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In August 2020, Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz asked Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gregg Camfield to lead the university’s first comprehensive strategic planning process. The objective was to integrate the various efforts across campus to produce goals and strategies to guide UC Merced’s development over the next 10 years.

Why is a comprehensive strategic plan important?

The strategic planning effort held in 2020-2021 served as a reminder of how far we’ve already come while producing a roadmap for where the university will go next. Our past has been remarkable, and we know our future is brighter still. 

The strategic plan’s charge was to imagine what UC Merced will look like in 2031, as the university nears 15,000 students and fulfill the promise of this campus to bring prosperity to the Central Valley. The strategic goals and objectives identified in the strategic plan represent our promise to realize our long-term aims as an institution, including achieving R1 status while caring for our dedicated faculty and staff and serving our remarkable students so that they can create a better and more prosperous future for themselves, their families, their communities and the world. 

Key to the development of a campus plan was intentional engagement with our entire community, including but not limited to:  

Administrative staff
Senate and non-Senate faculty
Academic Senate
Academic appointees
Undergraduate students
Graduate students
Community members

Governance and Execution

Two have been established to oversee and execute, respectively, the strategic planning process.

Strategic Planning Governance Committee (SPGC)

The SPGC is charged with providing guidance for and oversight of the 2020-21 strategic planning process. This includes:

  • advising on the planning process;
  • authorizing the stakeholder engagement process, including draft goal language and engagement questions;
  • advising on the plan’s content, following input from the engagement process;
  • authorizing, for review by the campus community, the complete draft plan;
  • reviewing and recommending to the EVC/provost, for recommendation to the chancellor, the final, campus-reviewed strategic plan; and
  • establishing a Planning Task Force (PTF) to coordinate and implement the process by which the plan is developed.


  • Gregg Camfield (Chair), Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost 
  • Ed Klotzbier, Vice Chancellor and Chief External Relations Officer 
  • Dania Matos, Associate Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer  
  • Charles Nies, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs 
  • Jeff Gilger, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts 
  • Haipeng Li, University Librarian 
  • Kurt Schnier, Associate EVC/Provost, Academic Planning and Budget 
  • Tanya Golash-Boza, Professor, Sociology, School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts
  • Ajay Gopinathan, Professor, Physics, School of Natural Sciences 
  • Sarah Kurtz, Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering 
  • Patti LiWang, Professor, Molecular and Cell Biology, CAPRA Chair 
  • Safeeq Khan, Assistant Adjunct Professor & Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, Non-Senate Faculty 
  • Iris Ruiz, Non-Senate Faculty 
  • Yesenia Curiel, Director of the CARE Advocacy Office, President, Staff Assembly  
  • Naheed Akbari, ASCUM Representative   
  • Taylor Fugere, GSA Representative  

Planning Task Force  (PTF)

The PTF is charged with managing and facilitating the planning process. This includes:

  • developing and executing the stakeholder engagement strategy;
  • developing and implementing a campuswide communications strategy;
  • drafting goals for campus consideration;
  • drafting the strategic plan following input from stakeholders and the SPGC; and
  • establishing and managing cross-coordinate subgroups to execute key aspects of the PTF’s work.


  • Demitra Borrero, Interlibrary Services Coordinator, Representative, Staff and Faculty of Color Association
  • Jim Chiavelli, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Marketing, Public Relations and Signature Events
  • Jessica Duffy, Business Architect, Center of Institutional Effectiveness
  • Gerry Elizondo, Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration  
  • Jessica Gardezy, Director of Internal Communications
  • Anthony Garrison-Engbrecht, Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff, Division of Student Affairs  
  • Laura Martin, Assistant EVC/Provost, Academic Planning and Institutional Assessment  
  • Maria Ramirez Loyola, Graduate Student, Representative, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion