UCSF Names New Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

New Financial Leader Brings Two Decades of Administrative Experience

By Nicholas Weiler

portrait of Paul Jenny
Paul Jenny

UC San Francisco has appointed Paul Jenny, a seasoned administrator with two decades of experience in academic finance and operations, including within the UC system, as its new Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.

Jenny takes on a key role on UCSF’s executive leadership team, reporting directly to the chancellor as the chief financial and chief operating officer of the campus.

His appointment, which follows a year-long national search, was approved June 7, 2016, by UC President Janet Napolitano, on the recommendation of UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, and is effective June 22, 2016.

“Paul brings exceptional strategic leadership and financial experience to the UCSF campus,” Hawgood said. “With his strong performance at the University of Washington, and before that at UC Berkeley, he is extremely well suited to help guide UCSF as we make day-to-day and long-term financial decisions, all aimed at supporting our missions of patient care, education, research and community service."

Jenny will oversee a UCSF operating budget of more than $5 billion, and lead UCSF’s central administrative and financial organization, which has an annual budget of $300 million and 1,500 employees. He also assumes management of real estate, campus planning, public safety, human resources and core information technology services. He will work closely with the University’s senior leadership, faculty, staff and trainees, as well as the Regents, the UC Office of the President (UCOP), UCSF Foundation board members, major donors, and other key campus and community stakeholders.

UCSF Appointment is 'Like Coming Home'

Jenny comes to UCSF from the University of Washington, where he served for the past eight years, most recently in the role of Senior Vice President of Planning and Management. Prior to that appointment, Jenny worked in finance and operations at UC Berkeley for more than four years, first as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget, and then Associate Vice Chancellor of Budget and Resource Planning.

Jenny said he is thrilled to be returning to the University of California and to the Bay Area in a leadership role that will enable him to support UCSF’s public mission and dedication to excellence in medical care, research, education and community service.

“I was incredibly impressed by something Chancellor Hawgood said in his first address to the University as Chancellor, which was that excellence is in UCSF’s institutional DNA,” Jenny said. “I’m inspired by the culture of collaboration and accountability that can be seen across UCSF’s four schools and the Graduate Division as they pursue the University’s missions. The fact that equity and inclusion is right up there as one of the University’s highest priorities, alongside continuous learning, precision medicine, and transformative partnerships is also very exciting to me.”

“I see my role as making sure the administrative side of the University is as well attuned and effectively managed as the academic side,” Jenny said. “The ability to support a mission like that is absolutely in line with what I am hoping to accomplish with the remainder of my career.”

Jenny takes over the position from Teresa Costantinidis, who has served as Interim Senior Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration since the retirement of John Plotts in June of 2015. Costantinidis, who had already served for two years as UCSF Associate Vice Chancellor of Budget and Resource Management, will transfer her interim responsibilities to Jenny during a two-month transition period. 

“We all are deeply grateful to Teresa, who has been providing critical leadership of UCSF’s Finance and Administration for the past year,” Hawgood said. “Her dedication, valuable insights and commitment to excellence have kept the University's finances on track while our campus searched for a successor.”

Jenny, too, emphasized his respect for Costantinidis, as well as Plotts: “Having the two of them preceding me shows that UCSF has a clear commitment to the importance of a strong, nimble administrative structure,” he said.

In his first 90 days on the job, Jenny said, “I want to meet with key constituents and collaborators across campus, to allow myself to be educated about the opportunities and risks the University faces from a variety of sources, and then to work with my leadership team, and the leadership of UCSF and UCOP to make sure we're aligned with and delivering on the continued excellence of the University.”

Real Estate, Space at Forefront of Jenny's Mind

One issue that is at the forefront of Jenny’s mind, he says, is the need to balance the growth and demands of UCSF’s Mission Bay campus with the need to support the continuing strength of the Parnassus campus, and, more broadly, ensuring a portfolio of real estate and space that aligns with future needs across all UCSF’s campuses.

Jenny describes his management style as focused on trust, collaboration and accountability, with a light-hearted twist. He outlined his message to his new UCSF staff: “Although the work that we do is tantamount, we can't tackle these difficult decisions without trusting each other and also having fun. We spend a lot of time together in the office and if we can be relaxed and have fun together, that generates a culture that allows us then to be creative in solving whatever challenges are presented to us.”

Jenny currently lives in Seattle with his wife, Alisa, and their two teenaged sons. The family has maintained many connections from their years living in Berkeley, he said, so the move back to the Bay Area really feels like moving home. In particular, Jenny said he is looking forward to refamiliarizing himself with San Francisco and the area’s natural surroundings with the family’s three-year-old chocolate lab.

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area. Please visit www.ucsf.edu/news.