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Posts Tagged: budget

Budget update and strategies

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. 

Our Commitment 
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.

Our 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.

Glenda Humiston 
Vice President

 

Posted on Monday, August 3, 2020 at 5:43 PM

Governor proposes UC budget cuts in May revise

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.”

Posted on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 1:13 PM

Governor proposes budget increase for ANR

Glenda Humiston
Governor Gavin Newsom has included a 5% increase for UC ANR in his 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.”

Posted on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 12:37 PM

Names in the News

Kron named area IPM advisor for North Coast

Cindy Kron

Cindy Kron has joined UC Cooperative Extension as areawide IPM advisor for Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties.

Before joining UCCE, Kron studied the three-cornered alfalfa hopper as a research entomologist for USDA in their Crop Disease, Pests and Genetics research unit. She tested cover crop species as feeding and reproductive hosts of the three-cornered alfalfa hopper in addition to testing commercially available biocontrol agents against the different life stages of the treehopper. She collaborated with a UC Davis colleague to create a degree day model that predicts the ideal timing to implement cultural control measures with the greatest impact on treehopper populations. 

Kron has conducted research on a variety of insects including two-year vineyard study on the population dynamics of Virginia creeper leafhopper, western grape leafhopper, and variegated leafhopper.  For her dissertation, she investigated the biology and behavior of the three-cornered alfalfa hopper and their relationship with vineyards. She also studied the effects of temperature on the developmental rate of the invasive European grapevine moth and reared brown marmorated stink bugs for USDA fumigation studies.

“My experiences have motivated me to help growers, stakeholders and the industry solve agricultural pest management problems through applied research by identifying IPM strategies and tactics that are economically feasible and implementable while having the lowest environmental impact,” Kron said.

Kron earned her bachelor's degree in viticulture and enology, with a minor in agricultural pest management, and her doctorate in entomology at UC Davis.

She is based in Santa Rosa and can be reached at ckron@ucanr.edu.

Glass takes on new HR role 

Patricia Glass

Patricia Glass began a new position as human resources business systems analyst starting in August. In her new role, Patricia coordinates the management of ANR's HR information systems, including UCPath, Talent Acquisition Management (TAM), ePerformance, and the UC Learning Center. She is also responsible for process improvement, user training, and the development of reports and analytics for the HR systems.

Glass brings more than 15 years of UC experience to the position, including time as a finance manager on the Davis campus and, most recently, team lead responsible for staff recruitment and compensation with ANR Human Resources.

Glass continues to be based at the ANR building in Davis as part of the ANR HR team and reachable at (530) 750-1324 and pglass@ucanr.edu.

Montano assisting Tran

Barbara Montano

Barbara Montano will be temporarily covering executive assistant Cheryl Hyland's duties assisting Tu Tran, AVP business operations starting Sept. 25 and will be available Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or as needed.

Montano is a Bay Area native who graduated from UC Berkeley last year with a bachelor's degree in English and legal studies. As a student, she worked on campus and interned for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, a philanthropy supporting organization, and the law offices of Aiman-Smith & Marcy. After graduating, she worked as temporary development associate at GCIR, managing its grant work.

Montano is located at UCOP in Cubicle #10134F and can be reached at (510) 987-0183 and Barbara.Montano@ucop.edu.

Bailey appointed to USDA Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

John Bailey

John Bailey, director of Hopland Research and Extension Center, has been appointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. His two-year term expires on Sept. 17, 2021.

The purpose of the committee is to advise the USDA Secretary on strategies, policies and programs that enhance opportunities for new farmers and ranchers.

“As a member of the Committee, you will advise me on matters impacting beginning farmers and ranchers, including access to land and capital, recruitment and retention of farmers and ranchers, and more. Your role is vital as I strive to obtain the public and industry perspectives on National and State strategies, policies, and programs impacting beginning farmers and ranchers,” Perdue wrote in Bailey's appointment letter.

Before joining UC, Bailey was the Mendo-Lake Food Hub project manager for North Coast Opportunities, where he coordinated local growers to dramatically increase sales of their crops.

For 12 years, he worked at McEvoy of Marin, first as a gardener in their orchards, then director of operations overseeing product development, sales and marketing. He also owned Middle Mountain Farm, which grew and marketed row crops.

Bailey earned an MBA in sustainable enterprise at New College of California and a B.A. in biology and Certificate in Ecological Horticulture at UC Santa Cruz.

Gaudin and Light to serve on Western Cover Crop Council

Amelie Gaudin visits the no-till dairy silage field of Turlock farmer Michael Crowell.

Sarah Light, UC Cooperative Extension agronomy advisor for Sutter County, and Amelie Gaudin, UC Davis assistant professor of agroecology in the Department of Plant Sciences, will serve as California representatives on the new Western Cover Crops Council, a group from the 18 western states that aims to gear up information development and exchange activities throughout the broad region. 

