liberal studies, an M.A. in educational administration, and a Ph.D. in education with an emphasis on research and policy analysis, all from UC Berkeley.
Eftekhari is based in room 10204 at UCOP and can be reached at (510) 987-0980 and Kathy.Eftekhari@ucop.edu.
Sapeta named director of Facilities Planning and Management
Bartlomiej (Bart) Sapeta joined UC ANR as director of Facilities Planning and Management Aug. 7. In this role, he will work with ANR units such as the Research Extension Centers and other ANR-owned and leased facilities across the state to plan and execute maintenance and capital renewal work.
Sapeta is a licensed architect and a former project manager with over a decade of experience in design, renovation, repurposing, master planning, historic preservation of buildings for civic, community, and education markets.
Most recently, Sapeta was a city councilor for the City of Keene, NH, and a tenured associate professor of architecture at Keene State College. He also served as a client representative on several capital improvement projects for Keene State, and has extensive experience in design and building.
Sapeta earned his M.A. in historic preservation from Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH, Master of Architecture and Engineering from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Wroclaw, Poland, and Bachelor of Architecture from Drury University, Springfield, Mo.
In his role as director of Facilities Planning and Management, Sapeta will report to Tu Tran, AVP for Business Operations, and with appropriate delegation of authority will be the appointed Building Official for the Division.
Sapeta is based in the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Freutel joins CalNat in Southern California
Eliot Freutel joined the California Naturalist Program as a community education specialist on March 12, 2019, to advance new and continuing CalNat programs in Southern California.
Freutel has extensive experience working in marine environments as an outdoor education instructor. Prior to joining UC ANR, he was an educator and climate resilience coordinator for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. In that capacity, he developed two community outreach programs focused on bringing climate resilience strategies to underserved community members. For over 10 years, he worked on Catalina Island with the Long Beach Marine Institute as an outdoor education instructor, teaching students about the ecology of the island.
He earned his B.A. in translation and interpretation for Spanish and English at California State University Long Beach. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, a shark and marine ecology expert, and happiest when he is outdoors or underwater.
Freutel is based in the UCCE office in Alhambra and can be reached at (626) 586-1985 and email@example.com.
Ferguson named ASHS president-elect
Louise Ferguson, UC Cooperative Extension pomology specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, is the new president-elect of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), a professional academic society.
Ferguson's research and extension work is in fruit and nut trees, including pistachios, olives, figs, citrus and other subtropical fruit crops. She works with Cooperative Extension farm advisors and growers throughout California to establish research and outreach programs that support the fruit and nut industry. Among her many accomplishments, she is also a core faculty member in the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation program.
Acclaimed for her international agricultural development work in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, and Pakistan, Ferguson is also recognized as an international leader in knowledge extension related to fruit tree crop production in many countries around the world.
Her appointment began in July at the ASHS annual conference in Las Vegas. Following the upcoming year as president-elect, board member and executive committee member, Ferguson will serve for a year as ASHS President, and a third year as chair of the ASHS Board of Directors. – Ann Filmer