UCI Administrative & Business Services

Dear A&BS Colleagues,

Ron CortezLast month, the 2017 California Higher Education Collaborative (CHEC) conference was hosted at UCI. I was pleased to see representation from A&BS at this important conference. I also had the privilege of delivering welcoming remarks to conference attendees and spoke about the need to come together to explore what author Jim Collins characterized as "undaunted curiosity." In his book Good to Great, a #1 bestseller which studies why some companies and leaders make the leap to superior results, Jim Collins states, "There is nothing I find more exciting than picking a question that I don't know the answer to and embarking on a quest for answers." Together, let's leverage our curiosity to discover and develop new approaches to delivering quality services.

We must also examine our delivery of customer service. How we improve customer service, in an environment where our clients are often confined to only using A&BS resources, is an interesting challenge. Improving customer service is about breaking down administrative barriers, which in turn allows our students, faculty, and staff to focus on what they are here to do. Elevating the level of service and breaking down barriers makes us more efficient, challenges the status quo, and produces improved outcomes all around.

As we make these customer service improvements, there is an opportunity to learn from one another. I would like to hear your success stories, as these stories of positive interactions and improved processes benefit us all. Please submit your stories to ABSWithUForU@uci.edu by Friday, January 5, 2018 to be showcased at our next town hall meeting. All submissions will be entered into drawing to win a $75 Amazon gift card.

Thank you for all of your hard work, and as always, feel free to share your comments and suggestions by sending an email to ABSWithUForU@uci.edu. I wish you all a Thanksgiving filled with happiness and joy.

With appreciation,

Ronald S. Cortez, JD, MA
Vice Chancellor
Administrative & Business Services

November 2017
Volume 1, Issue 3

In This Issue

A&BS and UCI Events Calendar



A&BS Support Services

Effective Wednesday, November 1, an A&BS Support Services model went in effect to help streamline and simplify human resources, finance, and business services within our division. Not only does this help address our $4.8 MM structural deficit, but it allows us to strengthen, consolidate, and provide consistent services to A&BS employees.

Please click here to review the Administrative Support Services organizational chart. The following is a brief summary of each area:

  • Human Resources: This team will focus on implementing strategic Human Resource (HR) initiatives, interpreting and applying HR policies and practices, delivering consistent and complete onboarding and off-boarding procedures, and serving as an HR central contact point for topics related to employee and labor relations, talent acquisition, compensation and classification, benefits, etc.
  • Finance/Budget: This team will improve the accuracy of budget development and forecasting processes, automate several budget and monitoring processes to reduce manual work, and identify best practices for service deliverables to maximize budget efficiency while maintaining quality service delivery.
  • Business Services: This team will partner closely with A&BS Human Resources and Finance/Budget as well as manage the staffing list/position management within our division to ensure that all positions have permanent funding. In preparation for UCPath, this team will also look at streamlining payroll services.

Please direct questions to David Ott (ottd@uci.edu; 949.824.4280).

A&BS Network for Change and Continuous Innovation (NCCI) Membership

A&BS Support Services

"NCCI's vision is to function as a catalyst for higher education institutions to work collaboratively across institutions to employ effective methods to advance academic and administrative excellence."

An enterprise subscription has been purchased for all of UCI to benefit from. As our division continues to focus on driving change and innovation, this membership is timely and provides you with additional resources to achieve our goal. Take a few minutes to sign up and create profile and familiarize yourself with available tools and resources. Be sure to check out Power 60s Professional Development Sessions which are a series of hour-long webinar discussions led by higher education thought leaders.

Please contact Shaina Sims (simss@uci.edu; 949.824.3726) with any questions in creating a profile or accessing membership benefits.


Safety Spotlight

Decorating for the holidays in the workplace or at home? Keep it festive while decorating and cooking - with safety in mind. Please take a few minutes to read about holiday safety and holiday cooking.

In addition to safety, UCI has a strong commitment to equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusiveness. Please review the recommended guidelines for inclusive celebrations to assist departments and administrators from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.


