How cross-school collaboration is paying off: stories from DAR

By Michelle McClellan, Assistant Dean, Development and Alumni Relations

Second in a series of four articles by senior Haas leaders about the key goals underlying our strategic business plan

As we begin to put our new strategic business plan into motion, I’ve noticed that a theme is emerging: our shared views about what is important to us as a school. The key word there is shared: in order to build on our Defining Principles and put our plan into action, we need to up our game as collaborators. How do we better collaborate to strengthen our alumni network—and do so with the extraordinary talent, insights, and commitment that can be found everywhere across the school?

While it’s too early to measure outcomes of our new strategic priorities, we already have some powerful stories that illustrate how small steps and more focused and defined collaborations are having an impact. One example is our tactic of delivering life-long alumni learning opportunities. A diverse group of partners within Haas and across campus, including the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Berkeley-Haas Digital team, our program offices and faculty, and the Berkeley Resource Center for Online Education, has been developing digital content that will allow alumni continued access to the best of Haas. And early indicators show that thousands of alumni are already embracing our Students Always principle: More than 2,500 people have watched Professor Teck Ho’s Best of Pricing Seminar, which is accessible to alumni and students, and a “Haas Talk” video titled “Why Bitcoin Will Change Everything,” by Ian Lee, MBA 10, has gotten 21,500 views. With increased Haas-wide partnerships in both content development and marketing, traffic to Berkeley-Haas Insights—our life-long learning web portal for alumni—has increased more than 150% in the past year.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 12.02.08 PM

The Berkeley-Haas Insights portal allows alumni to access content created throughout Haas.


Connecting with our alumni within our company communities is another important tactic. It falls under our Bay Area location strategy, but it’s also linked to our Network-value tactic. Working collaboratively this past summer, Development and Alumni Relations and the Career Management Group provided first-year MBA students with lists of alumni at the companies where they were interning. The response from students was enormously positive—they expressed appreciation for the introduction to a new corporate network of Berkeley-Haas alumni.  While it was focused on our MBA students, the project had some unintentional ripple effects. And undergraduate student wrote this note to Dean Lyons: Wanted to share with you an update about the power of the Berkeley-Haas network so far with my summer internship. I have been able to reach out to several alumni…So far, the reception has been overwhelming positive…It has been an eye opening experience to see the Berkeley-Haas network growing and thriving.

It’s inspiring to read a student’s comments about how small steps lead to a stronger community. And, we hope that these activated groups grow in strength to help drive career support, admissions, and custom executive education. Where next will our teams shine and form new networks?  Stay tuned as we gain momentum with our alumni network tactic teams and partners.

Video in 2 acts: How NOT to give feedback

Missed the Nov. 12 staff town hall? You can still watch Dean Rich Lyons and COO Jo Mackness putting themselves out there in the name of building our workplace culture—and getting rescued by DSAC colleagues.

Disrupting the Status Quo on All Hallows Eve

ECSM Halloween
By Barinder Dhillon-Flanagan, Deputy CIO for ECSM

Consider the following question: How do we disrupt the status quo while respecting established behavior?

“Bring your ideas to the All-Hands on October 30th where we’ll spend some time identifying existing services that we could stop delivering in order to make room for new services that we don’t yet deliver (but that our customers have told us they want).”

With this invitation from CIO Kevin Cornish, the stage was set for our All-Hands ECSM meeting—a gathering to begin discussion of our organization’s future. The question on the table: What can we stop doing to make room for new services?

“In the spirit of trying something new, I’ll turn the rest of my muse over to a liberating structure entitled ‘Wicked Questions,'” Kevin told the group at the outset. “The idea behind this challenge is to encourage us to confront both sides of a seemingly paradoxical question. The best responses will solve for both questions without resorting to ‘yes, but…’ or ‘either-or’ statements.”

Our introspection began with asking our team members to anonymously write one bold idea about Haas ECSM’s current services on a small card. These cards were then passed around to random fellow staffers who were tasked with assessing and rating the ideas anonymously. A rating of 5 represented 100% backing for the idea, while lower ratings indicated diminishing support. Each idea was passed around and rated through five rounds by five different staffers.

