First Town Hall of the Year Scheduled

The Chancellor’s Town Hall for Fall is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 8 in HUB 302.  There will be a campus welcome reception for Paul D’Anieri and Ron Coley immediately after the Town Hall.

The Got Veggie? Challenge Begins Oct. 1

Eat your veggies! Haven’t heard that phrase since you were a kid? Get serious about eating vegetables with the four-week Got Veggies? challenge sponsored by UC Living Well. Join as an individual or a team, and commit to eating at least one cup of veggies every day. If you complete the challenge, you’ll earn 2,500 points toward a $75 Visa® gift card. Registration is ongoing; the challenge begins on Oct. 1 and ends on Oct. 28. To register, go to uclivingwell.ucop.edu/welcome.html and click on the “I want-I get” button.

Join a Latino Book Club

Jennifer Nájera, a professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies, helps lead a Latino book club at Cellar Door Books. This month they are reading Sonia Nazario’s book “Enrique’s Journey.” It is an unflinching journalistic account of a teenaged boy’s journey from Honduras to the United States to find his mother. “Given the current plight of Central American refugee children arriving to the United States, this book is not only vividly written but also extremely relevant,” Nájera  says.
The club will meet to discuss the book at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 30 , at Cellar Door Books (5225 Canyon Crest Dr.).

Winter Holiday Closure Details

As in previous years, UCR plans to observe a Winter holiday closure during the 2014–2015 holiday season.  The campus is scheduled to close beginning Wednesday, Dec. 24, through Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, and will reopen on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015.  This annual closure has allowed UCR to achieve significant energy savings and continues to be a highly effective approach to power conservation for a specific period of time.
University-paid holidays will be observed while the campus is closed on Dec. 24, 25, 31, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2015.  However, four days (Dec. 26, 29, 30, 2014 and Jan. 2, 2015) are not paid holidays.  Staff employees and those academic employees who accrue vacation leave are required to use vacation, compensatory time (if available) or take leave without pay for these work days.
In accordance with University personnel policies and applicable labor agreements, employees have the choice of the following options to cover the non-paid holidays:

  • Employees may utilize vacation days in advance of their actual accrual.
  • Newly hired employees may utilize vacation accruals prior to  having completed six continuous months on pay status.
  • Employees with accrued compensatory time may elect to use it to cover the four days off or to offset the use of vacation time.
  • Employees who do not wish to use vacation or compensatory time off may request leave without pay based on departmental approval.  In this case, employees will not lose hourly vacation or sick leave accruals for these four days.

In accordance with regular procedures for scheduling vacation, employees should notify their supervisors in advance as to which option or combination of options they choose to use.
For exclusively represented employees, these closure days will be handled in accordance with existing contract provisions, and are subject to discussion and/or collective bargaining where applicable.

Comments or questions regarding application of personnel policies during the closure may be sent to Heidie Rhodes, Human Resources, at heidie.rhodes@ucr.edu or extension 2-2463.  Comments or questions regarding application of collective bargaining agreements may be sent to Paul Wood, Employee and Labor Relations at paul.wood@ucr.edu or extension 2-5092.

Annual Santa Ana River Watershed Cleanup Day

The campus committee on stormwater management outreach is holding the Annual Santa Ana River Watershed Cleanup Day on Saturday, Oct. 4. Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful has organized the event and will provide lunch, T-shirts and community service hours. For details, go to www.krcb.com/pdf/Oct.pdf.

International Friendship Family Program

The International Student Resource Center’s Friendship Family Program is looking for volunteers. The program matches international UCR students with UCR faculty members, administrators, staff members and their families.
The purpose of the friendship family is to give students and families the opportunity to build relationships and share cultures in a unique, personal, and fulfilling way. This is not a hosting program; the students live on and off campus dorms or apartments. Some students are married and have families of their own.
After being paired, all students and families will attend a short training. The students and families are also invited to a welcome reception to meet, greet, and get to know one another. Students and families then arrange to spend time together on their own (either off campus or at UCR) as often as mutually desired.
Friendship Families may include their students in informal dinners, holiday celebrations, occasional family outings, or any other event that adds to the richness of the student’s experience in the United States.
The commitment is for the fall quarter, but many students and families may choose to remain in contact and maintain their relationships throughout the academic year.
If you would like to join the Friendship Family program contact Wendy Hernandez at (951) 827-3828 or via email at wendy.hernandez@ucr.edu.

Use Your FSA

If you are currently enrolled in UC’s Health or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), now is a good time to review your account information to make sure you are using all the funds in your account.
You will have until March 15, 2015, to use the funds in your account, but remember that you lose any balance you don’t use and claim by that date. You must be enrolled through Dec. 31 in order to participate in the grace period.
Sign in to your CONEXIS account on their website to view your balance and other account information.
Your review of your FSAs can help you plan for re-enrolling for 2015. You can re-enroll during Open Enrollment, which begins Oct. 30.

UCR Helps UCLA After Water Main Break

A 93-year-old water main broke on July 29 near UCLA, sending an estimated 20 million gallons of water onto the campus. The 30-inch water pipe is controlled by the L.A. Department of Water and Power. While no injuries were reported from the flooding, the ensuing flood made national news and caused extensive damage to Pauley Pavilion and many other structures on campus, including three parking garages.
More than 900 vehicles — owned by staff, faculty, students and visitors — were damaged by the flood. To help the owners find out more about filing claims with the DWP and answer other insurance-related questions, Erica Healander and Richard Rycraw with the UCR Office of Risk Management headed over to UCLA to assist its staff.

Dean Malilay, the Risk Manager at UCLA, successfully coordinated volunteers from various UCs, made over 300 damaged vehicles centrally available, and staged a location where owners could sign in, and obtain claim information. Rycraw said, “It was interesting how smoothly everything went.  Every owner I came in contact with was very appreciative of UCLA’s effort to get the vehicles back to their owners and help them start the claim process.”

According to Healander, director of Risk Management, “We went to UCLA to help our counterpart there because it was the right thing to do. Our efforts, even if on a different campus, affect the entire UC, which in turn benefits UCR.  Of course we hope our counterparts return the favor if we ever need it.”

Riverside Ranked 8th Coolest City in America by Forbes

Riverside has been ranked eighth in Forbes magazine’s list of coolest cities in America. The ranking was based on things like diversity, local attractions, age, population growth and the arts. There was no human polling. Also on the list were  cities such as Austin, San Francisco, Denver and Los Angeles — which tied for 16 with San Jose.

Faculty and Staff Assistance Program

Did you know that there’s a program for personal concerns such as alcohol and drug-related matters, family and marital problems, financial difficulties and legal concerns? The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is UCR’s way of encouraging employees who may be having problems to seek professional help. For more information, call (951) 781-0510 or (800) 266-0510. Assistance is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a week, and is strictly confidential.

A Meeting on UCR’s Institute of Agriculture

UCR’s CAFE (California Agriculture and Food Enterprise) is a nascent institute that will act as an umbrella for UCR interdisciplinary research and other activities associated with food and agriculture in the broadest sense. It is in its very earliest stages of development with preliminary involvement from CNAS, CHASS, SOM, BCOE, and SPP.
If you have an interest in contributing to creating to this effort, please attend the exploratory meeting in 2158 Bachelor Hall at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 25. If you are interested, but cannot attend, please let Norman Ellstrand know via email at ellstrand@ucr.edu.

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