Announcements

November 2021

November 18, 2021 Update on UCOP’s planned timeframe and approach for returning on-site

October 2021

October 18, 2021 An update on UCOP work arrangement eligibility, review and selection process

August 2021

August 20, 2021 Follow-up message from EVP/COO Nava about UCOP's January 2022 return to on-site operations
August 18, 2021 UCOP return to on-site operations date extended to January 2022

March 2021

March 24, 2021 UCOP Update – Vaccine Program, Return to On-site Operations Timing, and the Future of Work

 


Update on UCOP’s planned timeframe and approach for returning on-site
November 18, 2021

Dear UCOP colleagues,

In August, we postponed our return to on-site operations to January 2022 and promised to review the return date in mid-November. After discussions with President Drake and UCOP leadership, we have decided to move forward with a modified approach that takes into account the possibility of a winter spike in COVID-19 cases, allows flexibility and an adjustment period in returning to on-site operations, and lowers the density in our buildings. Our updated plan is:

  • We will postpone the planned return scheduled for the first week of January.
  • We will use a “slow build” approach for all locations with move-ins and on-site work starting the week of January 31 and building through April 2022. This helps keep our office population lower during the winter months and allows those who will have an on-site or hybrid work arrangement to work with their managers to gradually adjust to their full required on-site schedule. For example, someone who will work 3+ days on-site could transition (with the approval of their manager) from one day per week on-site early in the process to 3+ days by mid-April 2022.
  • We expect to have our full future operations state – on-site, hybrid and remote – in place by April 30, 2022.

Plans will vary by location based on business needs and circumstances. For instance, Oakland will take the office consolidation work into consideration, with department move-in dates communicated mid-December. Our UCDC location is already operating on-site, and seismic work will affect the plan for our Sacramento office. UCPath’s leadership team is preparing a return to on-site plan in alignment with the phased approach.

The return to on-site plans will also be informed by the final outcome of our Future of Work process. The first steps – position eligibility assessment and employee preference selection – are complete, and HR is conducting a UCOP-wide position eligibility equity review to ensure overall consistency and equity across UCOP. Over the next few weeks, division leaders will approve work arrangements for their divisions, and BASC will complete their work on preliminary space planning.

Employees will be notified in mid-December of their approved work arrangements. Managers and supervisors will work with employees to support them during the transition and provide them notice of at least 30 days to prepare and make arrangements for family care or other personal matters.

We are planning a town hall to share information and answer questions. Details will be forthcoming in Link. If you have questions regarding our return date or our Future of Work efforts, please feel free to talk with your manager or email UCOP-FutureofWork@ucop.edu.

As always, please continue to take care of yourself and stay safe. I wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

Rachael Nava
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

An update on UCOP work arrangement eligibility, review and selection process
October 18, 2021

Dear colleagues,

I hope you’re doing well and enjoying the fall season.

I am writing to update you on our Future of Work (FOW) program, including how the process for determining future work arrangements will work. While the timing of UCOP’s resumption of on-site operations was extended to January 2022, there is much to do to prepare for our return. I know many of you have been eager to know how decisions will be made about work arrangements, and when you’ll be notified. We are aiming to share work arrangement decisions by mid-December so everyone can plan accordingly.

As we announced in July, our FOW plan includes several different potential work arrangements: on-site, hybrid and remote. Determining eligible work arrangement options for each position will balance the needs of our organization, each division/department, and the individual. Employees will work with managers to determine their work arrangements.

Last week, we launched the position eligibility, review and employee preference selection process, which will determine work arrangement options by position, gather employee preferences, and look at equity across UCOP. Below is an overview of this process.

Step 1a – Position eligibility assessment (Timeline: Oct. 15 – Nov. 5)

Managers, chiefs of staff and division leaders will assess positions and identify if each position is eligible for an on-site, hybrid and/or remote work arrangement. These assessments will consider the position’s core functions and tasks, how work is done within the team, division-specific needs, and how an employee’s work location may impact the team and UCOP generally.