At the end of the activity, the cards were tallied and the ten best-rated ideas were read aloud. These winning ideas included thoughts about ECSM’s current services, their relevance to our existing customer base, and notions about improving or updating that service. The power of anonymity paid off, and we received valuable suggestions on how to improve the way we manage and provide services.  Concentrating on only the top ten ideas also ensured that leadership would be able to devote time to review and act on these suggestions, and circle back to staff with some results within a reasonable time.

In all, I thought our All-Hands on All Hallows Eve succeeded exceedingly well in tackling the “Wicked Problem” we are grappling with. It also embodied the spirit of our four defining principles, which clearly resides within us all.

Volunteer this Friday: Go beyond your desk—and beyond yourself!


MBA students at work in the Alameda Point Collaborative nursery during Week Zero

By Danner Doud-Martin, Green Team Co-Leader

It’s easy to go beyond yourself when there are cool opportunities to volunteer at amazing local nonprofits…and when you give back during your work day, get picked up and brought back to campus by motor coach, and get a picnic lunch!

This Friday, Haas Staff and MBA have the wonderful opportunity to work side-by-side volunteering at Alameda Point Collaborative (APC).  The volunteer day is co-organized by Engage@Haas, the Dean’s Office, and the MBA fundraising organization Challenge for Charity.

APC is a supportive housing community that uses all its resources to help families and individuals break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. It’s the largest supportive housing provider for homeless families in Alameda County.

“APC is a hand UP and not a hand out,” says Chris Conanan, MBA 16 and C4C’s liaison the organization. “The staff is dedicated to helping community members change their lives. Over 200 children live at APC, and with the help of the greater community, they can all aspire to be Cal Bears. Haas students and faculty can provide a positive example as well as some elbow grease that will allow APC to brighten lives for families.”

APC has identified areas that could use our help—ranging from helping with the farm and nursery, assisting with tech issues, and organizing their new library. But the work may changed based on needs on the day we get there.

PrintWe hope to have a great showing of staff and students. “Volunteering for such a wonderful cause is amazing in itself, but being able to do it with our students is even better. We have the opportunity to make a difference in Alameda’s community and engage with our students in a way that we have never done before. This is going to be our best community service day yet, you don’t want to miss it!” adds Jenna Choban, from Engage@Haas.

There’s still time to register here:

The schedule:

  • Coach Departure from Haas: 12:00 PM
  • Picnic lunch: 12:30 PM
  • Volunteer Time: 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Return Time to Haas via Motor Coach: 5:00 PM

See you on Friday!

Like a GOOD competition? Help us shine in the Cool Campus Challenge!

cool challenge 500

By Danner Doud-Martin & Kate Alper, Green Team Leaders

UC President Janet Napolotanio has challenged all UC schools to wipe out our carbon footprint by 2025.

Kate compostsAs a campus certified green department, Haas is already leading the charge with such initiatives as zero-waste event planning and energy saving efforts. We will be purchasing and setting up smart power strips for all office spaces including offices at Addison.  (BREAKING NEWS! New compost bins have just been added to public spaces—thanks to a group effort by the Green Team, facilities, and the Dean’s Office).

Now, you can channel your latent competitive energy into doing more: from October 6th through December 10th, we’ll be participating in the Cool Campus Challenge. This friendly, fun competition—open to all staff, faculty, and students—is aimed at reducing our carbon footprint and creating a culture of sustainability across all UC campuses.

There are already 10,000 people registered for the challenge, but UC Berkeley—and Haas—are lagging. With about 1200 registrants, the university is in 6th place , and our Haas School of Business team is currently ranked #14 of the Berkeley teams.

I don’t know about you, but I like a good competition, especially when it’s for a really great cause like reducing my carbon footprint. I see that Berkeley needs a boost: we can’t be beat by Irvine and UCLA, and we especially can’t be beat by the Cal Marching Band (currently in first place) when it comes to the team challenge!

So what can you do? Create a profile here and be sure to join the Haas School of Business team. Earn points for Haas by adding a profile picture and accepting energy saving challenges.