Sarah Light samples cover crop biomass in a reduced-disturbance field in Guinda.
Both Gaudin and Light are currently conducting broad and comprehensive cover crop research work.  Gaudin specializes in permanent cropping systems with a strong emphasis on almonds and Light works in annual cropping systems. 

The mission of the WCCC is to facilitate and enhance communication and collaboration among farmers/growers, agents, researchers and other agricultural professionals to transfer information and technology that promotes the successful adoption and integration of cover cropping into Western U.S. agricultural systems. The WCCC Planning Team currently consists of about 16 members representing several western states. They are in the process of creating goal statements and means for better linking educational activities about cover crops throughout the region. 

Krause accepts job with Driscoll's Berries

Dave Krause

After nearly 14 years with UC ANR's Information Technology unit, Dave Krause has accepted a new role with Driscoll's Berries to help improve the technology in their research environment. This opportunity will take Krause to some of Driscoll's global locations yet allow him to stay connected to many of us at ANR and at UC. 

Krause started his UC career as a programmer with ANR Communication Services in 2006. Initially hired to build a new version of Site Builder and Collaborative Tools, Krause has since architected and implemented dozens of applications to support the work of UC ANR staff and academics. In recent years, Krause became the IT manager and interim chief information officer for the Division.

“Please join me in thanking Dave for his many contributions to the arduous work of the Division in supporting the communities and the people of this state,” wrote Tu Tran, associate vice president for business operations.

Krause's last day with UC ANR is Oct. 11. Leadership will work immediately on selecting a successor to lead the IT unit.

 

 

 

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2019 at 6:05 PM

At UCCE’s suggestion, Humboldt waives air-quality fees for public benefit burning

A Mendocino County Fire Safe Council member sets a prescribed burn during a UC ANR fire retreat. Photo by Lenya Quinn-Davidson

“I thought you all might enjoy this bit of good news from Humboldt County. Yesterday reminded me of the important role we at UCCE can play in these types of local issues,” wrote Lenya Quinn-Davidson, UCCE area fire advisor in Humboldt County.

Concerned about habitat loss and fuel buildup on private lands in Humboldt County, Quinn-Davidson and Jeff Stackhouse, UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor, recently formed a Prescribed Burn Association.

Thanks to Senate Bill 1260, which was signed into law last year, air districts are receiving grants from the California Air Resources Board to support local prescribed fire programs. 

Stackhouse and Quinn-Davidson attended the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District Board meeting Sept. 18 in Weaverville to suggest their district subsidize the air quality permit fees for prescribed burners.

Lenya Quinn-Davidson and Jeff Stackhouse suggested that their district subsidize the air quality permit fees for prescribed burners. The board accepted all of their suggestions.
“All of our suggestions were incorporated into the plan,” Quinn-Davidson said.

“Our district has decided to use some of these grant funds to subsidize air quality permit fees for prescribed burners in the district. This is welcome news to those of us with the PBA who have been working for the last year to alleviate air quality permit fees, which can be $250 to $1250 for bigger projects. For our PBA burns, air quality permit fees are one of our biggest project costs, and now those fees will be waived.”

The air board's original plan was to subsidize projects with a focus on wildfire risk reduction. At the meeting, she and Stackhouse encouraged them to broaden the scope and include all projects that have a public benefit, including burns focused on habitat restoration, range improvement, forest improvement, cultural resources, etc., in addition to fuels reduction. 

“We suggested that they tie the subsidy program to Public Resources Code 4475, which was amended through SB1260 to include an expanded definition of ‘public benefit burning.' They accepted our suggestion and amended the rule to reflect this broader suite of project types, which covers most of the great burning we're all doing in the North Coast: oak woodland restoration, medusahead/starthistle/blackberry control, coyote brush/coastal rangeland/prairie burning, understory fuels reduction, etc. With this cost relieved, we can start thinking about planning more projects and bigger projects! Yesterday, a 300-acre burn would have cost $1,250 (permit) + $65 (smoke management plan). As of today, those costs will be $0.”

The district's proposal also recommended excluding federal agencies and timber companies from the subsidy program, but Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse asserted that any entity doing work that benefits the public should have equal access to the subsidy. In response, the Board voted to expand the program to include federal agencies and timber companies.

“Based on what air district staff said at the meeting, it sounded like this would save landowners about $14,000 to $18,000 per year in fees district-wide. I think it'll be even more than that in the coming years, with all the interest we have in prescribed fire,” Quinn-Davidson said.

“We're still working with the district to think about longer term solutions to their fee structure, but in the meantime, this is a fabulous step in the right direction!” Quinn-Davidson said.

 

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2019 at 3:01 PM
 
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