From its founding, UC Merced has distinguished itself as a center for innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. As the campus continues to evolve and enters its next phase of development, we face challenges that require us to be a leader among University of California campuses in organizational excellence, customer service, process efficiencies and fostering a positive work environment. Therefore, Chancellor Leland is pleased to support an initiative that recognizes and rewards innovation among UC Merced staff.
The Chancellor's Innovation Awards is designed to provide well-deserved recognition to teams that come up with transformative ideas that reinforce the value of innovation across entire campus community. The Chancellor's Innovation Awards coincides with in-depth work related to strategic workforce planning and change alignment that requires an inventive approach to campus organizational structures and processes.
Progress Report on Last Year's Winners
The inaugural Chancellor’s Innovation Awards winners were an eclectic group that underscored the scope of creativity and imagination of UC Merced staff. Each of the winning proposals has been further studied to identify implementation timelines, as well as potential risks and viabilities. Here’s where each of the proposals stand in regard to implementation:
CatVax, a mobile web application to streamline vaccination assessment, won first place for Michael Sanfilippo. After further study, it is being recommended that this project should be promoted on a systemwide level. Using a joint approach, all campuses would share the costs (estimated at nearly $1.4 million) and the benefits of this program. It should be noted that the end product could be marketed to other universities and health agencies, creating a potential revenue source for UC.
Where’s the Bus, designed to provide real-time arrival/departure updates to campus transit riders via a smartphone application, won second place for Jessica Johnston of the Administrative Coordination Team. After study, it has been determined that the feasibility of this proposal is very strong and it has been recommended that it be implemented as a pilot program.
Smart Scheduling, an energy-saving idea that would allow scheduling of lighting, heating and cooling to automatically correspond to an occupancy calendar for specific rooms, won third place for Varick Erickson of Facilities Management. This program is already in pilot stage in the Classroom and Office Building, but requires further study to determine the feasibility of expanding campus-wide, particularly in light of the Merced 2020 Project facilities expansion.