Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$157,000 - $179,902/year
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Mon-Fri

#126084 Chief Administrative Officer

Extended Deadline: Wed 12/6/2023

UC San Diego values equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are interested in being part of our team, possess the needed licensure and certifications, and feel that you have most of the qualifications and/or transferable skills for a job opening, we strongly encourage you to apply.

  • This position is open until filled. First Review Date 11/01/23.


UC San Diego is a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public institution, recognized as one of the top 15 research universities worldwide. The University fosters a culture of collaboration that sparks innovative discoveries that advance society and drive economic impact. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Chem/Biochem) is one of the largest and most complex departments on campus. Our department combines research on the most consequential and revelatory scientific areas with education aimed at building our future leaders and scientists.

Chem/Biochem strives to be a top-ranked and recognized leader in the chemical and biochemical sciences through transformative research and impactful educational programs. We are committed to excellence in teaching and mentoring excellence and supporting students and postdoctoral researchers in safe and inclusive environments as they prepare to become leaders in science and society. We value collegiality, equity, and diversity with the Department, and promote a culture of collaboration and transparency. We aim to enhance our impact in local and global communities through partnerships with other educators, industry, government, and professional societies.

Chem/Biochem is one of the largest and most complex departments on campus. The department’s organization is divided among three major academic sections each with its own leadership (Section Chair and Vice Chair) representation under the Department Chair: Physical, Analytical & Environmental (PAE); Biochemistry & Biophysics (BB); and finally, Synthesis, Materials and Chemical Biology (SMCB). The department is comprised of 73 ladder-rank faculty, an additional 15 in various instructional titles, and ~150 in academic research titles and postdoctoral scholars. The department is comprised of 100 career staff: ~60 temporary or student staff, and 400 Master’s and Ph.D. students. There are 1,700 undergraduate students enrolling in 5 majors with total annual course enrollments exceeding 27,000. Chem/Biochem manages $30 million annually in extramural funding and approximately $63 million in total annual expenditures. The Department occupies space in 7 buildings, totaling 237,000 ASF, including class laboratories and instructional support space, research labs, and recharge facilities.

Additional information can be found on our webpage at

Responsible for managing the administrative services and/or general operations of a school, OR college OR large, multiple, or interdisciplinary department(s) within a college, or large or multiple non-academic department(s). Establishes operational objectives and work plans, and delegates assignments to subordinate managers. Responsible for managing, preparing, administering, and directing resources. Reviews and approves recommendations for functional programs. Monitors division and department adherence to the approved budget. Involved in developing, modifying, and executing organizational policies that affect immediate operation(s) and may also have organization-wide effects. Erroneous decisions or failure to achieve goals results in additional costs and personnel, and serious delays in overall schedules.

Incumbent serves as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Chem/Biochem) with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Assistant Dean in the School of Physical Sciences. The CAO is an executive-level business leader with demonstrated expertise in university administration, with special interests in resource management in a scientific department. A detailed understanding of the roles and responsibilities of all department support staff, including finance and accounting, contracts and grants administration; academic and staff human resources; student affairs; teaching laboratories; computing facilities; research core, and research support facilities (laboratories, recharge and space facilities, fabrication facility, storehouse, and all inventory); environmental health and safety; technology transfer, intellectual property and academic affairs is required. The CAO is the principal advisor to the Department Chair and Section Chairs on a wide variety of issues, including but not limited to the implementation and assessment of short- and long-term strategic plans, budget and finance, and external relations. A considerable understanding of the significance associated with the scientific research and teaching missions of the faculty of the department is essential in order to oversee current support for departmental activities and to plan creatively for the department's future. The CAO exercises maximum initiative and management leadership within the parameters of department and university policies and regulations to accomplish the goals and objectives of the department. The CAO serves as the liaison between scientific investigators, directors, government agencies, and University administration. This requires the ability to deal effectively with a variety of people, such as faculty, researchers, executive managers, agency research and campus/administrative managers, staff personnel, and students.

Responsible for managing the administrative operations of a school, OR a medium to large academic department, OR several small departments within a college, OR a medium to large non-academic department. Typically includes all or most of the following functions: IT, facilities, student services, contracts and grants, budgetary financial management, and/or human resources. Manages a professional staff, typically large, and/or comprised of professionals in various fields. Assumes accountability for decisions made by subordinates. Performs long and short-term planning for function. Erroneous decisions or failure to achieve goals results in additional costs and personnel, and serious delays in overall schedules.

  • This position will work a hybrid schedule which includes a combination of working both onsite (campus) and remote.

  • The Department of Chem/Biochem operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The incumbent must be able to work evenings and weekends, as necessary, to ensure appropriate administrative and technical support is available outside of standard business hours.

  • Please submit a cover letter and resume for a complete application.


  • Demonstrated experience managing, supervising, and motivating a group of technical and administrative staff. Ability to maintain good morale and maintain productivity. Knowledge of team dynamics, and ability to work in a team setting.

  • Proven leadership and management skills in a university research environment with demonstrated leadership and credibility in addressing issues relating to the management of a large academic science department. Demonstrated understanding of the importance of organizational structure, resource management, communication, and protocol when implementing a solution.

  • Demonstrated experience working with a high-level research, academic, or similar commercial management team in the formulation and communication of enterprise-level strategy that encompasses academic, research, operational, and financial objectives.

  • Broad knowledge of the organization's processes, protocols, and procedures with a focus on budget, account and fund management and/or personnel management under labor contract(s) and personnel policy.

  • Ability to translate program planning into operational and fiscal requirements. Ability to advise department Chair, Vice-Chair, and PI’s on regulations and courses of action. Ability to weigh instructional and research needs, develop business plans, propose options, and advise faculty of possible outcomes of different scenarios.


  • Job offer is contingent upon a satisfactory clearance based on FBI and DOJ background check results.

  • Duties may require direct contact with children (defined as individuals under the age of 18). Completion of the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) form will be required.

  • Mandated reporter under CANRA.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $78,900 - $179,900 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $37.79 - $86.16

Factors in determining the appropriate compensation for a role include experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. The Hiring Pay Scale referenced in the job posting is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position. The Annual Full Pay Range may be broader than what the University anticipates to pay for this position, based on internal equity, budget, and collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).

If employed by the University of California, you will be required to comply with our Policy on Vaccination Programs, which may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, UC San Diego strives to cultivate a rich and diverse environment, inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty, staff and visitors. For more information, please visit UC San Diego Principles of Community.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

Application Instructions

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