Re: Measures for Campus Sustainability
To: All students, faculty and staff
June 8, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
As a followup to last week’s message from Interim Chancellor Nathan Brostrom regarding the fiscal challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like to share some of the measures we are taking to mitigate the risks to our institution and our community. These measures are motivated by our concern for the University of California and the UC Merced community to ensure we are able to sustain our core missions of teaching, research and public service.
Faculty, staff and student employees have gone to extraordinary lengths during the pandemic to meet our mission and you have the institution’s deepest gratitude. Unfortunately, the University of California has realized losses approaching $2 billion since the start of the pandemic. The system will suffer further losses in the next several years, and UC Merced alone expects to see revenue losses and increased costs that could reach as high as $160 million over five years.
In an effort to preserve a sustainable financial footing for the future we are taking the following measures for staff positions, effective immediately:
· We will pause all in-process and new salary-related actions (including salary adjustments pursuant to reclassifications, equity requests and stipends) through June 30, 2021.
· We will pause all existing stipends, starting July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.
· We will place a six-month hold on all new and backfill hires, including limited and contract hires.
· We will halt all recruitments, if no offer has been extended, even if some or all the candidates have been interviewed.
· We will extend for two months all existing limited and contract positions that are up for renewal on or before July 1, 2020. Review by the chancellor and provost has already begun for contracts subject to renewal after July 1, and decisions will be communicated before those renewal dates.
For all these actions (other than the salary freeze mandated by the UC Office of the President), we have developed a process to request a waiver, based on justification of the position’s criticality. Waiver requests will be reviewed by the chancellor and provost. Please see the Q&A section for the waiver criteria.
The Academic Personnel Office will issue guidance shortly covering academic appointees.
We know these measures will generate many questions and we have created a Q&A page to try to provide you with answers. We are committed to providing you support through these trying times and will be updating this page on a regular basis. Any further questions about these measures can be submitted to HR@ucmerced.edu.
These are dramatic measures and the impact on our campus community during this already stressful period will be significant. But we will get through this financial crisis, together. Please remember that there are confidential resources available to you if you need to talk with someone, including the Ombuds Office , our Employee Assistance Program and behavioral telehealth programs through your individual insurance coverage.
UC Merced was born during and worked its way through the Great Recession. We will persist, emerging from this current budget crisis united and #BobcatStrong.
Michael Riley, CPA
Interim Chief Financial Officer