Step 1b – Employee work arrangement discussions with managers and employee preference selection (Timeline: Oct. 15 – Nov. 5)

Managers will meet with employees individually to share eligible work arrangement options and capture employees’ preferences from those available for their position. Preferred work arrangements will be shared with division leadership for review and agreement. (Note that work arrangements will not be finalized until after the HR review and executive leadership approval; see Steps 2 and 3.) 

During this discussion, eligible employees who choose a hybrid arrangement will work with their manager to determine a preliminary on-site weekly schedule, including days of the week. These schedules can be adjusted in the future; their purpose is to help the FOW team forecast peak on-site work days and related demands for on-site workspaces and other services.

Materials for Steps 1a and 1b have been provided to division leaders and chiefs of staff, and each division will cascade the materials to leaders, managers and supervisors.

Step 2 – UCOP-wide HR review (Timeline: Nov.)

Once all divisions have submitted their information, UCOP HR will review all position eligibility assessments for overall consistency and equity across UCOP and similar units/roles, taking into account differences in operational needs. HR will discuss any identified differences with the division leaders and chiefs of staff, and division leaders will approve overall work arrangements for their divisions.

Step 3 – Employee work arrangement finalization (Timeline: Est. Mid-Dec.)

Employees will be notified of their approved work arrangements. Once UCOP’s return to on-site operations timing is finalized, employees working in a hybrid or remote capacity will complete telecommuting agreements. Managers and supervisors will work with employees to support them during the transition and allow notice of at least 30 days to prepare and make arrangements for family care or other personal matters.

Resources

Please visit the FOW website for more information about the FOW timeline and work arrangement options, answers to frequently asked questions, remote working courses and other resources. Please bookmark and check the site periodically for updates as we continue the FOW efforts. 

Adjusting to a new way of working while we will continue to meet the needs of the organization, stay connected, and support the well-being and engagement of UCOP staff, will be a learning process for us all. Thank you in advance for your patience, flexibility and partnership. If you have questions, please email UCOP-FutureofWork@ucop.edu.

As always, thank you for your dedication to the university and the people we serve.

Be well, 

Thera Kalmijn
Executive Director, UCOP Operations


Follow-up message from EVP/COO Nava about UCOP's January 2022 return to on-site operations
August 20, 2021

 

Dear UCOP colleagues:

In response to my email earlier this week, we received some questions about why UCOP is able to extend its return to on-site work to January while campuses are preparing to reopen this fall. It’s a logical question.

The answer is that UCOP is a very different organizational environment, with different staffing needs than a campus, and what makes sense for UCOP may not work for a campus, and vice versa.

UCOP is an administrative office that, unlike a campus, does not serve students and patients or have laboratories, and can effectively do much of its work remotely for the time being. In addition, our Oakland and Sacramento offices are undergoing renovation and many staff are occupying, or would need to occupy, temporary space until the renovations are completed later this fall. So it doesn’t make sense to return the majority of UCOP staff to temporary workspaces for the next several months, when most staff can continue to effectively perform their jobs remotely.

For UCOP, we need essential staff on-site for certain functions, and we believe it is fully safe for them (as well as staff who want to voluntarily return) to be there, following the appropriate safety protocols. Campuses are different and may need a variety of personnel on-site.

Although UCOP and campuses have different staffing needs, one thing we all share is an absolute commitment to the health and well-being of every member of the UC community, regardless of location.

I hope this additional information is helpful. If you have questions, please feel free to send them to UCOP-COVID19-Response@ucop.edu.

Sincerely,

Rachael Nava
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer  


UCOP return to on-site operations date extended to January 2022
August 18, 2021

 

Dear UCOP colleagues,

I am writing to let you know about a change in our plans for returning on-site.

When I wrote to you in March, COVID-related cases were declining steadily and it was looking like we could return to working on-site this fall. However, in light of the unfortunate surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the U.S. due to the Delta variant, and evolving guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health authorities, we have decided to revise our plans.

After much discussion with President Drake and UCOP leadership, for the safety and well-being of everyone we have decided to extend the start date of our phased return to on-site work to January 2022.

