Office of the Chancellor

Mission Statement, Goals & Activities

CACS Goals & Activities


The Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Staff (CACS) mission is to provide advice and feedback to senior leadership on upcoming initiatives related to staff, and to share any staff concerns and interests with senior leadership.  The primary objective is to help increase staff engagement and productivity, and to mitigate current and/or potential challenges affecting staff.

Members are selected carefully to bring the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to contribute to the effectiveness of this advisory group.  Upon appointment to CACS, Committee members are expected to make every attempt to attend all meetings during their two year appointment, which generally tak place at least once quarterly, sometimes more frequently, during the lunch hour.


  • To provide feedback and recommendations to senior leadership regarding campus initiatives impacting staff.
  • To ensure high levels of staff engagement by conveying priority issues from staff such as concerns about effective supervision, wellness and career development options.

Ongoing Efforts

  • Increasing staff awareness of CACS
  • Advocating for staff and staff programs
  • Promoting opportunities for staff career and professional development
  • Networking and collaborating with campus affinity groups in support of campus diversity efforts
  • Collaborating with the UC Irvine Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture & Inclusion
  • Encouraging contributions to the UCI Staff Relief Fund, initiated by CACS.

Town Halls and Outreach

  • Staff Appreciation Picnic, Aug. 25, 2016. CACS sponsored an "Ask the Chancellor" activity, prompting event attendees to share their thoughts on items of interest to staff. CACS is presently processing the dozens of questions posed, and plans to share the outcomes.
  • Staff Engagement Town Hall, Jan. 27, 2016. As a follow-up to the July 2013 event, CACS partnered with CUCSA, UCI Staff Assembly and HR to present data from the 2015 Staff Engagement Survey, including comparisons to the earlier survey results. Staff also were encouraged to share ideas during breakout sessions.
  • Town Hall Dialogue About Civility Issues for Staff, April 30, 2014. CACS initiated this interactive session to learn more about staff relationships with peers, supervisors, faculty and others, and how these relationships impact the workplace and our individual and organizational effectiveness.
  • Meet and Greet at the University Club. On Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, CACS hosted an informal opportunity for staff and CACS members to engage in conversation and exchange valuable perspectives on issues concerning staff.
  • Staff Engagement Town Hall, July 25, 2013. CACS teamed with the Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) to present this interactive session which included guest speakers Ken Feer, CUCSA Chair, and Joe Epperson, Executive Director of Systemwide HR Employee Relations. Staff had the opportunity to learn about how CUCSA, UCI Staff Assembly and CACS advocate for staff interests, identify key components of staff engagement and hear about UCI engagement survey results, share suggestions on how to increase staff engagement at UCI and learn how to get involved.
  • Staff Voter Registration. CACS sponsored a table at the Aug. 30, 2012, Staff Appreciation Picnic in Aldrich Park.
  • Town Hall Dialogue on Staff Diversity held Aug. 15, 2012. At this recent town hall, Chancellor Drake answered questions and shared his perspectives on the importance of diversity at UCI.
  • Town Hall Dialogue on Staff Engagement, May 2012. At this town hall, CACS shared aggregate results from the February 2011 town hall as well as preliminary findings from the fall 2011 Staff Engagement Survey and facilitated a dialogue on steps the university and individual employees can take to increase staff engagement at UCI.
  • Town Hall Dialogue on Staff Engagement, February 2011. CACS was interested in hearing how UCI staff members feel about their work experiences, their level of institutional commitment, and how UCI can move forward to becoming the most desirable employer in the region. Feedback received at the Town Hall contributed to the development of the employee engagement survey.
  • UC Advocacy Write-in, May 2011. CACS and UCI Staff Assembly co-sponsored this event presented by UCI Community & Government Relations in response to a proposed (and enacted) state budget that called for a $500 million cut in university support for 2011-2012 – a cut that has significantly affected UC's academic, research and public service mission. Advocacy information and write-in materials were provided, and attendees had the opportunity to write a personal letter to be hand-delivered to State Senator Tom Harman. The event netted more than 200 letters and postcards.
  • Staff Diversity Town Hall Dialogue Series, 2009-2010. The objectives of the series were to underscore the university's commitment to an inclusive culture, solicit input, and build a diversity community. Part I: Explore Efforts focused on the state of diversity at UC Irvine and solicited input from attendees. Part II: Build Communitycreated an opportunity and was perhaps one of the first time that many of the staff diversity-related affinity groups gathered together in one setting. As a result of the dialogue, some of the affinity groups have been revived. AtPart III: Advance Diversity, attended by more than 100 people, Chancellor Drake spoke about constructive efforts and programs that advance diversity. The town hall series culminated in a CACS recommendation to create a campus-wide diversity committee, which dovetailed with UC President Yudof's request that each UC campus form a Campus Climate Council; following which Chancellor Drake formed the UC Irvine Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture & Inclusion. Several CACS members serve or have served on the Council, including Dean Vicki Ruiz (former CACS Faculty Co-Chair) and Nikishna Polequaptewa (former CACS Diversity Subcommittee Chair).
  • Diversity Neighborhood Meeting, May 2007. CACS was interested in hearing from staff about their experiences with and perceptions of diversity at UCI, the ways diversity and equal opportunity efforts are supported, and how CACS could help improve these efforts. Input received indicated that staff is looking for communication, training and a consistent definition of diversity. An interesting byproduct of the meeting was the realization that many staff were unaware of the programs on campus and throughout UC that promote diversity. Subsequent to the neighborhood meeting, many developments have been made in the areas of diversity including the establishment of a Regents Diversity Workgroup and the UCI launch of a diversity resources web page. To support these efforts, CACS formed the Diversity Subcommittee whose charge it is to continue the dialogue with staff and ensure issues of diversity are brought to the attention of the administration.
  • CACS Activities, 2005-2006. The work of the CACS subcommittees resulted in a new CACS website, with links to several campus resources; a proposal for a Leadership Academy to address the projected need for MSOs and assistant deans in the near future; two focus group meetings in the fall, one of which addressed misperceptions on advancement, the other, faculty-staff relations; a Career Development Forum in the fall; and two Neighborhood Meetings in the spring. These efforts were largely tied to the committee's concern to find specific ways to address those recurrent issues that had surfaced over the past years since CACS was first formed.
  • CACS Town Hall Meetings, 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. CACS teamed with UCI Staff Assembly to hold neighborhood meetings with staff who had less than 5 years, 5-15 years, and more than 15 years of service. CACS was interested in hearing about what influenced these groups of staff to seek employment at UCI, what elements of their work encouraged them to stay and build their careers at UCI, and what UCI does well and can improve.
  • CACS Town Hall Meetings, 2002-2003. The first series of town hall meetings held throughout the campus – i.e., in Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering, Humanities, Arts, University Extension, Social Ecology, Administration, Student Services, Facilities Management, Housing (one with a Spanish language translator), and the School of Medicine – solicited input from staff regarding workplace conditions and to identify key issues that affect staff performance and morale, and assisted CACS in developing its future initiatives and activities.

