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Facility Managers

Facility Managers


Ricardo Arias

Ricardo was born in Merced and grew up in Merced County. Ricardo managed a local carpet cleaning & restoration company for 13 years.

Ricardo joined UC Merced in April 2005 as a Senior Custodian, 6 months later was promoted to Principal Custodial Supervisor and in 2010 was promoted to Custodial Manager.

Ricardo was presented the 2007-2008 Director’s Award honoring Custodial Services and in 2011 was awarded a Staff Excellence Award. He was hired as a Facilities Manager In 2014. Ricardo continues to give great customer service to all the buildings that he manages.


Daniel Basaldua

Daniel joined UC Merced’s Facilities Management in December 2021.

Daniel has 14 years of experience in building maintenance here at UC Merced. He was born and raised in Merced and is a business owner in Merced County.

Daniel enjoys spending time with family and traveling.


Tyler Grise

Tyler joined us as a Facility Manager in March 2019.

Tyler was born and raised in Merced with long family roots in the area. Tyler comes with ten years of construction and property management experience working for a Central Valley based property management company that managed commercial agriculture and residential properties.

Tyler attended Merced College, then Fresno Pacific University where he obtained an AA in Fire Technologies and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.


Mark Lutz

Mark joined UC Merced as a Facilities Manager in February 2006.

Mark has more than 25 years of experience in the HVAC industry and has worked in the health care industry, as well. In addition to managing projects in medical research labs, he also enjoys furthering his education.

Mark earned his Certified Construction Manager certificate through the Advanced Construction Management Program at UC Irvine, Paul Merage School of Business, and continues to take continuing education classes through webinars and UC-offered programs.


Albert Ortega

Albert joined the Facilities Management team in December 2021 as a Facilities Manager.

Albert was born and raised in Merced, CA. Before joining UC Merced, he was a partner at a local screen print shop in 2008. Albert started at UC Merced as a laborer and quickly moved his way up to Housing Custodial Supervisor and then as a Facilities Manager.

Outside of work, he enjoys camping outdoors and restoring classic cars.


George Van Vleet, IV (Van)

As an original founding staff member of UC Merced, Van has been with Facilities Management since early 2002, when the Campus was still an active golf course. His broad array of experience in commercial construction, development, and real property financing/leasing and management was instrumental to his mission of opening the 10th Campus of the UC system.

As UC Merced has developed and its’ properties have expanded, Van has assumed the management role for the UC Merced Center in Fresno, the Campus’ Natural Reserve System research field stations in Yosemite and Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks, the 7,000+ acre UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve and the Buckhorn Flat Ranch property in Coulterville.

Van is a Fresno native with long ties to the valley and an affinity for the great outdoors that abound around the UC Merced Campus and Central Valley.