Clash of the Cans

Clash of the Cans

Did you know that 45% of students at UCI suffer from food insecurity? Help combat hunger at UCI by donating non-perishable goods during Transportation & Distribution Services' eighth annual Clash of the Cans food drive. All goods collected through December 22 will benefit UCI's FRESH Basic Needs Hub, a student-initiated project to ensure UCI students' essential needs are met.

Want to do more? UCI Transportation is a proud partner of National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, where staff, faculty, and students come together to prepare food and participate in various outreach events. If you would prefer to give a monetary donation, please contribute on the Zot Out Hunger webpage. All donations are tax-deductible and can be completed in minutes using any major credit card.

For a detailed list of most needed items, a map of the drop-off locations, and much more, please visit the Clash of Cans website. Let's show our Anteater pride and help out students in the fight against hunger.

Toy Drive

Toy Drive

Donate new, unwrapped toys and teddy bears to help comfort children receiving care at UC Irvine Health and other Orange County children's organizations. Donations will be provided to children 14 years and younger.

Toys and teddy bears will be collected through Monday, December 11, at the following locations:

  • UCI Police Department
  • University Hills Community Center

Local children's organizations and hospitals are always in need of additional toys and teddy bears. The need is especially critical for children who have to be away from their homes and families during the holidays. Your donation will be greatly appreciated.

Last year's event was a huge success as the UCI community donated hundreds of toys and stuffed animals that were distributed just in time for the holidays.

For additional information or questions, please contact Cedric Young at ckyoung@uci.edu.

Partner with Procurement Services and Save Money

As part of a systemwide initiative, procurement divisions track, validate, and report benefits (i.e. savings) any time a purchase is made or a sourcing event is completed that results in a cost reduction, cost avoidance, incentive, or revenue. Procurement Services' (PS) mission is to expand opportunities for teaching, research and public service by delivering savings and efficient procurement services. In fiscal year 16/17, UCI Procurement Services collaborated with UC Office of the President Strategic Sourcing and over 38 UCI departments to deliver $14.1 MM in benefits. The chart below provides a breakdown of the benefits by type.

UCI Benefits

Interested in partnering with PS to achieve benefits for your department? Learn about services by viewing the following link: procurement.uci.edu or contact procurement@uci.edu. Click here for more information on UC benefits reporting.



For the 5th consecutive year, the Environmental & Health Safety and Risk Services team was recently presented with the Life Safety Achievement Award for its fire prevention accomplishments in 2016 by the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) Fire Research and Education Foundation. The award was announced by H. Hutch Browning, President of the NASFM Fire Research and Education Foundation.

This year's efforts were recognized for contributions of dynamic fire safety education including hands-on fire extinguishing training, and innovative preventive maintenance initiatives.

Our team provided Fire Extinguisher Training for 836 students, staff, and faculty, and provided testing, maintenance, and repair services for 356 buildings in 2016-17.


maintain don't gainThe average American gains 1-5 pounds over the holiday season and over time, the weight can add up. Don't wait for New Year's Resolutions. Give yourself the gift of maintaining your pre-holiday weight. Join your UCI colleagues to take this year's 8-week Maintain Don't Gain Challenge.


Lucio Sanchez PachecoLucio Sanchez Pacheco, Groundskeeper, Facilities Management. I have worked at UCI in my current position for 10 years and I am responsible for maintenance procedures, such as mowing, edging, pruning, hedging, raking, sweeping and weeding.

?Cuales son las tres palabras que describen su departamento? (What are 3 words to describe your department?) Vision, Seguridad, Unidad (Vision, Security, Unity).

?Que es lo que mas te gusta de UCI/departamento? (What do you like most about UCI/department?) Me gusta el campus su estructura (I like the campus structure).

?Que consejo le darias a un nuevo empleado? (What piece of advice would you give to a new employee?) Que trabaje con seguridad que disfrute y se esfuerze por aprender (To work safely, enjoy, endeavor to learn).

?Lugar de viaje favorito? (Favorite travel spot?) Yosemite.

?Si tuvieras que escribir un libro sobre ti, ?como lo llamarias? (If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?) La vida de Lucio Sanchez Pacheco en UCI (The life of Lucio Sanchez Pacheco at UCI).

?Cual es la cosa mas extrana que has comido? (What is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?) Chapulines de Oaxaca, Mex., Chitanas {hormigas} (Grasshopper from Oaxaca, Mex., Ants).

