University of California, San Francisco seeks an experienced and collaborative graduate education leader to join the university as its next associate dean of graduate programs. This is an on-site administrative position, and the anticipated start date for the associate dean is March 2024.

The Position


Reporting to the dean of the graduate division and vice provost for student academic affairs (dean), the associate dean of graduate programs (associate dean) is a member of the graduate division leadership team and plays a critical role in ensuring the academic success of students and the overall quality of the academic programs housed in the graduate division. The associate dean will serve as the dean’s deputy, both as a key advisor and as a substitute for the dean as necessary on campus and system-wide committees and at community and fundraising events. The associate dean’s portfolio includes academic program development, accreditation, and review; faculty development and support; academic policy development; and student academic support, including but not limited to admissions and progression; data analysis and reporting; and graduate program administration coordination.

Employing a transparent and collegial leadership style, the associate dean will be the primary liaison and point of contact for internal and external queries about the graduate division and its academic programs, practices, and policies. They will lead and facilitate communication among graduate program directors and administrators and work with other senior academic leaders to develop and implement policies that ensure academic quality, fairness, and consistency. Further, the associate dean will collaborate with human resources and labor and employee relations and advise and direct faculty and staff in interpreting, analyzing, and implementing collective bargaining agreements. The associate dean serves as the business owner of the graduate division’s admission application and course evaluation systems, supervises and manages a team that supports the administrative processes of admission and student progression, and serves as the primary liaison with the office of the registrar.

Additional duties of the associate dean include the following:

  • Reviews and updates academic policies and procedures, working with faculty committees to develop new policies, ensuring all policies are consistent with institutional goals and values.
  • Coordinates the development of new graduate degrees, certificate proposals, and changes to academic programs, ensuring compliance with the academic senate and graduate division’s policies and procedures.
  • Advises departments and faculty on admissions, student progression, and professional development issues.
  • Contributes to developing the graduate division program budget(s) to include allocating resources to support academic programs and services and working with senior leaders and faculty to create short- and long-term financial plans.
  • In collaboration with the finance and administration office, manages central campus allocations to graduate programs and individual extramural fellowship programs for student financial support.
  • Leads management, analysis, and dissemination of data initiatives, including admissions data, student statistics, and career outcomes, supporting evidence-based approaches to developing and delivering successful graduate programs, student support, and success.
  • Oversees the graduate division’s faculty development program to support academic effectiveness across the division.
  • As an expert in graduate education, remains up-to-date on trends and issues impacting students at the campus, University of California (UC) system, and national level by attending system-wide, regional, and national meetings.
  • Works collaboratively with the communications group, assistant dean of learner success and diversity, assistant dean for postdoctoral scholars, and program faculty and administrators to enhance branding and marketing of graduate programs.


A terminal degree and ten years of academic experience in higher education are required. The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills; expert negotiation skills; expertise with advising and supporting programs within a leading academic institution to ensure they are aligned with Graduate Council and UC policies; and a record of success in working collaboratively with dynamic and diverse groups of faculty, staff, and students.

The search committee particularly seeks candidates whose work experience or community service has prepared them to contribute to UCSF’s commitment to professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity, and excellence—also known as the university’s PRIDE values.

In addition to the qualifications stated above, key stakeholders indicated that the successful candidate should be someone who:

  • Is an expert in reviewing, developing, and refining policies that support the success of graduate students and trainees.
  • Can balance the need for strategic and operational leadership.
  • Is an analytical thinker and able to translate data into clear operational goals.
  • Is genuinely collaborative in their work and decision-making.
  • Is confident in their interactions while also exhibiting highly developed emotional intelligence.


The next associate dean of graduate programs will find a divisional and university community deeply invested in the associate dean’s success and committed to supporting the success of all UCSF learners. Building a cohesive team within the associate dean’s office while simultaneously developing collaborative and respectful relationships with faculty, students, and administrative colleagues is vital to success in the position.

