Ronald Cortez has been appointed vice president for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer at San Francisco State University, bringing more than two decades of public sector administrative and financial experience to the university.Cortez currently serves as the associate vice chancellor for administrative services at UC Santa Barbara, a position he has held since 2008. He previously worked for 14 years for Santa Barbara County, the last three as deputy county executive officer.
“Today’s universities face a number of challenging opportunities and must sustain a complex set of relationships to many constituents,” said President Leslie Wong. “Mr. Cortez brings a skill set that will ensure San Francisco State University’s relationship to our students and the citizens of California, as well as enhance the University’s participation in the very strong local economy.”
He will begin his tenure at SF State on July 2, taking over from Nancy Hayes, who in 2011 was appointed to the position on an interim basis after serving as dean of the College of Business for six years.
In recognition for her service to the university, Hayes was awarded the President’s Medal at SF State’s 112th Commencement exercises on May 25.
“The university will be able to transition from an exceptional leader in Nancy Hayes to another exceptional leader in Ron Cortez without missing a heartbeat,” said Wong.
At UC Santa Barbara, Cortez directed the implementation of a new financial, e-procurement, timekeeping and payroll system. He led negotiations on behalf of the university with the County of Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department and Fire Department, providing police, fire and paramedic services for the campus’ long-range development plan.
Cortez was also awarded a statewide award for higher education-local government collaboration in the area of sustainability. Under his leadership, UC Santa Barbara’s risk management and liability program was named the best in the ten-campus UC system for four consecutive years.
As the university’s vice president for administration and finance and chief financial officer, Cortez will oversee a budget of approximately $450 million and provide strategic and operational direction for the University’s nine business departments.
Cortez earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from San Jose State University, a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Michigan University, a master’s degree in organizational management from Fielding University and a law degree from Santa Barbara College of Law.