Staff Initiatives and Career/Professional Development

  • Staff Engagement Survey, Spring 2015. A follow-up to the 2013 survey, results were shared with the campus through a town hall in January 2016.
  • The Staff Career Testimonial Project – a series of video interviews launched in 2015 – highlights individual career stories and the diversity of our workforce.
  • Staff Engagement Survey, Fall 2013. To assess the work environment and level of engagement of UC Irvine staff, CACS initiated a Staff Engagement Survey in September 2011. Initial results were shared with the campus through a town hall in May 2012. A summary, including recommended action items, wasa posted to the CACS website in June 2013.
  • The Strategic Summit on People Development, February 2008. CACS provided support to this Human Resources initiative to create a strategic plan for professional and career development for staff on campus. More than 160 people from across the UCI campus and medical center convened to discuss the future of professional and career development.
  • Alignment with Systemwide Staff Initiatives. In spring 2008, UC President Dynes established the Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (Staff & Faculty) to address staff recruitment, retention, and promotion systemwide. UC Irvine appointed two representatives who participated in planning meetings. CACS agreed to serve as a coordinating point for communication between the campus and the advisory committee. The initiative was an excellent vehicle to raise awareness about gender equity as it relates to staff women. The coordinating campus role of CACS also extended to the UC Staff Diversity Council, which completed the first annual report on staff diversity in spring 2008.
  • Family-Friendly Accommodation Policies. During 2007-2008, CACS acted on input received from a staff member concerned about family accommodation policies related to staff who adopt, which did not allow for paid time off using accumulated sick leave. CACS recommended that Human Resources investigate how other UC campuses address family accommodation for staff adopting children. New policy accommodates these parents.
  • "Living Our Values Award." During 2006-2007, CACS engaged in neighborhood meetings on campus and at the medical center to focus on increasing awareness of UCI's values of respect, intellectual curiosity, integrity, commitment, empathy, appreciation and fun. Following the neighborhood meetings, CACS met with the chancellor to share the feedback received; that conversation led to the creation of the "Living Our Values" award.
  • Career Development Programs, 2006-2007. CACS partnered with Human Resources and Staff Assembly during 2006-2007 to provide career development programs to staff at all levels. These included the "My Career at UCI" site created by Human Resources which provides tools, resources and planning guides to help staff navigate their careers at UCI; the "Styles of Leadership" seminar attended by more than 250 managers and supervisors which provided an interactive opportunity for them to self-identify their preferred style of communication; and the "Make Your Mark: Personal Branding Workshop" for all staff which provided an interactive opportunity to help individuals identify a personal brand and how they can tap into their unique strengths to improve and advance their careers at UCI.
  • Staff Appreciation, 2003-2004. At the request of the chancellor and the executive vice chancellor/provost, CACS brainstormed ideas to reward staff in a year in which no regular merit or cost of living raises were received. CACS recommended providing two extra paid days off for staff during the winter administrative break when they otherwise would have to use accumulated vacation leave or take time off without pay. This was seen as a benefit that would show appreciation for staff and not negatively impact the budget during difficult financial times. The recommendation was accepted and implemented.
  • UCI Brief 2002-2003. An early charge was to develop a more focused and easily comprehended communications effort to keep staff informed of activities related to budget and planning, as well as to promote a bigger picture of what the university is all about. Specifically, to help staff manage increasing amounts of information, the new internal communications publication uci.brief was rolled out in January 2003.