Strategic Plan and Reviews
- Enabling the Future
- Key Campus Challenges/Opportunities
- Themes of the Division Strategic Plan
- Division of Administration Assessment FY 2010-11
- ECEC SACA Report 2012
- Administrative Goals & Objectives FY 2011-14
- Administrative Goals & Objectives FY 2012-15
The University of California, Merced is still in its infancy, this year graduating its first four-year students, its pioneer undergraduate class. As the campus continues to evolve, we are also striving to evolve its administrative processes and administrative support into state-of-the-art services that will assist and enable the Merced campus to reach its potential as an outstanding member of the University of California System. UC Merced is the first major research university of the 21st century, and as such endeavors to learn from the lessons of the past and to operate using creative ideas, available technology and progressive techniques, worthy of the courageous students, faculty and staff who had the vision and the diligence to make the campus a reality. It is now incumbent upon all of us to sustain the momentum through the next phases of growth and maturation. The staff of the Division of Administration includes many of the pioneers that were the early participants in the development of the campus. All of the staff portray that same pioneer spirit, with the courage and dedication to do what it takes to ensure that UC Merced thrives.
The Division of Administration's role is to support the teaching, research and service mission of the University of California, Merced, by providing leadership and service in human resources, financial management, resource acquisition and budgeting, sustainable capital development, management of facilities, and safety and security of people and property. The culture of the Division of Administration is one of service to the campus. Our essence is partnership — with faculty, staff, students and the community to create a vibrant, sustainable, and safe environment for living, learning and working. The division provides support, services and resource stewardship in a safe, attractive and sustainable environment.
Our vision for the Division of Administration is that we will be recognized as a valuable resource to our constituents, providing outstanding hassle-free service. In addition, we will:
- Model efficient and effective operations and sound financial management
- Facilitate the campus to provide an innovative and professional work environment for employees to advance and grow
- Maintain the highest standards of accountability and ethics
- Continuously evaluate and improve our performance.
The following principles will guide our plans and our actions:
The division's priorities will be aligned with the campus' strategic academic vision and plan.
We will incorporate environmental, economic and social sustainability throughout our divisional efforts, and exemplify this principle in the development and ongoing operations of the campus.
We will encourage and facilitate an environment that recognizes and increases the value and contributions of every individual.
We will celebrate and build on the existing diversity of the campus, and work to expand this diversity to under-represented areas.
Our modus-operandi will be collaboration, both among our departments and with constituents throughout the campus and community.
We will engage ourselves in the regional community to build relationships that are mutually beneficial.
We will seek input and feedback from our constituents to guide us in priority-setting and continuous improvement.
We will have fun as we participate in making this young campus a vibrant and thriving community.
The Division of Administration is comprised of 11 departments:
- Administrative Operations
- Budget Office
- Business and Financial Services
- Capital Planning and Space Management
- Early Childhood Education Center
- Environmental Health and Safety
- Facilities Management
- Human Resources
- Physical Planning Design and Construction
- Police and Public Safety
The Division of Administration is a critical participant in addressing each of these challenges and opportunities.
Achieving enrollment targets is essential for the planned trajectory of the campus. All faculty, staff and existing students are de facto recruiters of new students, both in our personal encounters and through our professional positions. In addition, students are attracted to amenities and ambience of campus. Finally, the division is responsible for many of the processes that engage students prior to enrollment and during their entire tenure here.
Faculty/Staff Recruitment and Retention
Hiring the highest quality faculty and staff is crucial in order to meet all campus goals, from WASC accreditation to research funding to attracting excellent students. From initial recruitment through final separation, the division is integrally involved in supporting all stages.
Expansion of Research Programs
Extramural funding of research is a measure of the quality of a research institution. The Division of Administration must support the pursuit and the implementation of research funding.
Operating Budget Shortfall
The financing model for UC Merced as a new and growing campus is inadequate; coupled with the significant deficit in the state budget, this creates an especially challenging situation for UCM because of the lack of reserves and alternative sources of funds. The division, especially the Vice Chancellor and the Budget Office, are primarily responsible for seeking alternative funding strategies, and for encouraging cost-saving measures by campus constituents.
Capital Funding Shortfall
Likewise, the capital funding for a new and growing campus is constrained by the financial hardships of the State of California, and by the significant capital requests of the established campuses. The Capital Planning and other offices of the division invest significant effort into competing for available capital funding.
An essential requirement for the campus is approval of the LRDP by the Regents, and obtaining a 404 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to enable us to expand beyond the existing 105 acres to the full campus size of 815 acres. The Division, especially the Campus Architect and Director of Environmental Affairs, along with campus administration, has worked diligently for years to develop the LRDP and the EIR/EIS required for the permit. The Regents approved the LRDP in March 2009 and approval of the 404 permit is expected in May 2009.
Adequate space for research labs, for classrooms and for administrative purposes is the most formidable challenge for the campus at this time. We must be successful in acquiring funds for new facilities, most immediately the Social Sciences and Management Building and Science and Engineering 2, and for renovated space at Castle that can serve as surge space for faculty labs.
A unique challenge for UC Merced is that it was sited on land that has very little infrastructure available — sewer, water, power, roads, etc. Every capital project is complicated and more costly by the addition of infrastructure needs and expense. Funding for infrastructure is included in the pursuit of capital funds. As well, the design and timing of projects is further complicated by the precursor requirements associated with infrastructure.
Cumbersome Business Processes and Understaffing
The campus includes a significant collection of key staff from other UC campuses, and the processes and procedures that accompanied them. Consequently, we are still evolving a coherent set of operating procedures that are most appropriate for this campus, and that are progressive, effective and efficient, and take advantage of relevant technology. All efforts, however, are hindered by understaffing in most areas, a condition that will persist for the foreseeable future as resources are limited.
As the Division of Administration developed this plan, we determined that our priorities and major contributions fall into four related themes: people, place, process and stewardship. As such, we agreed to the following major goals within these themes:
- Attract and retain students, faculty and staff whose involvement adds value to the individual and to the university.
- Provide leadership in creating a high quality work and learning environment.
- Provide professional development opportunities for all employees, enhancing performance and creating an environment for lifelong learning.
- Create a culture of inclusion, facilitating diversity in all areas.
- Build a welcoming and engaging campus, investing in the public realm — "first impressions count."
- Achieve even higher sustainable outcomes — "it just keeps getting greener."
- Evolve the capital program, in terms of quality and quantity of facilities, to attract leading scholars and students — "it just keeps getting better."
- Through better practices, such as adaptable spaces, flexible funding, evolving standards, achieve better facilities for less cost — "it just keeps getting cheaper."
- Collaborate to balance operational issues with design issues, life cycle costs with construction costs.
- Align administrative processes and priorities with the academic vision and priorities.
- Make it easier for faculty/staff/students to do their jobs.
- Ensure that campus policies and practices add value.
- Leverage system-wide and other campuses' business and IT processes.
- Acquire sufficient resources to support the academic priorities of the campus and to serve the people of California.
- Ensure prudent and ethical management of all resources.
- Allocate resources in alignment with campus priorities.
- Create a sustainable internal economy, making the most of limited resources.
- Balance acceptable risk with innovation, efficiency and speed.
From these strategic themes, the division has targeted key objectives and strategies to pursue the goals stated above. The measures that will indicate success will include:
- Customer satisfaction
- Adequate controls in place with minimal audit findings
- Efficient use of resources — stretching our resources further
- Acquiring additional resources
- High employee morale
How the Division's Four Initiatives Work Together