RSSP News Flash

 Residential & Student Service Programs Update

 Mid-September 2014 Volume 1, Issue 2


A Note From Associate Vice Chancellor LeNorman Strong

I want to follow-up with you on the recent conversations Vice Chancellor Harry Le Grande has been having with senior campus leaders regarding possible changes in RSSP. I realize that we have been through a tremendous amount of personal and organizational challenges during the past few years. I recognize how unsettling it may be to face the uncertainty of not knowing exactly how we will be impacted by the potential changes. Please know that I, too, have experienced moments of stress and anxiety. As I mentioned in our first update to you, the RSSP Cabinet and I are committed to providing you with the best information we have as soon as we can regarding matters that will impact your work life.

In his letter to us, Vice Chancellor Le Grande wrote: "Recently, I have been asked to examine how parts of our division, namely specific functions in RSSP (e.g., housing operations, maintenance) can be more integrated in central campus services. I am currently discussing with the Chancellor, the Provost and my peer Vice Chancellors Wilton and Lalanne, solutions that will make a positive and tangible difference for our 35,000 students." He also made it clear that discussions are underway, but no decisions have been made.

l want you to know that once the discussions began, I and others were given an opportunity to offer comments and additional ideas for consideration. We will share future updates as discussions continue and more information becomes available.

I want to thank you and to acknowledge all of the RSSP team for your perseverance in the face of rumors about proposed organizational changes. I want you to know that the work you do is vital to the success of our students. Many of us work in higher education because of our passion for serving students; others have come to learn the joy of changing a student’s life by working here. I am proud of the work we are doing to care for our students. Our students remain at the core of this university and provide inspiration for us all. Equally important is the need for the RSSP executive team and me to lead efforts to listen to and care for our staff. 

I know that I have the responsibility to address any issues that impact the morale of members of our team. In order to understand first-hand what’s impacting you so we can do something about it - and I am committed to doing what I can - we will be hosting a series of listening tours to hear from you in the next few weeks. It’s important to understand any concerns you may have as well as suggestions about what will help you do your best work. Because I want you to have the opportunity to freely state what's on your mind, Cabinet members and I will not be present in the meetings, though I will convene a couple of discussions after the listening tours end to share what I will have learned and how we will be responding to the feedback given. I encourage you to use these listening sessions as an opportunity to help share information that can help as I support Vice Chancellor Le Grande and senior campus leaders as they evaluate options and review proposals. I am counting on you to let us know what's on your mind. As Vice Chancellor Le Grande said in his note and at the State of the Division, no decisions have been made yet so your insight is critical at this time.

Thank you for continuing to serve our students and making their success our number one priority.


We Have a Winner

Congratulations to the winner of our newsletter naming contest, Estela Del Toro, from Cal Catering. The new name of our newsletter is “RSSP: News Flash” Estela will be awarded a $25 gift card. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Other great suggestions included:

  • California Connection
  • Bear Times
  • California Times
  • RSSP Presents
  • RSSP Weekly Report
  • DUH? Did you hear?

Move-InPat on the Back: Move-in Weekend

Move-in weekend was a huge success, with 3,996 students checked into their new living spaces. Over the weekend, approximately 700 family members attended the parent/family sessions and over 3,000 students downloaded Guidebook (a new app to help orient students). Many families commented on how smoothly the process went. Thank you to our 529 volunteers and to the collaboration of RSSP units that made this possible. Congratulations all! 



Did You Hear? State of the Division Recap

At Monday’s State of the Division, Vice Chancellor Le Grande and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Claude Steele kicked their heels up (literally!), the Strategic Planning Initiative team provided an update (see below) and the ASUC Student Union unveiled their new logo and brand identify featuring an edgy new bear. A video recap of the meeting will be available shortly.


Still Dreaming Big - Strategic Planning Initiative Update

The Strategic Planning Initiative is continuing along two tracks, one focused on creating a cohesive and supportive culture for staff and the other focused on creating a sense of belonging and community for our students. The staff track has identified members and begun to divide into teams. The strategy development team will research and develop strategic direction based on best practices and previous stakeholder data. They will also guide and advise the project teams. The project teams will engage with as many staff members as possible in order to create implementation strategies and action plans. The student track has identified members including staff (from both within and outside of Student Affairs), faculty and students. Sub-committees will be formed from the larger group. The topics for these sub-committees are currently being developed.  


Bowles HallBowles Hall Update

The university and the Bowles Hall Alumni Association (BHAA) are working through the creation of a ground lease agreement. This agreement would lease Bowles Hall for the creation of a residential college. If all goes as planned, construction will begin in late spring 2015, after the semester ends.


2015-2016 Budget Planning

We just ended the first quarter of fiscal year 2014-2015 and are looking ahead to the budget process plan for our next fiscal year. The process will begin November 2014 and continue through February 2015. In early December the budget team will take the information from the first half of the fiscal year and data from the new campus-wide Human Capital Management system (personnel expenses) to to use as a basis for the upcoming fiscal year. The second and final round of budget planning will take place in mid-February and will officially set the new budget for fiscal year 2015-2016. We will keep you posted regarding these budget process stages and ask for input on possible changes and anticipated activities that will impact next year’s budget. If you would like to learn more, please reach out to your respective budget team member liaison. 


CSS Purchasing Update

RSSP and Campus Shared Services are in the process of integrating purchasing procedures, with implementation planned for the first half of October. We have provided a high level overview of the Purchasing Workflow and Payment Request Workflow. If purchasing is relevant to your work, training opportunities will appear on your schedules prior to the first week of October. Coupled with the work of Business/Administrative Operations, the goal is to create a more efficient and effective procurement process that will reduce budget expenses and allow us to focus on the passionate work we do every day for our students. 


Looking for Letrice to Discuss Benefits? She’s Down at 4th Street!

Our benefits specialist Letrice Waite has moved down to the CSS offices at 4th Street to help process your benefits needs with the rest of the HR team stationed there. Her new location is 1608 4th Street, #209-49, Berkeley, CA 94710-7600, and her new phone number is 4-9447. As usual, Letrice is available to meet with you by appointment and will be physically at RSSB on Friday mornings.


CalTimeCalTime Transition Assistance Program Update

To assist non-exempt employees with the transition to bi-weekly pay, a CalTime Transition Assistance Program is available. The application period for the program is reopening from September 22 to October 3. If you applied back in April-May, you will need to apply again. In addition to an email communication explaining this program, printed materials are being mailed to non-exempt employees at their home addresses. The letters should arrive around September 22. We will begin using CalTime on November 1. Questions or comments can be directed to and more information is available at:


Upcoming Events

September 22, 3-4:30 p.m. - RSSP Listening tour. Unit 1, Slottman L-14.
September 24, 8-9:30 a.m. - RSSP Listening tour. Unit 1, Slottman L-14.
September 24, 12:15-1 p.m. - Administrative Business Operations brown bag, Slottman L-5.
September 29,10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. - RSSP Listening tour. Unit 1, Slottman L-14.
October 2, 4-6 p.m. - PG&E rebate check celebration. Maximino Martinez Commons.
October 16, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. - RSSP Service Awards. Clark Kerr Great Hall.

Welcome New Staff!

Say hello to:

  • Andrea Aramburu - Office of the AVC
  • Meagan Clemence - Early Childhood Education Program
  • Stacy Holguin - Residential Programs
  • Felix Leyva - Grounds

We’re glad to have you on board.


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