Link: UCOP's e-newsletter

Stay Informed. Stay Connected.

New FOW2 Program working group underway

Since UCOP launched anchor days in April, more of us are coming to the office on a regular basis, and all of us have continued to strengthen our hybrid work environment. We have enjoyed many opportunities to come together as a community and connect — from in-person social events to virtual conversations with UCOP leaders.

To continue to support our evolving workplace, UC Operations has formed a Program Implementation Working Group to support and optimize the Future of Work Phase 2 (FOW2) implementation. Composed of staff throughout UCOP, the group includes a mix of managers and individual contributors; new and longer-tenured employees; on-site, hybrid and remote employees; represented and non-represented employees; and diversity in lived experiences representing all of UCOP. By design, the group does not include division leader direct reports, chiefs of staff or employee resource group leaders because these staff have other opportunities to participate and provide feedback. The number of participants for each division is based on division size; division leaders selected their representatives.

In addition to representing diverse perspectives, members share candid feedback, communicate and gather information from within their divisions and help to develop employee-centered ideas and solutions.

The group’s work encompasses a range of needs and experiences, including:

  • Fostering community and connection within and outside the office
  • Helping employees and leaders navigate and adapt to change
  • Ensuring transparent communications
  • Optimizing operational areas for remote and on-site workers (e.g., space, technology, and wellness)

The group was formed to implement and optimize the existing FOW2 program to better support our hybrid work environment. Changes to key program elements decided by leadership (including anchor days, position eligibility assessments, work arrangements and workspace assignments) are out of scope.

Workgroup progress

The group kicked off in April with an ideation session to gather ideas from working group members and thought partners. Members then attended change-management training, developed a charter and created the following vision to guide their work:

As UCOP evolves over time, we will continually elevate the way our people work, collaborate and connect. The way we work will reflect and remain deeply rooted in our commitment to — and celebration of — our people, community, history and the UC mission.

Members are currently focusing on three workstreams:

  • Effectiveness and Experience: Enabling organizational effectiveness and optimizing the employee experience in a hybrid organization (Co-leads: Lily Dimitrova, Erin Pressman and Zainab Olaosebikan)
  • Community and Connection: Activities and offerings related to bolstering community and improving personal connection to the organization (Co-leads: Shirley Bittlingmeier, Marjo Keller and Hilary Steinman)
  • Research, Best Practices and Metrics: Ongoing research on hybrid organization best practices and benchmarking (Co-leads: Jenna Allen and Epiphanie Gillette)

FOW 2 Program Implementation Working Group members

Thank you to the following employees who have agreed to participate in the Program Implementation Working Group:

  • Alan Wan, UC National Laboratories
  • Blaze Farrar, UC Operations
  • Devin Richards, UC Operations
  • Dina Mouris, UC Operations
  • Emrica Agossa, UC Health
  • Epiphanie Gillette, UC Legal
  • Erin Pressman, Ethics, Compliance & Audit Services
  • Felice Lu, Academic Affairs
  • Hilary Steinman, UC Finance
  • Jackie Gonzalez, UC Operations (UCPath Center)
  • Jenna Allen, Academic Affairs
  • Kari Robertson, UC Operations
  • Kristen Cowden, UC Operations (UCPath Center)
  • Lily Dimitrova, UC Operations
  • Maria Martinez, UC Operations (UCPath Center)
  • Marjo Keller, UC Operations
  • Nicola Gruen, External Relations & Communications
  • Olga Zundel, UC Operations
  • Polly Miller, Academic Affairs
  • Rita Hao, UC Legal
  • Shirley Bittlingmeier, UC Operations
  • Summer Alvarez, UC Operations (UCPath Center)
  • Tiffany McBride, UC Operations
  • Zainab Olaosebikan, Academic Affairs

The following core team supports the working group:

  • Thera Kalmijn, Project Lead
  • Steve Murray, Subject Matter Expert
  • Heather Baptista, Project Management and Operational Lead
  • Merideth Wakeman, Change Management Lead
  • Michelle Simms, Communications Lead

Opportunities to stay up-to-date and provide input

Throughout the coming months, there will be many opportunities for you to learn more about the group’s work and provide your perspective. In addition to looking out for articles in future issues of Link, you can:

  • Contact a working group member from your division to learn about their progress
  • Contact a workstream lead to learn more about a specific area of interest
  • Join the FOW2 Program Implementation Working Group listserv to receive direct updates and participate in data-gathering and feedback surveys as requested. Sign up via the FOW2 Program Implementation Working Group Smartsheet form.

For questions, email



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