In transitioning to UCSF, the associate dean will encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges, as shared by key campus stakeholders:

  • Dean Blake has identified the review and development of academic policies and procedures as a key priority for the next associate dean. The associate dean will thoroughly scan the academic policies, identify policy gaps, and develop an implementation plan for policies and procedures that must be developed and adopted in collaboration with divisional and faculty colleagues.
  • The graduate division will launch a new strategic plan in Fall 2023. Several strategic plan elements, including creating a formal faculty development program and strengthening support for research training, will be among the associate dean’s strategic priorities.
  • UCSF is in the early stages of configuring and implementing Slate as its new admission system. The associate dean will be expected to play a highly collaborative leadership role with the registrar and student information office colleagues in the implementation process.
  • Graduate student researchers, postdoctoral scholars, academic student workers, and many staff at UCSF are represented by a union. A tentative collective bargaining agreement was ratified in December 2022 for graduate researchers and academic student workers, including new benefits that will be introduced incrementally over the next four years. The new associate dean will need to quickly familiarize themselves with the various contracts and establish mutually beneficial relationships with the union representatives and colleagues in human resources.
  • It will be critical for the associate dean to model a leadership and communication style that exemplifies transparency and an unwavering commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
  • The associate dean currently oversees a full-time academic programs manager and a part-time director of faculty development. To strengthen and expand the office’s capacity, the associate dean will hire an additional full-time staff member following a thorough assessment of the operational needs.


The new associate dean will work with Dean Nicquet Blake to determine specific success measures and their respective timetables. Campus stakeholders offered the following general metrics for initial success in the position:

  • A thorough assessment of academic policies and procedures have been completed, and a roadmap for developing and adopting new policies in accordance with UCSF academic policies and in collaboration with program-level colleagues and the graduate council.
  • The associate dean has made the connections necessary to thoroughly appreciate and understand UCSF’s student and trainee culture and needs, the mission and work of the graduate division, and UCSF’s complex organizational structure.
  • The associate dean has become familiar with the new divisional strategic plan and crafted an outline of strategic priorities accompanied by an operational and implementation plan.
  • The associate dean has become familiar with all policies, procedures, and bargaining unit contracts that govern and impact the learner experience at UCSF.
  • Slate, the university’s new admission CRM, has been successfully configured and implemented with a high degree of collaboration among the staff in the offices of registrar and student information systems, academic program directors and administrators, and the team in the associate dean’s portfolio.
  • Easily accessible data metrics have been developed which programs can utilize as their admissions and enrollment strategies evolve.

Institution & Location


The graduate division is the home of graduate education and postdoctoral training at UCSF. It offers 22 PhD programs in basic, translational, and social/population sciences; 12 master’s degree programs; two professional doctorates; and four professional certificate programs.

The division’s key activities and priorities include the following:

  • Institute and guide the development of new academic degree programs and oversee the review of existing programs.
  • Nurture cross-program collaboration and interdisciplinary learning.
  • Lead efforts that establish and promote an inclusive learning and training environment for historically underrepresented and marginalized master’s, and PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in science.
  • Facilitate outreach and recruitment to attract the best and brightest students and postdocs from diverse backgrounds.
  • Coordinate and process graduate student applications and allocate student financial support.
  • Support a vibrant learner community through social and co-curricular programming.
  • Provide a service hub and community for postdoctoral scholars.
  • Oversee and monitor student academic progression.
  • Ensure trainee success beyond graduation.
  • Encourage bi-directional communication with the student and postdoc community and provide transparency.


The graduate division at UCSF strives to foster the highest quality of graduate education and postdoctoral training, help graduate programs grow and evolve to meet the changing demands of science and the needs of society, nurture an inclusive and supportive learning environment, and ensure that every graduate student and postdoc at UCSF can look forward to a meaningful and personally satisfying career.

Graduate Division Statistics


Dr. Nicquet Blake – Dean of the Graduate Division and Vice Provost of Student Academic Affairs

Nicquet Blake, PhD, one of the nation’s leading voices on issues of equity and diversity in higher education, joined the University of California, San Francisco as vice provost of student academic affairs and dean of the graduate division in December 2021. In leading the graduate division and student academic affairs at UCSF, Blake hopes to amplify her advocacy for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion among students and postdoctoral trainees across the university and sees an opportunity to help ensure that decisions are consistently made with students’ and trainees’ best interests as the top priority.

Before joining UCSF, Blake served as senior associate dean for admissions and student affairs in the graduate school of biomedical sciences at UT Health San Antonio, part of the University of Texas system, where she was the chief student affairs officer of the graduate school and oversaw the admissions process for all 20 programs.

