Message from Vice Chancellor Michael Reese Regarding Human Resources

May 13, 2014


I am writing to inform you that Joanne Dunlap, who has served since December 2011 as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, has decided to step down on May 30.

Joanne’s words, expressed yesterday to her staff, say it best:

“My life has been like an incredible novel…each chapter filled with excitement, surprises, challenges and lots of very special events and people.  It is now time for me to open a new chapter. I will be retiring from UC on May 30 and will be embarking on some new challenges and a possible move to Oregon. John and I are very excited to have more time to plan this adventure together. Although I am not ready to fully retire from the workplace, slowing down a bit sounds very enticing. The HR reorganization and upcoming project development are very exciting, and I can’t wait to hear the success stories that will unfold.”

Joanne’s contributions to UC Merced will be long lasting. She brought to the campus more than 30 years of experience in human resources in both the public and private sectors and much-needed stability to a unit that had experienced a number of leadership changes.

During her tenure, Joanne strengthened programs and implemented new ones, all while supporting and developing what is emerging as a strong HR staff. She did so during very difficult times: she inherited responsibility for implementation of Career Tracks and led HR during many years of flat compensation. Yet she has been the model of grace and optimism. She can be very proud of all that she has accomplished.

I will launch an immediate nationwide search for a successor who will lead several critical initiatives, including implementation of a new business model organizational structure, a new compensation strategy for the Merced campus, a more robust performance management process, and new processes and applications to improve the way we conduct HR administration.

In the meantime, I will serve the chief HR function, with support from Business and Administrative Service’s Sonia Johnston, director of administration, and the extraordinarily strong and enthusiastic HR team that we now have in place – joined just this week by Marcia Patino, our new director of compensation.

Please join me in wishing Joanne and her husband John the very best in this time of new and exciting challenges.

Best regards,


Michael Reese
Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services