Essential staff currently working on-site will continue to do so. Other departments also doing essential work, such as RASC and UCPath, will proceed with their plans to return select staff critical to optimal operations. In addition, the UCDC program will be open to students for the fall and their staff will also be on-site, and our state and federal governmental relations offices may need some staff in the office in order to meet governmental and legislative schedules.

While this shift to January 2022 for the broad UCOP community may provide relief for some, it may be less welcome news for others who are eager to come back on-site, at least some of the time. This was a difficult decision with many factors to consider. The well-being of employees is our priority.

President Drake has asked us to re-evaluate the new return plan in mid-November to determine if the January timeframe should be revisited. We will communicate any changes at that time.

Although we have pushed back our timing to January, interested staff can request to voluntarily return to on-site work starting in September while following all COVID-19 protocols, including masking, physical distancing and restrictions on large gatherings. Temporary space assignments will be made available for these requests and must be approved in advance and coordinated with the appropriate staff, as follows:

It is important to note that the extension to January does not change the need to comply with the systemwide COVID-19 Vaccine Policy by September 1. UCOP will continue to implement tracking per this week’s message from Nancy Pluzdrak. Please see the UCOP Vaccine Policy Implementation webpage for more information.

Lastly, the Future of Work team is continuing its work and readjusting the milestones and deadlines to the new return timeline. The next step will be to determine position eligibility for specific work arrangements, followed by discussions with employees, which will occur over the next several weeks. Additional updates on this will be forthcoming.

As always, please continue to take care of yourself and stay safe. If you have questions, please feel free to talk with your manager or email UCOP-COVID19-Response@ucop.edu.

Sincerely,

Rachael Nava
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

   


UCOP Update – Vaccine Program, Return to On-site Operations Timing, and the Future of Work
March 24, 2021


Dear colleagues,

I am following up on my last message with an update on the UCOP vaccine program, our planning and timeline for returning to the office, and our efforts to plan for a future way of working that best meets the needs of our staff and organization.

UCOP Vaccine Program Update

To help UCOP employees get their vaccinations as soon as possible, we are adopting the state’s program, which utilizes retail pharmacies and other local providers, and are encouraging UCOP employees to secure a vaccine appointment by registering on myturn.ca.gov or through your health care provider. More and more vaccines are becoming available on a daily basis, and you are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.

Those essential on-site and age 65+ staff who were invited to receive a vaccine through UCOP’s vaccine programs with UC San Francisco and UC Riverside should schedule first-dose appointments immediately if they have not yet done so and plan to receive second doses through the program. If you have questions, email UCOP-COVID19-Vaccine@UCOP.edu.

Return to On-site Operations

Planning is underway for returning to on-site operations, which may vary by UCOP location.

  • For Oakland, we must complete the Franklin building renovations before we can return to on-site operations. Therefore, we anticipate a phased return to on-site operations date of no sooner than August 1 for the Franklin-Broadway offices, even if Alameda County public health officials allow for office openings sooner than this.
  • The return to on-site operations team is working closely with the UCPath Center, UC Washington Center (UCDC), the UCOP Sacramento office, and UC Press to develop return to on-site operations plans and more information will be communicated when it’s available. We anticipate that return to on-site operations in these locations will be dependent on public health guidance and be no sooner than July 1.

Future of Work

Like many organizations, UCOP is considering how the needs of our workforce have changed based on our experience working through the pandemic. This is an opportunity to align UCOP’s workforce and culture with UC values and modernize the way we work. To spearhead this effort, we recently launched a cross-functional UCOP Future of Work task force to evaluate short- and long-term options for working in on-site, remote, and hybrid models.

Future ways of working must consider needs from three perspectives – the overall organization, the department/team, and the individual. As part of their work, the task force will conduct a UCOP staff survey to gather input for consideration. To maintain anonymity, the survey invitation will come from our partners Willis Towers Watson and an article will be published in Link.

Once it has completed its work, the task force will present recommendations to me, President Drake and the division leaders in May 2021.

If you have questions, please email UCOP-COVID19-Response@ucop.edu.

Take care and stay well.

Rachael Nava
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer