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Chancellor Provides Update on Staff Hiring Plan

July 13, 2017

A Message From Chancellor Dorothy Leland

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to provide you with good news on the latest milestone for UC Merced’s workforce planning process.

As the campus continues to grow, I know that adding new staff and new physical space to support our talented students and dedicated faculty is of critical importance to fulfilling our teaching, research and public service mission.

While the ongoing 2020 campus expansion project addresses our space needs to the extent possible, the purpose of the workforce planning effort has been to thoughtfully determine how to meet our staffing needs to help us achieve the vision of the campus.

Over the past 24 months, campus leadership, staff and faculty have contributed and provided input on what the UC Merced of the future needs to look like. With that stage concluded, I feel we now have the foundation to begin implementing a strategic multi-year staff hiring plan — and one that is consistent with the resources we estimate will be available.

This intentional, deliberate approach was designed to help us mature — within our means — and to move forward in realizing our mission and vision.

Background: Working groups worked to develop recommendations

As you may recall from past communications from me, three cross-divisional working groups — focused on (1) Research Excellence and Academic Distinction; (2) Student Success; and (3) Organizational Efficiencies and Sustainability — were tasked last winter with developing recommendations for new staff hiring priorities aligned to our campus vision. The working groups consisted of members of the extended cabinet as well as representatives appointed by Staff Assembly and the UC Merced Division Council of the Academic Senate.

During the Spring 2016 semester, the working groups used multiple avenues for receiving feedback on their preliminary considerations, including a campuswide webcast, which garnered valuable insight and feedback that the groups considered in their final deliberations.

Final recommendations developed

In June 2017, the working groups submitted their final recommendations to me for consideration. I first want to commend the work of each of these groups. They faced the hard task of making decisions related to many important and compelling staffing needs so that we could create a staff hiring plan that balances our real budgetary limitations and with the academic, teaching and operational aspirations of our young campus. And to do so, they had to look beyond the interests of their own units and negotiate difficult trade-offs in order to consider broader institutional needs.

Outcome: Up to 44 new FTE positions and six recommended process improvements

The workgroup recommendations were divided into two parts, which may be downloaded at the links below:

  • New staff hiring recommendations to add up to 44 new full-time equivalent (FTE) positions within ten areas over the next two years, and
  • A set of six recommendations for workforce restructuring and process improvement that should be studied and possibly implemented over the next few years.

I have accepted the recommendations and firmly believe that this hiring plan will achieve adequate staffing in critical functions while achieving the efficiencies necessary for the campus over time.

I hope you will take the time to read the recommendations. School and administrative divisional meetings will be held next month to provide more details about this initiative, address any concerns and answer questions you may have.

I want to thank those of you who have already contributed to this effort so far. There is still important work to be done, and if you would like to share ideas or comments, please email me at


Dorothy Leland