Ronald Cortez
Ronald Cortez will oversee UCI’s daily operations as the new vice chancellor for administrative & business services, beginning Feb. 13. Photo courtesy of San Francisco State University

Irvine, Calif., Jan. 3, 2017 — Ronald Cortez has been named vice chancellor for administrative & business services at the University of California, Irvine and will lead the campus’s business operations. He starts in his new role Feb. 13.

Cortez brings a wealth of experience in the public sector, such as managing multimillion-dollar budgets and spearheading innovative ideas to streamline large-scale enterprises and improve efficiency. Currently, he is vice president of administration & finance and chief financial officer at San Francisco State University, where he provides strategic direction for the campus’s business functions, including safety & risk management, physical planning & development, design & construction, and human resources.

“I am confident that Ron will play a major role in UCI’s ascendance as a globally preeminent university by ensuring that daily business operations – from administrative policies and procedures to design and construction services – are strategically serving our campus, community and state,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman.

From 2008 to 2013, Cortez was the associate vice chancellor for administrative services at UC Santa Barbara, where he oversaw departments including information technology, accounting, police, auditing, human resources and environmental health & safety. Prior to that, he was deputy county executive officer for Santa Barbara County. He also is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

Cortez earned a J.D. at the Santa Barbara College of Law and master’s degrees in organizational management and public administration at Fielding Graduate University and Northern Michigan University, respectively. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from San Jose State University.

“I am honored to join the campus team at UCI under the leadership of Chancellor Gillman,” Cortez said. “I look forward to utilizing my experience, education and dedication to higher education to support the university’s mission. My goal is to foster an environment of encouraging new administrative ideas and innovation.”

Administrative & Business Services units focus on maintaining a safe and attractive environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors. They ensure that buildings and other infrastructure perform efficiently and are well-maintained, and they provide professional services in policing, accounting, purchasing, risk management and transportation.

Cortez will replace Wendell Brase, who was vice chancellor for administrative & business services for 25 years. The architect of UCI’s national leadership in sustainability and environmental best practices, Brase has been named associate chancellor for sustainability.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit Additional resources for journalists may be found at