Name:  Joan Tenma

Title: Assistant Vice Chancellor, Office of Academic Personnel

How long have you worked for UCI? I’ve worked for UC Irvine for 11 years and for UC Riverside for 15 years.

Give us a brief background about what you do in your current role: I have the great honor of leading an incredible team of dedicated professionals who provide support to the academic mission of the university by developing and implementing policies and creating resources to support our faculty and academic employees. We are UCI’s central academic human resource unit and we manage the appointment and personnel reviews, compensation, and policies for our academic population.

How would you describe your leadership/management style? I trust my team by empowering them with the responsibility, resources and freedom to excel in their positions, and I lead by example.

Do you have any advice for Anteater employees to be successful at UCI? Be yourself! If you don’t believe in what you do and say, this will impact your work. Take initiative! Volunteer to help your co-workers and colleagues, even if it’s not “in your job description.” You will not only learn a new skill but your efforts will build and strengthen your team. There is no greater success than achieving team goals!

Do you have a leadership mentor? I am fortunate to have had two exceptional role models in my parents, Mits and May Tenma. My mother raised me to treat others as you would like to be treated and she practiced this every day. My father instilled in me at a very young age the value of hard work. My childhood Management 101 course: I remember Dad sitting at our dining room table, typing out performance evaluations for his staff and when I asked him why, he told me it was important and there wasn’t enough time during the day to get them done properly. Early in my UC career at UC Riverside, the late Distinguished Professor Emory Elliott took me under his wing by first believing in me, then by showing me how he successfully led others, and finally by pushing me to work outside of my comfort zone.

What is your favorite part about working for UCI? My campus colleagues! From the first moment I stepped onto the UCI campus, colleagues greeted me with their “how can we work together” spirit. Anteaters are bright, dedicated, collaborative, and willing to share their insights and experience to make UCI great!

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