Office of the Chancellor

2013-14 Annual Report

Section 1

2013-14 Annual Report

July 11, 2014
TO: Interim Chancellor Howard Gillman

  • Ken Janda, Dean, School of Physical Sciences, CACS Faculty Co-Chair, February 2014 – present
  • Natalie Schonfeld, Director, Student Transition Services; CACSS Staff Co-Chair, August 2012 – present

University of California, Irvine staff are an integral part of our operation and make vital contributions to the success of our university. They ensure that our campus runs efficiently, and provide invaluable support to our educational and research missions. In order to preserve and strengthen these contributions, UC Irvine established in 2001 the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Staff, which has been renamed the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Staff (CACS).

CACS is charged with advocating for staff by facilitating communication between staff and the chancellor, with the larger goal of promoting career development, mitigating problems and creating a positive work environment. Members are selected carefully so that they bring the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to the effectiveness of this active working group. CACS co-chairs coordinate regular communications with the chancellor, including providing the chancellor with an annual written report responsive to the committee’s charge.

Upon appointment to CACS, committee members select and become active in one of the CACS work groups. Examples include the Diversity work group, the Employee Development work group, and the Outreach & Communication work group. Committee members are expected to make every attempt to attend all meetings, and to limit their absences to no more than three meetings each year.

I. Membership and Structure

Members of CACS are appointed by the chancellor and, upon appointment, are expected to become active in at least one of the CACS work groups through which CACS’ work is accomplished.

The following work groups and membership have directed the work of CACS:

  • Diversity: Sharon Block (chair), Gwen Kuhns Black, Gerson Gomez, John Daly, John Mouledoux and Steven Johnson.
  • Employee Development: Jennifer Aaron (co-chair), Francine Jeffrey (co-chair), John Mouledoux, Gerson Gomez, Greg Rothberg, former CACS members Janai Hendra, Stephanie-Jean Hinojosa and Nancy Chen Lane, and non-CACSS members Johnathen Bodenschatz, Desiree Fleming, Jennifer Gamble, Dyan Hall, Bob Kumamoto and Chuck Villanueva.
  • Outreach & Communication: Eric Esajian (chair), Desiree von Haag (co-chair), David DaCosta, Ashley Vikander and John Mouledoux.

II. Activities and Accomplishments

The following is a summary of the activities sponsored by CACS since the last annual report was submitted in July 2013:

  • In summer 2013, in conjunction with Staff Assembly, CACS organized a town hall to discuss staff engagement issues and share common themes that emerged from the UC-wide Engagement and UCI Engagement surveys.
  • We changed our committee name from CACSS (Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Staff) to CACS (Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Staff) and modified our mission in order to more effectively capture our role as communication facilitators between staff and the Chancellor’s Office.
  • Having secured funding from the Chancellor’s Office, the Employee Development work group successfully launched the Career Testimonial Project, selecting and screening eight staff members to be videotaped starting in late July 2014. The work group also has supported efforts to launch a centralized training website, proposed a professional development commitment statement for the campus, and made a request for additional funds to support and expand staff professional development opportunities via the continuation of the SkillsSoft program and the launching of a pilot online mentoring program.
  • The Outreach & Communication work group has led our CACS branding efforts, maintained the CACS website, continued to provide a venue for staff to provide input via quarterly questions, provided information in response to the feedback received through quarterly questions, and organized a CACS Meet & Greet event in fall 2013 as a means to communicate to the campus about the work of the committee.
  • In collaboration with Staff Assembly, CACS was invited to make a brief presentation about staff to the Committee to Advise the President on the Selection of the Chancellor of UC Irvine to offer perspectives regarding the opportunities and challenges that the new chancellor will face.
  • The Staff Relief Fund was officially launched in spring 2014. Under the leadership of Human Resources staff and in consultation with CACS, the Staff Relief Fund has a website and has begun collecting funds to support the program. We anticipate the fund will begin providing assistance to staff in need during the 2014-15 fiscal year.
  • In spring 2014, after numerous conversations in our monthly CACS meetings about civility, we distributed a survey to campus staff on issues of civility and organized a town hall to discuss civility issues. Related, we requested that the Principles of Community statement be moved to a more prominent location on the UCI website, and a link now is included under UCI’s About Us section. We met with the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture & Inclusion to share the findings from our survey and town hall meeting and to explore opportunities for collaboration.
  • We added two new ex-officio members to our committee: Ryan Hoadwonic from the Office of Institutional Research and Susi Takeuchi from UC Irvine Medical Center. The addition of these two members has been invaluable. They have provided us with important information about our campus and have helped challenge us to think about the needs of UCI staff across our two locations (one in Irvine and one in Orange).

The monthly CACS meetings are an opportunity for the membership to share staff-related concerns, present ideas for improving the status and welfare of staff, and engage with others from across campus. Many of the activities and accomplishments listed above are the result of our monthly discussions and reflect our commitment to advocating for staff and enhancing the experiences of UCI staff.

III. Goals and Recommendations for Future Work

As we look to the future of CACS, we will continue to work to facilitate increased communication – in person, via town halls, and through technology – between staff and the chancellor. We are confident these efforts will serve to positively impact staff engagement. Our goals for the upcoming year are as follows:

  • Continue to communicate to the campus the role of CACS – to understand and expose staff issues (strengths and areas of concerns), bring those to the attention of the chancellor, and make recommendations for how those might be enhanced (if positive), addressed (if negative) through our website, tabling at campus events, and town halls.
  • Determine objectives for staff diversity and how the Diversity work group might help to support their achievement, disseminate statistics on staff diversity at UCI via the CACS website, and identify areas in need of better representation of underrepresented groups and recommendations for enhancing campus inclusiveness.
  • Organize future town halls to continue discussions about civility issues.
  • Develop a “staff scorecard” to share with the new chancellor. This scorecard will detail who staff are, what are key areas of pride, key areas of concern, and recommendations for initiatives that support our strength and address those areas in need of attention.
  • Continue to support and promote the Staff Relief Fund – we hope to encourage the campus community to contribute to the fund in order to assist those in need.
  • Invite campus leadership to share information at CACS meetings to help set the direction for the work of CACS and keep our membership informed about current issues and resources.

Ultimately, the success of CACS depends on the active involvement of its members, the engagement of the chancellor, and the responsiveness of UCI staff when invited to participate in a host of activities sponsored by CACS.

We thank you for reviewing this report and look forward to discussing it with you.