Here are some pledge ideas for you:

  • This week is about reducing electricity use from plug loads.  There are five related pledges that will earn you extra points if you complete them by this Friday.
  • Do you work or do research in a lab? You can earn high-impact points by pledging to cool down the lab.
  • Use the Cool Climate Calculator pledge to understand your household carbon footprint and greenhouse gas reduction opportunities. This is worth 500 points!
  • Review the 37 pledges available to you (the list is under the “resources” tab once you sign up). Find the actions that are most meaningful and commit to take action.
  • Join a team or form a team, working together is motivating and the only way we are going to get to carbon neutrality!
  • Help UC Berkeley get to 1,500 participants or more: find the “earn more points” section on your profile page and invite people you know to take the challenge with you.

Get started now:

Are you open to some feedback?


There is no doubt that feedback exchanges are critical for information sharing, performance, collaboration and professional growth. Yet, giving and receiving feedback is often challenging.  According to Haas staff, barriers to effective feedback are emotions/reactions (not wanting to hurt, tendency to please, volatile responses to feedback), hierarchy, lack of formal structure, not knowing the mechanics, and not getting feedback often enough.

This past summer, 45 Haas staff who participated in the Feedback Playshops with Kia Afcari, Senior Culture Consultant, had an opportunity to begin breaking these barriers.  They learned tools and techniques to give and receive feedback more effectively.  Participants:

  • explored verbal and non-verbal communication cues that can manifest in feedback exchanges
  • practiced their feedback skills in various realistic scenarios
  • committed to taking one action to cultivate a culture of feedback at Haas (actions included: “asking for more regular feedback from my manager and peers;”  “accept feedback with curiosity and appreciation not defensiveness;”  “make feedback part of my day-to-day work;” “become better at active listening and empathize when engaging in feedback conversations”)

Feedback is loveThe primary objectives of the Feedback Playshop were to:

  • provide our staff practical feedback skills and capabilities that would benefit their work with colleagues across the school, and also
  • enable Haas staff to model effective feedback behavior to our students reinforcing what students are learning in the classroom.

In light of that, Brandi Pearce’s feedback framework served as the backbone for the Feedback Playshop.  Pearce has been using the feedback framework in the Teams@Haas MBA curriculum, part of which focuses on cultivating strategies to practice reflexivity, give and receive feedback.  Exposing our staff to the same feedback framework students use is extremely advantageous as it creates a shared approach/language for feedback exchanges across school communities.

To find the Haas Feedback Framework and other feedback resources click here.  If you haven’t had a chance to participate in last summer’s playshops, join your colleagues in the next Feedback Playshop in March.

Announcing the Haas Haiku Contest Winners

Haas Haiku graphic_600

The Haas Haiku Contest has been fun and fascinating. We received 188 haiku, and when we put 25 of them out for a vote—and there could have been 25 more—a whopping 574 of you weighed in!

As to be expected from such a diverse community, there was a diversity of opinions. To honor that sentiment, the selection committee decided that in addition to the top three winners—who will enjoy lunch with Dean Rich Lyons at Chez Panisse—five runners-up who received a critical mass of votes will be recognized. They’ll receive a Haas swag bag filled with goodies.

The winning poets include two undergraduates, three staff members, and three MBA students (two from evening & weekend and one MBA/MPH). Their points-of-view run the gamut from inspirational to whimsical to irreverent—with a tongue-in-cheek dig at Cal’s rival and a large dose of school spirit.

Without further ado, here are the eight winners:

First Place Winners

Navgeet "King" Zed

Two short years at Haas
made four pillars: foundation
for the rest of life

—Navgeet “King” Zed, BS 16




What inspired you?

While looking for inspiration to write the haiku, I scoured the list of admirable Haas alumni and quickly realized that the common theme that led to their success was the exemplification of one or more of the four pillars (Defining Principles).

I then looked around me and saw how the same four foundational ideas were starting to shape the thinking of the future Haas alumni. The haiku pretty much wrote itself once inspiration had struck me through that connection.



Kora CypressJust today a bear
roared at me “I’m status quo,”
so I questioned him.

—Kora Cypress, Managing Editor, California Management Review



What inspired you?

“Question the Status Quo” is my favorite DP and the one that inspired my haiku. My team often finds itself with the opportunity to practice it, particularly in the realm of process improvement. As the publishing landscape and our operational needs change so quickly these days, what might have been a good choice five (or even fewer) years ago, often isn’t today.


Jason Block

Go beyond yourself
Interview Stanford Alum
And bust out Haas swag

—Jason Block, BS 17




What inspired you?