Blake received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from UT San Antonio. She earned her doctorate in neuroscience and completed postdoctoral training at Washington University in St. Louis.

Full bio

Graduate Division Organizational Chart


Diversity and Learner Success

A fundamental component of the graduate division’s mission is to foster an inclusive and supportive learning environment. The division is committed to the following in its courses, programs, and initiatives:

  • Create opportunities to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts as a core feature of the curriculum and training environment.
  • Improve the learning and research environment to remove barriers to inclusion that uplift the educational and training experience for all learners.
  • Increase educational access and community engagement.
  • Align personal and scientific identities that foster a sense of community and belonging.
  • Cultivate a culture that values and celebrates all graduate career outcomes.

Learn more about the graduate division’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts here.


University of California, San Francisco is part of the 10-campus University of California, the world’s premier public research university system, and the only one of its campuses dedicated exclusively to graduate and professional education. From genomics and immunology to specialty care for women and children, UCSF brings together the world’s leading experts in nearly every area of health. Among its 3,400 distinguished faculty are five Nobel laureates who have advanced the understanding of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, aging, and stem cells. Its educational programs and hospitals consistently rank among the best in the country, according to the latest surveys by U.S. News & World Report.

Driven by its public mission, UCSF is a collection of dedicated scientists, clinicians, students, and staff who strive to make the world a better place through a singular focus on health. The university enrolls over 3,100 professional and graduate students through its schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy and the 12 master’s and 22 doctoral programs in the graduate division. In addition to students in its degree programs, UCSF also trains over 1,000 postdoctoral scholars and over 1,600 clinical residents/fellows. It is San Francisco’s second-largest employer, attracting talented faculty and staff who mirror the energy and dynamism of the Bay Area.

Mission and Values

University Central Administration Organizational Chart

Institutional Leadership

Sam Hawgood – Chancellor

Sam Hawgood, MBBS, a renowned researcher, professor, academic leader, and pediatrician, has been chancellor of UCSF since 2014.

Recognized for his strong leadership as dean of UCSF’s school of medicine from 2009 to 2014 and brief tenure as interim chancellor, Hawgood was selected after a national search as UCSF’s 10th chancellor. He reports to the University of California President Michael V. Drake and the UC board of regents.

Today, Hawgood, the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor at UCSF, oversees a multi-billion-dollar UCSF enterprise, which includes the top public recipient of research funds from the National Institutes of Health, a nationally ranked medical center, and San Francisco’s second-largest employer of more than 30,000 faculty and staff.

 Chancellor’s Priorities


Statement of Diversity

The faculty, staff, students, postdoctoral scholars, trainees, alumni, volunteers, patients, vendors, and visitors of the University of California, San Francisco represent many diverse characteristics, beliefs, and affiliations. Recognizing this rich diversity, UCSF seeks to offer all campus community members an equitable, inclusive, welcoming, secure, responsive, and affirming environment that fosters mutual respect, empathy, and trust. To nurture this environment, several principles of community have been established to guide campus life at UCSF.

Further, the university has adopted a set of PRIDE values that define how members of the UCSF community work, learn, interact, and fulfill its mission. These values are the cornerstone of the university’s work and unite its faculty, students, researchers, caregivers, and staff in building a culture of collaboration that inspires the UCSF community.


The anticipated hiring salary range for this position is $175,000-$200,000. An offer will take into consideration the experience of the final candidate and the current salary level of individuals working at UCSF in a similar role.

See here for information on the full range of comprehensive benefits offered at the University of California, San Francisco. Additionally, UCSF is able to assist the successful candidate with relocation expense support.

Application & Nomination

University of California, San Francisco has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with leading this search. Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Michel R. Frendian, Senior Consultant, at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

The anticipated hiring salary range for this position is $175,000-$200,000. An offer will take into consideration the experience of the final candidate and the current salary level of individuals working at UCSF in a similar role.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

University of California policy requires employees to be fully vaccinated* against COVID-19 before physically accessing University locations or programs. This policy applies to new hires at UCSF who work on-site or come on-site for any activities at a UCSF location. Local and state ordinances may be more restrictive and take precedence. UCSF-affiliated locations may have their own policies for employees working on-site. *This policy allows employees to request approved exceptions for medical or religious reasons.

Visit the University of California, San Francisco website at and the UCSF Graduate Division website at

The University of California San Francisco 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, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.