Laura Maiy LesherLaura Maiy Lesher, Senior Support & Training Analyst, Accounting & Fiscal Services. I started working at UCI 10 years ago, and have been in my current position for 4.5 years. As the Primary Central Time Administrator (CTA) for the Time Reporting System (TRS), I provide support, troubleshoot, and create/maintain instructional materials for our many campus TRS users.

What is one accomplishment at work that you are most proud? Why? Back in 2010, when I was an AA3 in the History Department, I organized and captained the School of Humanities' inaugural Staff Volleyball team (Humanities Hustlers) in CampusRec's 2010 Summer Staff Volleyball League. Initially, it was a bit unnerving heading up a workplace sports team comprised of several far more experienced colleagues - including my own manager at the time and two other department managers in Humanities. Over time, however, I came to enjoy leading our Humanities volleyball team, and as I gained confidence in my leadership ability. I chose to focus on fostering camaraderie, inclusivity, and positivity amongst my colleagues/teammates both on and off the volleyball court.

A few months after I joined Accounting & Fiscal Services in March 2013, I was asked to step in as captain of Accounting's recently resurrected staff volleyball team (Net Assets). Although I've missed playing with my original team in Humanities, as the Net Assets' team captain, I've continued to make fostering camaraderie, inclusivity, and positivity my main focal points while leading our myriad Accounting & Internal Audit Department colleagues.

And, after partaking in nine of the last ten years of CampusRec's annual Summer Staff Volleyball League, I've come to realize that our little staff volleyball teams can actually be pretty effective vehicles for promoting employee morale among fellow UCI Staff both on and off the volleyball court. Additionally, being a Staff Volleyball team captain has taught me to communicate more effectively and lead others more confidently. Keeping my colleagues safe and engaged on the volleyball court each year requires me to constantly identify and adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of our team's considerably diverse personalities, sensitivities, and athletic abilities - all while keeping camaraderie, inclusivity, and positivity at the forefront of my mind.

What do you like most about UCI? I love our Anteater community and I especially treasure my many friends and colleagues here at UCI. Not only have I learned and grown tremendously as a member of our staff, but my experiences in the last 10 years here have helped me become a better friend, wife, mother, daughter—and really, just a better person overall.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you? Maggie Q or Margaret Cho - I guess it can be action-comedy? - LOL

Motto or Personal Mantra: "A true friend unbosoms* freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably." - William Penn (1644-1718). *Note: According to Merriam-Webster, the word unbosom means "to disclose the thoughts or feelings of (oneself)" - because I, too, Googled "unbosom" when I first read it, LOL ^_^

Terri WarrenTerri Warren, Manager, Administrative Opertions & Programs, Environmental Health & Safety and Risk Services. I've been with UCI for 11 years and I manage the administrative operations and functions of EH&S and Risk Services including oversight of our building security functions, maintenance, repairs and renovations. I help resolve operational issues and streamline administrative processes as well as oversee and coordinate the emergency response and support efforts to the campus in the event of incidents and emergencies.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most? The people. I love the opportunity to make a connection with my colleagues and campus customers. Being able to help solve problems or simply listen to someone gives me gratitude. Knowing that I can make a small difference in someone's day, motivates me further.

What piece of advice would you give to a new employee? Be open minded, communicate regularly, be responsible and accountable and enjoy your learning experience.

After a long day at work, what do you look forward to the most? I love driving home to my teenage daughter. She is the joy of my life and I love hearing about her perspective of high school life on a day to day basis; it is very entertaining and insightful.

Favorite travel spot? My favorite travel spot and home for almost two years was Paignton, England. Paignton is a seaside town on the coast of Tor Bay in Devon, England. Loved the walks by the coast and eating the delicious fish and chips.

People would be surprised if they knew: When I was 9 years old, I traveled alone from the Middle East to Europe. It was both an adventure and a great learning experience that will never be forgotten.

Motto or Personal Mantra: Acknowledgement of people and their work goes a long way and puts a smile on their face.

Administrative & Business Services
Office of the Vice Chancellor
559 Aldrich Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-1025
(949) 824-5109