I wrote the haiku to show pride in my school. When I was developing the it, I wanted to be witty and creative with our Haas principles. Because Beyond Yourself is the principle that I most relate to in my work, I wanted re-imagine a humorous situation. I originally thought an interview with a Stanford alum would highlight Berkeley Haas alumni going beyond themselves. When they bust out the Haas swag (as in apparel like the backpack or padfolio), they are showing confidence without attitude as the interviewer.



Yi Lin Pei, EWMBA 17Once only strangers,
We crossed paths in the courtyard,

—Yi Lin Pei, Evening & Weekend MBA 17




What inspired you?

I thought about the haiku because as I was sitting in the courtyard waiting to meet a classmate to discuss ideas, I realized this is what Haas is all about—connecting strangers so that what seemed impossible can be possible. It is not about you as an individual, but a community that grows together with you.


Hornstein, Amy_sizedFrom Janet Yellen
back to Cora Jane Flood, strong
women make Haas great. 

—Amy Hornstein, Director of Student Affairs, Full-time MBA Program



What inspired you?

I’m committed to diversity as a key component of Haas culture and excited about the strides we’re making in gender equity. I wanted to highlight the contributions of women throughout our history.


Andy Garlikov EWMBA 16Two years spent at Haas
I’ll question the status quo
And stay for two more

—Andy Garlikov, Evening & Weekend MBA 16




What inspired you?

I’m going to be glad to graduate next May, but will miss seeing all my Haas friends every week.

Clare SchroderHaas Haiku wants to
Question the status quo
Ha, six syllables​

—Clare Schroder, MBA/MPH 17​




What inspired you?

I enjoy the challenge of telling a story in the 5-7-5 syllable format of the haiku. However, when I realized “question the status quo” was only six syllables, it seemed like an appropriate time to challenge that rigidity. 

Melissa HackerBeyond Yourself is
simply looking out for all
numbers except one

—Melissa Hacker, Director of Student Affairs, PhD Program




What inspired you?

My haiku addresses “beyond yourself” being the antithesis of looking out for number one.

Selection committee:

Jo Mackness, Chief Strategy & Operating Officer/Senior Assistant Dean
Dennis Fritzinger, Mail Room Coordinator & poet
Laura Counts, Sr. Marketing & Communications Manager

Staff On The Move!

The first quarter of 2015-16 has been a time of significant mobility at Berkeley-Haas!  12 staff members have moved to a new role and/or unit.  These staff members have either been promoted within their current unit or have applied and been selected to fill a vacant position.

Providing an environment where Haas staff can grow professionally and in their careers is one commitment the school has made and will continue to support this year.  It is one of the ways to support staff retention at Haas in a manner that is meaningful to our staff and contributes to the school’s success.  We know this is important based on staff feedback through the staff engagement survey, focus groups, and exit interviews.

How does movement at Berkeley-Haas benefit us?  Institutional knowledge is retained; cross pollination of skills and best practices is achieved; employees transfer best practices from one unit to the other; employees’ perspective of the school deepens and enables them to make an even stronger impact to the school’s strategic goals.



Staff can move to new roles by applying for internal positions posted on Jobs at Haas or on Berkeley Jobs.  This mobility allows staff to transfer their skills and continue to grow professionally while staying within the organization. Kristen de la Rosa, who recently accepted a new role in Alumni Relations unit, was sad to leave her previous team (Office and Instructional Services group) but excited about the new opportunity on the Alumni Relations team. “This was the most seamless job transition that I’ve ever had.  And my previous knowledge of Haas (staff, culture, work processes, etc.) has been an immense help in my new role,” says Kristen.

Bryan Lin who filled a newly created vacant position, says that moving to a new unit at Haas enabled him to see the organization through a different lens: “I now see a different facet of the school…while in my previous role in ECSM I was in unit/role that provided IT services, in my current role of Instructional Analyst in the Academic Planning and Instruction unit I am a consumer of IT services.”

Sometimes the scope of a role changes significantly. For example, in the case of Meg Fellner who was promoted (reclassified) within her unit because overtime there was a significant increase in job scope and responsibilities. “My job scope has shifted from implementing events to conceiving and designing high visibility events,” says Meg.

Our best wishes for successful experiences and professional development to those who moved these past 3 months!

  1. Alexandra Daily, Program Manager, MBA Career Management Group
  2. Samuel Ha, Assistant Director of Academic Affairs, FTMBA Program
  3. Meg Fellner, Events Specialist, Marketing & Communications
  4. Dara Mckenzie, Program Coordinator,CRB/IBD
  5. Janet Chin, Program Manager, MBA Career Management Group
  6. Tom Tripp, Digital Media Administrator, Media Services/ECSM
  7. Kristen de la Rosa, Alumni Relations Associate, Development and Alumni Relations
  8. Bryan Lin, Instructional Analyst, Academic Planning and Instruction
  9. Zane Cooper, Director of Research Computing, ECSM
  10. Marion Quinones, Chief Director, Major Gifts, Development and Alumni Relations
  11. Barinder Dhillon-Flanagan, Director of IT Infrastructure and Deputy CIO, ECSM (transfer in from CSS/IT)
  12. Erin Proudfoot, Events Manager, FTMBA Admissions (transfer in from Berkeley Law)

*the above list includes staff whose position was reclassified or staff who applied for a new role between July 1, 2015 and September 30, 2015 as reflected in the HCM system. It includes staff who moved in to Haas from campus (we did not have any staff during that time who transitioned from Haas to another campus position). If your position was reclassified or if you obtained a new role within that timeframe and your name is not listed, please let us know (contact

For additional information about decision making processes around hiring, reclassification and vacancies, click here.  To keep up on job openings at Haas, follow Jobs@Haas on Twitter (the account also feeds directly into our Staff Now page) or visit the Jobs at Haas webpage.

This is the first in a series of Staff On-the-Move posts. We will be sharing this information regularly throughout the year. 

Check out the Haas Haiku finalists

Haas Haiku graphic_600


The Haas Haiku Contest ballot is live, and votes are coming in fast.

It’s been great fun to read the 188 poems submitted by staff, faculty, and students. As a member of the selection committee (which also includes Jo Mackness, chief strategy & operating officer/senior assistant dean, and Dennis Fritzinger, poet & mail room coordinator), I can say that it was a challenge to narrow the entries down to just 25 haiku for the ballot. There could have been more!

I’ve included the finalists here, in case you want to take a look before or after you’ve cast your vote. Note that you can only vote once and you can’t return to the ballot after you’ve clicked “done.”

Voting closes at 5 pm on Thursday, Sept. 24.

Thanks so much to Jo for spearheading the contest, to the Dean’s Office for sponsoring it, and to all who took the time to participate!

Status quo? No way
Anything is possible
Just look around you

Once only strangers,
We crossed paths in the courtyard,

The very best thing
about Haas is that we are
nice people who care.

Think beyond yourself,
or learn until you can — this
place will teach you how.

Haas Haiku wants to
Question the status quo
Ha, six syllables

noisy shallow stream
attitude no confidence
ocean quiet deep

Two years spent at Haas
I’ll question the status quo
And stay for two more

I’ve learned much at Haas
But a key question remains
Who named Oski Bear?

We are here at Haas
To learn to lead with our hearts
And with strong data.

Two short years at Haas
made four pillars a foundation
for the rest of life

On guitar, our dean
is confident without the
rock star attitude

From Janet Yellen
back to Cora Jane Flood, strong
women make Haas great

Go beyond yourself:
Interview Stanford Alum
And bust out Haas swag

The Free Speech Movement
Set the stage for something new
Haas dares to fill it

Lean launchers, social
Innovators, SF Bay
Leadership at Haas.

Just today a bear
roared at me “I’m status quo,”
so I questioned him.

Drowning, too much class.
Together we can all swim
Alone, I would fail

There are throngs seeking
wisdom; my good fortune to
be student always

Come rain or come shine
(Let’s be honest, mostly shine)
We are Haas for life

Promise spreads its arms,
Warm embrace of blue and gold,
Eternal Sunshine

Haas Alumni thrive
when engaged and energized
great leaders give back

Sproul frees our voices
Telegraph opens our minds
Haas bridges the two

We are different.
Making positive changes
To better the world.

Berkeley Haas culture
has no expiration date
stamped on its carton

Beyond Yourself is
simply looking out for all
numbers except one