Skip to content Skip to navigation

Approval of Organized Research Unit Status for Community and Labor Center

September 15, 2022

Re: Approval of Organized Research Unit Status for Community and Labor Center

To: All employees

Sept. 15, 2022


Dear Colleagues,


In August I was honored to confer the designation of Organized Research Unit (ORU) on the UC Merced Community and Labor Center upon the unanimous recommendation of the Academic Senate. An ORU is an academic unit the University has established to provide a supportive infrastructure for interdisciplinary research complementary to the academic goals of departments of instruction and research.


The UC Merced Community and Labor Center focuses on the critical issues facing low-wage and low-income residents of the valley. The Center works vigorously to research these issues and provide informed policy solutions to enact change. In partnership with campus and community collaborators, and fellow researchers at peer centers at UC Berkeley and UCLA, the Center is positioned to further strengthen UC Merced’s impact and leadership in the areas of labor relations and inequality.


This designation as an ORU aligns with strategic plan goals 1.1 and 1.2 to expand the public and scholarly influence of the campus's research, and to grow UC-quality research and creative activities by strengthening the infrastructure for, and levels of, extramural funding. The Center is the third designated ORU for the UC Merced Campus.


Along with the designation, the Community and Labor Center will receive support from the Office of the Chancellor in the form of additional funding, space and personnel. The Center will have a five-year budget of $1.1 million with additional space designation on campus, the Downtown Campus Center and the Fresno Center. Further support will be assessed after a successful five-year review. The Center will have oversight by the Office of Research and Economic Development.


We are also pleased to announce Professor Edward Flores has been appointed to a five-year term as faculty director of the Community and Labor Center. Professor Flores led the development of the ORU proposal and we are excited to see his plans and the future impacts the Center will have on the people of the Valley, California and the nation as the Center’s work expands.




Juan Sánchez Muñoz


Remarks and Addresses