Name: Ronald Cortez

Title: Vice Chancellor, Administrative & Business Services

Q: Can you briefly describe your role and responsibilities?

A: As vice chancellor of Administrative & Business Services (A&BS), I provide direction and guidance, in collaboration with my team, to the areas of Accounting & Fiscal Services, Design & Construction Services, Environmental Health & Safety, Facilities Management, Passport Office, Police Department, Purchasing & Risk Services, Transportation & Distributions Service and the UC Path Project. We aim to deliver excellent service while focusing on maintaining a safe and attractive environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Q: How did you get into this line of work?

A: My career as always been in public service. I served as a US Air Force officer for eight years. After this, I worked as a program manager for Merced County, then as deputy county executive officer for Santa Barbara County. I moved into higher education as the associate vice chancellor for Administrative Services at UC Santa Barbara, and most recently as vice president of Administration & Finance and chief financial officer at San Francisco State University. I am passionate about providing a high-level of customer service to my constituents and continually look for strategic opportunities to help them move forward in their work.

Q: What attracted you to UCI?

A: Chancellor Gillman. His passion and “let’s do it” approach, along with his vision of moving toward securing a world class reputation is exciting. In addition, the quality of faculty and staff at UCI is remarkable. I am delighted to be part of our “Brilliant Future.”

Q: What is your first goal/top priority in your new role at UCI?

A: My goal is to foster an environment of encouraging new administrative ideas and innovation that supports UCI’s Strategic Plan. In fact, if you have ideas on how A&BS can improve our working relationship with you, please email

Q: What are some challenges you’d like to tackle or initiatives you’d like to put in place in the near future?

A: A few of my immediate goals include establishing an employee university program, designed to provide professional education for A&BS staff. We need to invest in in-house staff training to ensure our staff are positioned to support the ongoing innovation and focus on world class research. In addition, streamlining processes, reducing administrative burden, and supporting departments so they can focus on research and serving the students are on my immediate radar.

Q: What do you like best working for a university/UCI?

A: Two months into my current position, I find working at UCI to be exciting. During my initial meetings with faculty and staff, I have seen their passion and talents shine through. I’ve enjoyed working with professors and discussing research, and during meetings with students, it’s been electrifying to hear about their future plans and enthusiasm for life.

Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

A: Go Angels! I love that it’s a short drive to the stadium. I also enjoy traveling and exploring new places, especially new beaches, with my wife of 33 years. Spending time with our two grown children is always rewarding.

Q: What’s something we might not know about you?

A: I have over 2,000 hours of flying time as a navigator on military Boeing 707, air refueling tanker. As a navigator, I refueled planes in the air all over the world.