UC Merced combines several divisions

Goal is to enhance capital development

yamaro@mercedsunstar.comDecember 9, 2012 

UC Merced has created a new division to help accelerate and finance the capital development of the university.

Daniel Feitelberg has been named acting vice chancellor for planning and budget. He will fill the position through Nov. 30, 2013, or until a permanent appointment is made.

Feitelberg's base salary is $255,000.

He had worked with UC Merced as part of a professional service agreement since April, advising Chancellor Dorothy Leland on the same kind of issues that the new Office of Planning and Budget will focus on.

Officials said it was too early to determine what, if any, additional costs would be associated with the new office.

Staff members from various divisions -- the Budget Office, Institutional Planning and Analysis; Capital Planning and Space Management; and Academic Technical and Space Planning -- were consolidated for the establishment of the new office. No one lost their job as a result of the consolidation.

Synergy creation sought

"The goal is to bring those offices together into a single team and create some synergies among them," Feitelberg said.

The new office will have 19 positions, including Feitelberg's. It is up and running now, he said, but there's a lot of work to do to make it fully functional.

The new office is consistent with structures at other UC campuses, said Patti Waid, spokeswoman for UC Merced. The university will also gain expertise from the consolidation.

Most of the staff members that were consolidated to create the new office used to be under the Division of Administration, which still exists, Waid said.

"There was an important need to develop deeper expertise related to the budget and planning," she said.

The office will help support institutional decision-making and help create greater coordination between planning and budget functions, among other things, Feitelberg said. It will serve as an advisory group for Leland and the university's Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Thomas Peterson on budget and capital development.

"What we are looking to do, is (to) look for alternative and creative ways to accelerate the capital development" on campus, he said. This is one of the top priorities for the new office.

Public-private partnerships

For example, officials will look for opportunities to partner with public and private entities to help build the campus, he said.

That is something that's consistent with Leland's plans, Waid added.

Regardless of the teamwork and creative thinking, it will be important to maintain the cooperation that already existed in the divisions on campus that the staff members came from, Feitelberg said.

"To make sure we all continue to move the campus forward," he added.

Another priority for the office will be to fill six full-time budget positions, three of which are being filled on a part-time basis at the moment, Feitelberg said.

The university is preparing to begin a national search for the permanent appointment to the position Feitelberg is holding down on an interim, Waid said.

Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at (209) 385-2482 or yamaro@mercedsunstar.com.

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