Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$100,000 - $120,000/year
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Mon-Fri

#130383 Chief Administrative Officer

Extended Deadline: Fri 6/21/2024

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.

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 6/11/24 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 6/21/24. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

  • This position is open until filled. First Review Date: 6/21/24.


UC San Diego is a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public institution that provides an opportunity for all. Recognized as one of the top 15 research universities worldwide, a culture of collaboration sparks discoveries that advance society and drive economic impact.

Founded by Nobel laureates and members of the National Academy of Sciences, our Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy & Astrophysics have all played a central role in UC San Diego’s rapid rise to national and international prominence. Just as it was at its founding, the School of Physical Sciences is broad in scope and inherently interdisciplinary.

Researchers within the school delve into scientific and computational issues that are of critical relevance to all facets of society. We address climate change, fabricate nanoparticles to image tumors and deliver drugs, probe the fundamental nature of matter, trace the evolution of the universe, hunt for elusive sub-atomic particles, and design detection systems for toxins and explosives, to name only some of the faculty’s achievements.

Because the physical sciences are fundamental to all disciplines, including engineering, medicine, and biology, we contribute to the education of most undergraduate students at UC San Diego.

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics is a new and growing department within the School of Physical Sciences. It currently has a Ph.D. program and is in the process of implementing BA and BS programs.

Uses advanced administrative concepts and organization objectives to resolve complex issues. Manages, plans, administers, and coordinates the administrative operations of a small to mid-sized academic or non-academic department or organizational unit, the operations of which are significantly complex and/or broad in scope. Typically reports to a Chair, Director, or equivalent administrative management. Performance of administrative operations activities is the predominant focus of the position; may supervise support staff or a small number of professional staff within or outside the scope of main business activities (e.g., student services, facilities, etc.). Performs short- and long-term planning for the function. Regularly works on highly complex issues where analysis of situations or data requires an in-depth evaluation of variable factors. Exercises judgment in selecting methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria for obtaining results. Erroneous decisions or failure to achieve goals result in additional costs and serious delays in overall schedules.

Serves as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics (A&A). The CAO serves as the principal advisor for the Chair and faculty engaged in research and offering undergraduate and graduate programs.

The CAO is responsible for the management, strategic planning, and leadership of all administrative activities in the unit including: fiscal management of the departmental budgets, contracts, gifts, and grants from a variety of internal and extramural sources; payroll; academic/staff/student human resources; labor relations, health, and safety; administrative information systems; graduate and undergraduate student affairs; internal controls and risk management; and administrative computing. Oversee the management of inventories of all departmental space and facilities, as well as their assignment, utilization, and safety procedures. The CAO is the principal advisor to the Department Chair faculty with regard to the development, implementation, and assessment of short- and long-term strategic plans, budgets, and financial performance. The CAO exercises maximum initiative and leadership within the parameters of Department and University policies and regulations to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Department of A&A.

  • This is a hybrid position: 4 days on campus and 1 day remote. Must be willing to work additional hours during peak times and/or flexible schedule to accommodate business needs. May be required to work evenings and weekends.

  • Please submit a cover letter along with a resume for a complete application.


  • Demonstrated leadership skills and experience with proven ability to apply management principles, practices, and techniques in the conduct of business for a multi-discipline, public, and privately funded academic research department. Demonstrated ability to use initiative, creativity, and resourcefulness to accomplish duties. Advanced knowledge of University rules and regulations, processes, protocols, and procedures for budget, accounting and fund management, and/or personnel management.

  • Strong human resources management skills including understanding of issues working within a complex higher education organization. Demonstrated ability to develop and manage budgets and adapt objectives to changes in resources. Thorough knowledge of the University budget process. Skill in analyzing large quantities of data (financial, space, workload), identifying objectives and constraints, and developing effective recommendations. Advanced knowledge of financial analysis and reporting techniques, and/or human resources policies and procedures for staff and academic employees.

  • Advanced knowledge of a variety of administrative operational activities such as event planning, basic fundraising processes, risk management planning, website design, accounting and payroll, and contracts and grants regulations and guidelines.

  • Advanced interpersonal skills including verbal and written communication, active listening, critical thinking, persuasiveness, advising, and counseling skills. Ability to exercise tact, resourcefulness, good judgment, respect, understanding, and persuasion in interactions with a diverse University population. Effective oral and written communication skills including public speaking. Strong organization, problem-solving, negotiation, and decision-making skills.

  • Demonstrated effective personnel management skills including, but not limited to, talent acquisition, training, development, and performance appraisal.


  • 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.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $82,500 - $151,500 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $39.51 - $72.56

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.

UC San Diego is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

For the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy please visit:
For the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, please visit:

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

Application Instructions

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